21992_000_007Answers are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.
How can I keep my thoughts centered on Jesus Christ during my daily activities?
When we were baptized, we covenanted that we would always remember Jesus Christ. Although it is easy to think of the Savior on Sundays at church, we are bombarded by distractions in our daily lives. There are, however, things we can do to focus our thoughts on Jesus Christ.
First, we can strive to be obedient. Elder Merrill J. Bateman of the Seventy testified “that obedience to the gospel plan is the only way to build a Christ-centered life” (“Living a Christ-Centered Life,” Liahona, December 1999, 21). Similarly, Elder Neal A. Maxwell, then of the Presidency of the Seventy, said that the “requirements [of the Christ-centered life] are actually quite simple: keep his commandments!” (“The Christ-Centered Life,” Ensign, August 1981, 13).
Why is obedience so important? Simply put, obedience brings the Spirit of the Lord into our lives. Because the Holy Ghost bears testimony of Christ, it becomes easier to center our minds on Christ when we have the Spirit with us. In addition, when we yield “to the enticings of the Holy Spirit,” we become more Christlike (see Mosiah 3:19).
When we obey the commandments, we learn to love the Savior. Alma’s plea to “let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever” (Alma 37:36) describes a Christ-centered life. Obeying the Lord and loving Him are principles that reinforce each other. If our affections are centered on Christ, we are inclined to follow His commandments. Our increased obedience then brings the Spirit more strongly into our lives, making it easier to center our thoughts and affections on Christ.
The following are specific manifestations of obedience that can help us focus our thoughts on the Savior.
Pray. We have been commanded to “pray always” (2 Ne. 32:9) and to let our “thoughts be directed unto the Lord” (Alma 37:36). When we keep a prayer in our hearts, we eliminate the distractions of the world and focus on spiritual things.
Study the scriptures. The scriptures are rich with testimonies of and insights about the Savior. President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) taught, “Let us continually reread the Book of Mormon so that we might more fully come to Christ, be committed to Him, centered in Him, and consumed in Him” (“‘Come unto Christ,’” Ensign, November 1987, 85).
Serve. It is impossible to be Christ-centered as long as we are self-centered. When we serve others, we are also serving Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father (see Mosiah 2:17).
Attend the temple and other Church meetings. The spirit that comes from attending the temple as often as possible and Church meetings each week can help us focus our thoughts on Christ.
Focusing our thoughts on Christ is worth every effort. President Howard W. Hunter (1907–95) said: “If our lives and our faith are centered upon Jesus Christ and his restored gospel, nothing can ever go permanently wrong. On the other hand, if our lives are not centered on the Savior and his teachings, no other success can ever be permanently right” (“‘Fear Not, Little Flock,’” in BYU 1988–89 Devotional and Fireside Speeches , 112).
Searching, pondering, and praying about the scriptures has helped me focus my thoughts on Christ. Studying with a grateful, humble heart helps us put God first in our lives.
Lin Ching Yi, Tainan Third Ward, Tainan Taiwan Stake
When we recognize the greatness of the role Jesus Christ plays in our lives and if we trust Him by obeying all His commandments, our thoughts will turn to Him during all our daily activities. The Spirit of Christ will be planted in our hearts to remind us of Him.
Paul Tshilenge Tshibuabua, Mbuji Mayi Branch, Democratic Republic of Congo Kinshasa Mission
We should pray and take time for the Lord first thing in the morning. Short prayers during the day will also strengthen us. In this way, the Holy Spirit can inspire our thoughts.
I am grateful for the holy scriptures. By reading and studying about Christ, we can make Him a greater part of our lives from day to day.
Thomas Schramböck, Vienna Fifth Ward, Vienna Austria Stake
As a Sunday School teacher and a stake missionary, I have learned much about the gospel. Stories and situations presented in the manuals remind me to do what is right. Attending church helps me center my thoughts on Christ.
Myra May C. Temeras, San Rafael Ward, Montalban Philippines Stake
We should always remember to be in the world but not of the world. To keep our thoughts centered on Christ, we should pray daily, think of His love for us, and ponder the scriptures during our daily activities.
Elder Russel Subayi Mbaya, Ivory Coast Abidjan Mission
It isn’t impossible to center our thoughts on Christ. The difficulty is often due to our associations and to what we read, hear, and see. We can chase out bad thoughts or flee from vile things by humming a hymn.
Rousseline Buissereth, Delmas Ward, Port-au-Prince Haiti Stake
The best way for me to center my thoughts on Christ is to keep the commandments and strive to be an example of what it means to be a member of His Church. It is also important as we partake of the sacrament to remember what Jesus Christ did for us.
Marcela Catalano, Longchamps Ward, Buenos Aires Argentina Adrogué Stake
I am 10 years old, and I remember Christ by always praying for my thoughts to be in tune with Him and by reading the scriptures before school and during rest periods. I have an adult friend who puts gospel posters in her office to help her remember Christ.
Caleb Rossetti da Silva, Planalto Ward, São Bernardo Brazil Rudge Ramos Stake
I always try to center my thoughts on Jesus Christ by remembering a hymn and singing it in my mind, thinking of happy moments I have spent with a loved one, and asking God to guide me.
Eduardo Daniel Barreiro Cuadra, Sarandí del Yí Branch, Durazno Uruguay Stake
Putting Jesus Christ in our minds requires that we consecrate our deeds and desires to Him. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” (Col. 3:23).
Niccolo Martin Antonni Laurence C. Florencio, Tacloban Second Branch, Tacloban Philippines District
Hymns—“an Inspiration and a Protection”
“You can replace thoughts of temptation, anger, disappointment, or fear with better thoughts—with music.
“I love the sacred music of the Church. The hymns of the Restoration carry an inspiration and a protection.
“I know also some music is spiritually destructive; it’s bad and dangerous! Young people, leave it alone! …
“Thoughts are talks we hold with ourselves. Do you see why the scriptures tell us to ‘let virtue garnish [our] thoughts unceasingly’ and promise us that if we do, our ‘confidence [shall] wax strong in the presence of God.’” —President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (“The Spirit of Revelation,” Liahona, January 2000, 27)