General Conference

During this past general conference, you listened to the messages, felt the Spirit, and decided you need to change some things in your life. But now what? How can you change that nebulous feeling of desire into firm commitment and action? Here is some advice from general authorities and BYU faculty to help make those promptings into a reality.


Understand the Why Behind Your Commitment

“Any community functions better when people in it keep their promises to live up to its accepted standards. But for a learner and for a community of learners, that keeping of commitments has special significance. . . .

“. . . Life at its longest is short. What we do here determines the rest of our condition for eternity. God our Father has offered us everything he has and asks only that we give him all we have to give.”

—Henry B. Eyring, “A Child of God,” 21 October 1997


“When we keep our commitments, we draw closer to the Lord and come closer to becoming the person we need to be to endure through eternity. What may initially appear to be temporal is, in actuality, a training ground for things eternal. The companion of commitment keeping is enduring to the end. Because we are children of God, our commitments are lifelong commitments that stretch throughout eternity.”

—Sarah Westerberg, “Pastry, Chalk Circles, and Other Words to Live By: A Guide to Keeping Commitments,” 2 December 2008


Commit to the Commitment

“Decide now that you will keep your commitments so that when challenges arise, you will continue steadfast, without hesitation. That is not to imply that you are blindly following; rather, it means that you have already done the important thinking, soul searching, and praying to allow you to respond in this manner. . . .

“. . . Commitment is never to be postponed for convenience or pleasure. It is easier to keep commitments when we have decided before we reach the crisis point or when the critical mass of peer pressure occurs.”

—Sarah Westerberg, “Pastry, Chalk Circles, and Other Words to Live By: A Guide to Keeping Commitments,” 2 December 2008


Sweat the Small Stuff

“So often we find ourselves looking for that big break, the huge testimony-defining experience, the job or investment that will set us for life. . . . While those events can occur, more often than not it is by consistent, competent effort, by the small things that we pay attention to, that ultimately and eventually lead us to excellence. Consistent competence equals eventual excellence.”

—Edward Eyestone, “Following Worthy Mentors,” 29 September 2015


“There is a difference in our spiritual strength that results when we are actively striving to live the gospel to the best of our ability. It is often seemingly small things that can make such a difference in our lives.”

—Scott D. Sommerfeldt, “Exactness in Our Discipleship,” 1 August 2006


Know What You’re Working Toward—And How to Get There

“The setting of goals is not nearly so important as setting a vision for individuals and organizations. Wisely selected goals are intermediate mile-posts that mark our course. Vision, on the other hand, is more far-reaching and exceeds the goals in importance.”

—Howard W. Hunter, “The Dauntless Spirit of Resolution,” 5 January 1992


“We’re to live our lives line upon line, precept upon precept. We can’t be everything and do everything all at once. Know where it is that you want to go and then go forth with a vision of what you can become. There will be many mountains you’ll have to climb, young people. Life’s mountains are much easier to climb when you’ve got somebody to climb with you. But remember, each must climb his own mountain. It doesn’t matter what your grandfather or your father has accomplished.”

—Philip T. Sonntag, “Being a Worthy You,” 6 March 1988


Anticipate Opposition

“Once you have made the commitment, be stalwart, not easily discouraged. Do not make excuses for your failures. Events don’t cause you to be anything. They simply trigger reactions. If you will to act differently than your first reaction, then by force of will you can. If you fall, repent! Know that the price of backing off your commitment is that, unless you repent, recommit, and live up to it, you are not what you wanted to be.”

—Adrian Van Mondfrans, “Becoming Men and Women of Principle,” 1 June 1982


“When we are willing to accept assignments from the Lord, they may only take a moment, but they might also take a month or a year or a lifetime. . . . I hope nothing I have said here today has given the impression that I believe ‘small and simple’ means easy, because it doesn’t.”

—J. Michael Hunter, “Small Things,” 22 May 2012


Remember That You Are Responsible

“Everything we hear about is motivation this and motivation that. We have just concluded a great general conference. People have come up to me and said, ‘Oh, didn’t Elder Dunn and didn’t Elder Hanks motivate you?’ I don’t mean to be sacrilegious or anything, but my answer to them is ‘No, they didn’t motivate me at all, but they surely inspired me to motivate myself.’ Inspiration comes from without, and, I believe, motivation comes from within. We’ve each got our own little motivator, just as we have our own little cholesterol maker somewhere in our bodies. That motivator makes you and me do things that are really worthwhile.”

—Glen C. Tuckett, “Feed My Sheep,” 9 April 1974


Don’t Give Up on Yourself or Your Commitments

“We do have to be serious and responsible about our commitments. But God is usually more willing to forgive us than we are willing to forgive ourselves. It may not surprise you to know that God loves us more than we love ourselves. We are his creation, spirit children of a celestial birth, and we stand in the image of him whom we rightly call our Father. We ought never to be destructive in our criticism of others, but perhaps our greatest caution needs to be regarding the tendency to be destructive in the criticism we apply to ourselves.”

—Howard W. Hunter, “The Dauntless Spirit of Resolution,” 5 January 1992



Photo Credit: LDS Media Library