A couple of weeks ago, we were watching a church worship service on BYUtv. One of the speakers talked about being sure not to make decisions in a moment of crisis. It is a lot more difficult to decide what to do when there are stresses and pressures upon you. This can be taken from a lot of different angles. For example, choosing that you will not try smoking before you are offered a cigarette, or even, having an escape plan in case of a fire in your home.
The idea of having premeditated decisions and plans in place, reminded me of a lesson my friend Lisa gave while we were serving together in Young Women. In it, she included a quote from Sister Elaine Dalton’s April 2011 General Conference address entitled “Guardians of Virtue”. It stated, “What can each of you do to be a guardian of virtue? It starts with believing you can make a difference. It starts with making a commitment. When I was a young woman, I learned that some decisions need to be made only once. I wrote my list of things I would always do and things I would never do in a small tablet. It included things like obeying the Word of Wisdom, praying daily, paying my tithing, and committing to never miss church. I made those decisions once, and then in the moment of decision, I knew exactly what to do because I had decided beforehand. When my high school friends said, ‘Just one drink won’t hurt,’ I laughed and said, ‘I decided when I was 12 not to do that.'”
Having not grown up in the church, I didn’t have much guidance in the way of such things. Thankfully, for the most part, I stuck to what I would have written on my always/never lists. I believe there was definitely some divine intervention involved to help keep me on a path that would make it easy to join the church when the time came, with no addictions or other problems to overcome. That being said, it would have been much easier to navigate the waters of my teenage years and college years, if I had made such a list as this.
I am grateful for the inspired words of church leaders to ease our burdens and help us along the path. I am grateful for Lisa and her amazing lesson(s) that left such a strong impression that I remembered them months later. I am grateful for the Holy Ghost and its ability to help me recall such lessons and promptings.