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How to Achieve Eternal Goals

Robert D. Hales Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

The most important goals in life are those that bring joy and help you return to Heavenly Father. 

I would like to suggest a few of the most important goals in life that will give you joy as you fulfill your mission on this earth—eternal goals that will help you return with honor to your Father in Heaven. They include:

  1. Marry in the temple and cultivate eternal family relationships by prayerfully balancing the many facets of life, such as family, occupation, continuing education, hobbies, and entertainment.
  2. Faithfully and obediently live your religion and be true to your baptismal and temple covenants, always treasuring up the good things of life.
  3. Hold on to the eternal perspective, remembering that the things of the kingdom are eternal and the things of the world are temporal or temporary.
  4. Remember to give dedicated service throughout your life and always care for the needy who may require your love and other support.

These are lifetime goals that take focus and time to achieve. Making these goals is not enough; we must make a plan to carry them out.

Everyone has time; it’s true. But just because time passes doesn’t mean we are making progress.

Tonight or tomorrow, ponder what you want to achieve in your life and what your goals should be. Take the time to write them down and review them throughout the coming years. Then spend a few hours asking yourself what you can do to accomplish these goals today, tomorrow, next week, and in months ahead.

How do you choose and define these important, eternal goals? And, just as vital, how do you make a plan to achieve them? Remember: time is the essential—even critical—element in your calculations. From where you stand now, it may seem that you have an indefinite amount of time to accomplish eternal things.

Everyone has time; it’s true. But just because time passes doesn’t mean we are making progress.

“This life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors” (Alma 34:32).

The secret is to choose wisely those activities that will help us achieve our divinely inspired goals and then have the strength of character and conviction to disregard what would distract or detain us from our eternal destination.

I testify that your time on earth will be sufficient to accomplish your preparation and perform the labors of your life’s mission—if you use your time wisely. And there is no better time to do that than now, in your youth (see Alma 37:35).

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This article originally appeared in the January 2015 New Era

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