How to Make Good Decisions

Thomas S. Monson

All of our choices have consequences, some of which have little or nothing to do with our eternal salvation and others of which have everything to do with it.

I have been thinking recently about choices and their consequences. As I’ve contemplated the various aspects of choice, I’ve put them into three categories.

1. The Right of Choice

President David O. McKay said, “Next to the bestowal of life itself, the right to direct that life is God’s greatest gift to man” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay [2003], 208). Within the confines of whatever circumstances we find ourselves, we will always have the right to choose.

2. The Responsibility of Choice

With the right of choice comes the responsibility to choose. Our Heavenly Father provided the means whereby we could receive from Him God-given guidance. I speak of prayer, of the whisperings from that still, small voice within each of us, and the holy scriptures. Each of us has come to this earth with all the tools necessary to make correct choices. The prophet Mormon tells us, “The Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil” (Moroni 7:16).

To make decisions wisely, courage is needed—the courage to say no, the courage to say yes. I plead with you to make a determination right now not to deviate from the path which will lead to our goal: eternal life with our Father in Heaven.

3. The Results of Choice

All of our choices have consequences, some of which have little or nothing to do with our eternal salvation and others of which have everything to do with it.

Whether you wear a green T-shirt or a blue one makes no difference in the long run. However, whether you decide to push a key on your computer which will take you to pornography can make all the difference in your life. If a friend pressures you to drink alcohol or to try drugs and you succumb to the pressure, you are taking a detour from which you may not return. May we keep our eyes, our hearts, and our determination focused on that goal which is eternal and worth any price we will have to pay.

You are of a noble birthright. Eternal life in the kingdom of our Father is your goal.

For the Strength of Youth

“You are responsible for the choices you make. … You have the ability to choose righteousness and happiness, no matter what your circumstances.

“You are also responsible for developing the abilities and talents Heavenly Father has given you. You are accountable to Him for what you do with your abilities and how you spend your time” (For the Strength of Youth [2001], 5).

What have you done to follow President Monson’s counsel? Click Share your experience below.