Questions and Answers


“Sometimes I feel overwhelmed when I think about all the things I need to do to live the gospel. Where do I start?”

Life can be overwhelming when you try to do too much at once. For example, if you tried to go to seminary, school, work, the temple, and Mutual all in one day, you would feel overwhelmed. But if you prioritize gospel activities and plan time for them, you will make progress. Gospel activities such as seminary, prayer, and Duty to God or Personal Progress are some of the most important things you can do as a teen. Yes, they take some extra time, but you will be blessed for every sacrifice you make to be obedient.

To learn how to make time for these activities, seek inspiration through prayer and by thinking about how you spend your time. Sunday is a good day to plan gospel and other important activities for the week. It would also be helpful to discuss this question with your parents and Church leaders.

When you think about everything you need to do, remember that Church classes, programs, and activities are inspired—they will help you strengthen your testimony, keep the commandments, and prepare to serve a mission and be married in the temple.

As you try to be faithful in the gospel, the Lord will “prepare a way” (1 Nephi 3:7) to help you keep His commandments, even if you feel overwhelmed. Keeping the commandments will invite the Spirit into your life. And feeling the Spirit will let you know you’re on track spiritually.

Do the Small and Simple Things

The Lord isn’t looking for us to be perfect in all things yet, but He wants us to do as much as we are able. If that means starting with the basics like daily scripture study and prayer, He will be pleased with our efforts. As we are willing to live the gospel and do the small and simple things that are required of us, all the seemingly overwhelming things He asks us to do won’t be so overwhelming anymore.

Hunter D., 17, Tennessee, USA

Live the Gospel with Your Family

It is very important to live the gospel together with our family. We can start living it with them through family prayer, family scripture study, family home evening, and doing family history. These basic principles are of great help in understanding deeply what the gospel of Jesus Christ can do in our lives.

Cherry O., 19, Davao, Philippines

Do Your Best

I’ve learned that when you try to do everything, you can become stressed. If you just try to do your best each day, you’ll be fine. If you listen to the Holy Ghost and stay close to the Lord through prayer and scripture study, things will fall into place and soon you will be the person the Lord intends you to be. I tried to be almost perfect and I worried about not being good enough, but that isn’t what the Lord wants. Feeling inadequate and down on yourself is not of the Lord. So just give Him your best, and you will find peace and joy in your life.

Zandi C., 16, Wyoming, USA

Seek the Lord’s Help

Read the scriptures and pray daily. Seek to always be in tune with the Holy Ghost. Heavenly Father will help you live the gospel. Always seek His help. Ask His direction so that you can do what He hopes you will do. With each correct choice you make, you will feel the presence of the Spirit. That will make it so you desire to make more correct choices.

Thaís S., 15, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Trust in the Lord

The gospel is here to help us, not worry us. If we have trust in the Lord, then we can have trust in His gospel. When you have trust, living the gospel will not seem so overwhelming because you understand why you are living it.

Charlotte R., 15, Utah, USA

Focus on the Work at Hand

Don’t think of all the things you need to get done in your lifetime; think of what needs to be done now. You do your best, and Heavenly Father will make it work. For example, while I was preparing to teach a seminary lesson about President Thomas S. Monson, I was wondering how I could keep seven kids (all of whom are older than me) listening, learning, and interested. I decided to try and get as much participation as I could. It turned out fine! So just do your best at the work right in front of you.

Bethany F., 15, Kentucky, USA

Gradually Improve

The Lord has said that He will give us doctrine “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little” (2 Nephi 28:30). We cannot expect to grasp the gospel all at once, but as we start with the basics—charity, faith, and hope—and as we study the scriptures, apply them daily, and pray always, we will gradually improve and find ourselves coming ever closer to Christ.

Riley C., 16, Utah, USA

Responses are intended for help and perspective, not as official pronouncements of Church doctrine.

Start with the Basics

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

“Great sculptors and artists spend countless hours perfecting their talents. They don’t pick up a chisel or a brush and palette, expecting immediate perfection. They understand that they will make many errors as they learn, but they start with the basics, the key fundamentals first.

“So it is with us.

“We become masters of our lives in the same way—by focusing on first things first. We all have a pretty good idea of the most important decisions we need to make—decisions that will improve our lives and bring us greater happiness and peace. That is where we should start. That is where we should place our greatest effort.”

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (1917–2008) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Three Choices,” Ensign, Nov. 2003, 80.

Next Question

“My brother has a problem with pornography. He is working with our bishop on it, so I want to support him, but it has affected my trust in him. How do I deal with this?”

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Responses may be edited for length or clarity.