Picture Perfect


On my wall is a great reminder of what I am trying to become.

My bedroom is like many other teenage boys’ rooms. Yes, there are school books piled up to the ceiling. And yes, there are posters all over the walls. But next to these posters is a picture of the Savior. Now I have been in my room when friends have looked at that picture and asked, “So what does Jesus have to do with all of this?” Of course, I know why that picture is there.

It all stems from a talk Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve gave at general conference.

Elder Scott counseled us to do three things: (1) place Christ at the center of your life, (2) realize that happiness comes from what you are, not what you have, and (3) always stay morally clean. These three points, if applied, can form the basis of the strength which we need to be strong in a world such as the one we live in.

The first point, about placing Christ at the center of our lives, is the reason I have that picture of Christ in my bedroom. When I awake in the morning, I look at that picture. Because of my testimony of the Savior I consciously make a decision to honor his name during the day. Of course when I make mistakes, I look at that picture and wonder how I could have let him down.

If we do place the Savior at the center of our lives we certainly will be different to those around us. We will, as the scriptures say, be a “peculiar people” (Deut. 14:2).

Take my name, for example. I love the name Ronan because it’s unusual. But I hope I’m peculiar, not because of my name, but because I’m a representative of Jesus Christ and his gospel. I don’t think many of us are as peculiar as we need to be.

The second suggestion is that we should realize that happiness comes from what we are, not what we have. I am as guilty as anyone of the “I want” syndrome. I know I must try to ignore my peers and seek only to please God. I need to recognize the things I do have: my testimony, my family, and the many other blessings I enjoy.

The third item is to stay morally clean. In a broad sense, this means to be moral, to be righteous, and to be true. Of course, more specifically, it means to obey the laws of chastity. I was once invited to a party which I knew would be morally suspect. At first I rationalized, thinking I would be strong enough to resist whatever temptations might be around me. Fortunately, I decided not to go. I later learned about the alcohol that was consumed and the moral iniquities that took place there. I realized that was not the kind of place for a Latter-day Saint to be. If I had gone to that party, I could in no way have looked at that picture of the Savior in my room and felt at ease.

I’m glad for that picture and I know I’m going to try my best to always place the Savior at the center of my life.

[photo] Photography by Steve Bunderson