Count on the Values


How could I become the person I so much wanted to be? The answers were right under my nose.

One night when I was reading my scriptures, I felt overwhelmed with the idea of becoming perfect. I sank back onto my bed and thought, How can I ever become the person I want so much to be?

As I pondered, I glanced around my room reviewing the daily reminders that decorated every shelf. My eyes settled on a small abacus my mother had purchased from a local boutique as a gift for me when I became a Beehive. Seven small wooden beads, each painted a different color representing the Young Women values, were strung on a thin wire arched on top of a small block of wood. On the side was hand painted, “Count on the Values.”

My question was answered. Count on the values to improve each day. How? I asked. More answers poured into my mind. Seven values, seven days—a value a day. I grabbed the nearest pencil to organize my thoughts.

Sunday—Divine Nature I would study the scriptures, listen in church, ponder the things I learned there, and prepare for the coming week by increasing my spirituality.

Monday—Faith I would have the faith to meet the challenges of a new week. I remembered a quotation, “If you believe you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you’re right.” I would have faith that with the Lord’s help I would be able to do all the things that were needful.

Tuesday—Knowledge I would focus on knowledge by scheduling time throughout the week for homework and additional study for upcoming tests.

Wednesday—Choice and Accountability I would hold a midweek evaluation on how I was going. Were the choices I’d made so far in the week helping me become a better person? Were they reflecting my belief in Christ? If I was falling short, there would still be time to renew a commitment to improve. If I was doing all I could, it could be a time of grateful prayer.

Thursday—Good Works I would look for someone in need of my service. It might be a fellow student who needed a study partner or perhaps a cheerful hello in the halls. Maybe it’s my neighbor in need of a ride, a quick errand done, or help with her small children.

Friday—Integrity When I went with my friends, I would remember who I was and what my beliefs are. I would encourage others to make good decisions, particularly when we were together as friends.

Saturday—Individual Worth This was a time to know I had grown in the gospel and come a little closer to the Savior. It was a time to prepare for Sunday and the upcoming week, feeling just a little closer to my eternal goals.

This weekly plan strengthened me as I tried to live one value each day to the fullest extent possible. At first I could only do one or two things to live that particular value, but it became easier. After a while I didn’t even have to plan out each act as I’d had to at first. Soon one day blended into another. I didn’t just serve others on Thursdays, but I thought of things to help others almost without realizing I was even doing it. I discovered myself being accountable daily for the choices I made. Study time became easier because I had taken the time to make a plan to learn new things.

The Lord helped me see that perfection isn’t an immediate accomplishment but an eternal quest as I learned line upon line, precept on precept, each new day.

Illustrated by Richard Hull