Brothers and Sisters,
Unlike many people in the world, we are free to choose how we use our time. Since we have control of our time, we can determine what we will accomplish and what we will become. As we look forward to a new year, let us take a moment to consider the blessings of the past year as well as anticipate the opportunities of a new year. This is a time to take inventory. This is a time to check the orientation of our lives and ensure that the daily use of time is consistent with the outcomes we desire.
We have responsibilities to family, church, work and community, and all require time. The challenge then is to balance the use of time in such a way that we achieve desired outcomes in each of these areas. Too often in a busy world, we allow things that are most urgent to rob us of the opportunity to engage in things that are most important.
“To receive eternal life, we must ‘come unto Christ, and be perfected in him’ (Moroni 10:32). As we come unto Christ and help others do the same, we participate in God’s work of salvation and exaltation.” (General Handbook, 1.2.). Participation in the work of salvation and exaltation requires dedicated effort as well as allocation of time. It is essential that we dedicate some time to assist Him in the work of salvation and exaltation. In the new General Handbook, the work of salvation and exaltation focuses on four divinely appointed responsibilities. We can come unto Christ and assist him in His work by taking some time to focus on each of the following four “responsibilities.”
Live the gospel of Jesus Christ. We live the gospel by exercising faith, repenting daily, and by keeping covenants. Also, we should dedicate time daily to learning and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ at home and at church.
Care for those in need. All of us are “in need” from time to time. One of the best ways to care for those in need is to magnify ministering assignments. We can also share resources and help others become self-reliant.
Invite all to receive the gospel. President Russell M. Nelson declared, “anytime you do anything that helps anyone—on either side of the veil—take a step toward making covenants with God and receiving their essential baptismal and temple ordinances, you are helping to gather Israel. It is as simple as that.” (Russell M. Nelson, Hope of Israel, worldwide devotional for youth, June 3, 2018). Look for and pray for opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Unite families for eternity. We unite families for eternity as we receive our own temple ordinances, and as we discover our deceased ancestors and perform ordinances for them in the temple.
In the new year, may we allocate some time to the work of salvation and exaltation. Let us set some simple, attainable goals in each of these areas. As you set goals to assist Him in His work, and as you review your goals daily, we promise you that the Lord will reveal to you the things you can do to help Him accomplish His work. Great blessings will come to you in the process.
May Heavenly Father’s choicest blessings be with you in the coming year,
Alpine North Stake Presidency
Gregory A. Henderson
John C. Heiner
Grant G. Beckwith