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David Brooks, in an editorial titled “The Moral Bucket List,” developed the concept that there are “two sets of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral.”

Brooks correctly concluded that the eulogy virtues are much more important. This hit home for me because I had an experience when I was in my mid-20s that had a profound impact on me. It involved the funerals of two good men that took place only a few days apart. …

I have decided to call one of the men Rich and the other man Faithful. …

Rich

  • Rich had wonderful people skills and cared a great deal about people.

  • He had a large income and lived in a large, beautiful home set on spacious grounds.

  • His family choices and influence on his children focused almost exclusively on education and employment.

  • Rich and his wife became less active.

  • They were primarily involved in high-profile social and community activities.

  • Rich was an influence for honesty, integrity, and goodwill in all the positions he held.

  • His funeral … was, on the whole, a somber funeral. Rich’s life was based almost exclusively on résumé virtues.

Faithful

  • Faithful married a woman who was completely active in the Church.

  • His small independent business was … burned, and he lost everything.

  • He subsequently created a small business but could barely make his required payments.

  • He had a small but adequate home.

  • He served as called, often as a teacher, attended the temple frequently, and was a faithful priesthood holder.

  • He had wonderful relationships, especially with his large family and his many grandchildren.

  • In his retirement, he and his wife served a mission together.

  • Faithful’s funeral … was large and joyful. The talks were about his character, kindness, concern for others, and faith in and love of the Lord Jesus Christ.

What was most important to me about the lives I just described is that I realized that the most significant choices can be made by everyone. … Putting the Savior, my family, and the Church first was essential. Doing so would result in the good life.

Learn More

Find out what else makes a good life by reading the full Liahona article, “The Gospel and the Good Life.”