Quotes on Balance

Gordon B. Hinckley has said:  “I want to plead with you to keep balance in your lives. Do not become obsessed with what may be called ‘a gospel hobby.’  A good meal always includes more than one course.  You ought to have great strength in your chosen . . . field of expertise.  But I warn you against making that your only interest. . . .

Beware of obsession.  Beware of narrowness.  Let your interests range over many good fields while working with growing strength in the field of your own profession.”

President Hinckley has also taught that we have a fourfold responsibility – to our families, to our employers, to the Lord, and to ourselves.  He has counseled us to “take some time to do a little meditating, to do a little exercise.”  — Elder Robert F. Orton, “Living a Balanced Life,” Ensign, February 2008, pp. 64-68

There are times when each of us has to have some gumption to take a stand as to what we wish to preserve or change in order to maintain our self-respect and not be as “a reed shaken with the wind” (Matt. 11:7).  We need to take our great stands in life on moral issues and not kick against insignificant matters, appearing to be eccentric or unbalanced or immature.  We lose much credibility and strength, and we risk being weighed on an uneven balance, when, Don Quixote-like, we go around “tilting windmills.” — President James E. Faust, “The Need for Balance in Our Lives,” Ensign, March 2000

It is not always easy to achieve appropriate balance.  In addition to what we read in the newspapers, we can bring right into our homes in color most of the problems of an entire world.  We also have our own personal ups and downs and challenges.  The stresses of life are real and rather constant.

There is, however, a defense against adversity: humor.  A thoughtful man said, “There is certainly no defense against adverse fortune which is, on the whole, so effectual as an habitual sense of humor.”

. . . Cultivating good humor may be helpful in finding our own identity.  Young people who are trying to find out who they really are often have  concerns as to their ability to meet and cope with the challenges that confront them and that lie ahead.  They will find that it is easier to ride over the bumps and come quickly to their own identity if they cultivate the good humor that comes naturally.  It is important that we all learn to laugh at ourselves.  — President James E. Faust,”The Need for Balance in Our Lives,” Ensign, March 2000, p. 2

Jesus also taught us how important it is to use our time wisely.  This does not mean there can never be any leisure, for there must be time for contemplation and for renewal, but there must be no waste of time.  How we manage time matters so very much, and we can be good managers of time without being frantic or officious.  Time cannot be recycled. When a moment has gone, it is really gone.  The tyranny of trivia consists of its driving out the people and moments that really matter.  Minutia holds momentous things hostage, and we let the tyranny continue all too often. Wise time management is really the wise management of ourselves. — President Spencer W. Kimball, “Jesus: The Perfect Leader,” Ensign, August 1983

Largely because of television, instead of looking over into that spacious building, we are, in effect, living inside of it. That is your fate in this generation. You are living in that great and spacious building. Elder Boyd K. Packer, BYU Devotional, “Lehi’s Dream and You,” January 16, 2007

The really vital things in life are relatively few, my brethren and sisters – the body, family, property, and relationship to man and God.  You may have wisdom about health, housing, marriage, children, economics, education, and even government if you truly seek it and live for it.  The fundamental knowledge which the Church brings to you will bring you understanding.  Your testimony, your spirit, and your service will direct the application of your knowledge; that is wisdom.  Every man needs it a hundred times a day.  Every woman needs it.  Every youth needs it.  The foolish and the wise are the antipodes of mankind as are the two poles of the earth.  The foolish build on the sand; the wise on the rock.  The one perishes; the other endures.  Thank God for the gift of wisdom. — Elder Stephen L. Richards, General Conference, April 1950

Occasionally we find some who become so energetic in their Church service that their lives become unbalanced.  They start believing that the programs they administer are more important than the people they serve.  They complicate their service with needless frills and embellishments that occupy too much time, cost too much money, and take too much energy. They refuse to delegate or to allow others to grow in their respective responsibilities.

The answer is, of course, to simplify, to prioritize, and in some cases, to use a well-known phrase, “Just say no!” But actually doing it may prove to be one of the real challenges in our complicated, overheated lives. — Elder M. Russell Ballard, “O Be Wise,” Ensign, Nov. 2006, pp. 17-20

Sometimes we let our thoughts of tomorrow take up too much of today.  Daydreaming of the past and longing for the future may provide comfort but will not take the place of living in the present.  This is the day of our opportunity, and we must grasp it. — President Thomas S. Monson, “In Search of Treasure,” Ensign, May 2003, p. 20

Material objectives consume too much of our attention.  The struggle for what we need or for more than we need exhausts our time and energy. We pursue pleasure or entertainment, or become very involved in associations or civic matters.  Of course, people need recreation, need to be achieving, need to contribute, but if these come at the cost of friendship with Christ, the price is much too high.  The substitutions we fashion to take the place of God in our lives truly hold no water.  To the measure we thus refuse the “living water,” we miss the joy we could have. — Elder Marion D. Hanks, Conference Report, April 1972, p.127

Surrounded as we are by worldly influences, how can we maintain a sweetness of spirit and a humility that will make us receptive to such counsel?  I fear that we have become so enamored with recreation, with fame and fortune, with videos, with television, and with what money can buy that we have little time for eternal things.  We cannot take the time to obtain a knowledge of the doctrines of eternity – for that requires sacrifice, effort, and struggle.  Furthermore, we have learned to live in a world of clamor and noise and haste and hurry to the extent that we have often become immune to the Spirit of the Lord and the “peaceable things of the kingdom.”  (D&C 36:2) — Elder Aldin Porter, Conference Report, October 1994

When earth life is over and things appear in their true perspective, we shall more clearly see and realize what the Lord and his prophets have repeatedly told us, that the fruits of the gospel are the only objectives worthy of life’s full efforts.  Their possessor obtains true wealth – wealth in the Lord’s view of values.  We need constantly to deepen our understandings and sharpen our realization of what the fruits of the gospel are.  The Lord has defined them as . . . peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come. (D&C 59:23.) — President Marion G. Romney, Conference Report, October 1949

The Lord our God wants the children of men to do something.  He wanted Noah to build an ark, and Noah built it.  You cannot build ark and temples, you cannot gather Israel and establish the kingdom of God, on one principle of the Gospel alone.  You cannot make a watch or clock go with only one of its wheels.  You cannot make the human body active by separating the head or the feet from it.  The body as created is perfect, in beautiful symmetry, and it cannot be complete if we take one part of it and reject the rest; it takes the whole to make the perfect man.  It is so with the kingdom of God. — Elder John W. Taylor, Conference Report, October 1903, p. 40

At the beginning of a new year, wise business men take an inventory of their stock in trade, for only by so doing may they determine accurately their growth or losses.  A careful study of this record will reveal the strength and weakness of their operations.  Based upon this showing, their plans for future operations are made.  And so the old year passes out with the spirit of good will, and the new year is ushered in as a time of reckoning.

If such methods are good for business, why not for the individual.  Is it not a good thing for me to take stock and carefully and honestly prepare an inventory, so that during this period of good will and reckoning I, also, may profitably ask myself, “What has my Church membership meant to me?  What effect has my example had upon others?  How have I magnified my Priesthood?  What has been my contribution toward the growth and spiritual development of the community in which I live?  How may I improve my spiritual condition?  How can I render a greater service to my fellow-man – by example, through attendance at meetings, by helping to enlarge the usefulness of my quorum organization, by going out of my way to visit my brother who is discouraged, careless and neglectful of duty, and in the spirit of brotherly love encourage him, that he may have strength to negotiate the difficult road upon which he is traveling, that he too may safely come upon the road of light and truth and happiness? — Improvement Era, 1929

One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this:  To rise above the little things. — John Burroughs

We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day. — Edith Lovejoy Pierce

If we are not serving Jesus, and if he is not in our thoughts and hearts, then the things of the world will draw us instead to them!   Moreover, the things of the world need not be sinister in order to be diverting and consuming. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “In Him “All Things Hold Together,” BYU, March 31, 1991

The danger is not that we are busy.  The danger is that we are frantically active on minor fronts.  — Anonymous

Patience is power.  Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is “timing;” it waits on the right time to act, for the right principles and in the right way. — Fulton J. Sheen

I’ve learned to keep things simple.  Look at your choices, pick the best one, then go to work with all your heart. — Pat Riley

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. — Albert Einstein

There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything; both ways save us from thinking. — Alfred Korzybski

The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not. — Mark Twain

Remember:  Don’t Insult the Alligator until after you cross the river. — Anonymous

To solve the human equation, we need to add love, subtract hate, multiply good, and divide between truth and error. — Janet Coleman

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do. –– Thomas Jefferson

By three methods we may learn wisdom:  first by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the most bitter. — Confucious

You can tell whether a person is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a person is wise by his questions. — Naguib Mahfouz

While [the] precious, vital message [of the Restoration] has been proclaimed across the world, Satan has been most effective in causing people to ignore it or to look in the wrong places for it. The vast majority of Father’s children have not only forgotten their Father in Heaven and the purpose of mortal life, but they rarely even think of Him nor ponder for what purpose they are here in mortality. They have been led to be absorbed by mundane things that distract them from the essential ones. Don’t you make that mistake. — Elder Richard G. Scott, “Truth Restored,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, p. 80

[Learning how to think] means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to, and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. — David Foster Wallace

Don’t be fooled by the calendar.  There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.  One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week. — Charles Richards

Advice is seldom welcome, and those who need it the most, like it the least. — Lord Chesterfield

He who allows his day to pass by without practicing generosity and enjoying life’s pleasures is like a blacksmith’s bellows.  He breathes, but does not live. — Anonymous

Good habits, once established, are just as hard to break as are bad habits. — Robert Puller

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little – do what you can. — Sydney Smith

Ponder the significance of the responsibility the Lord has given to us.  The Lord has counseled, “Let the solemnities of eternity rest upon your minds.” (D&C 43:34.)  You cannot do that when your minds are preoccupied with the cares of the world. — President Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, April 1988

My favorite things in life don’t cost any money.  It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time. — Steve Jobs

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. — John Burroughs, essayist and naturalist

No “natural” resource is more precious and to be used more wisely than time.  These mortal moments matter more than we know.  There are no idle hours; there are only idle people. In true righteousness there is serenity, but there is an array of reminders that the “sacred present” is packed with possibilities which are slipping by us, which are going away from us each moment. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, BYU Fireside, January 4, 1976

One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say. — Will Durant

What you do every day should contribute to giving your life meaning.  If it doesn’t, why are you doing it? — Don Hutcheson

To live means to experience – through doing, feeling, thinking.  Experience takes place in time, so time is the ultimate scarce resource we have.  Over the years, the content of experience will determine the quality of life.  Therefore one of the most essential decisions any of us can make is about how one’s time is allocated or invested. — Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Please don’t nag yourself with thoughts of failure.  Do not set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve.  Simply do what you can do, in the best way you know, and the Lord will accept of your effort. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Rise to the Stature of the Divine within You,” Ensign, Nov. 1989, p. 94

We are now at a point in time when the ability to receive, utilize, store, transform and transmit data – the lowest cognitive form – has expanded literally beyond comprehension. Understanding and wisdom are largely forgotten as we struggle under an avalanche of data and information. — Dee Hock

Some are willing to set aside the precious gospel truths restored by Joseph Smith because they get diverted on some historical issue or some scientific hypothesis not central to their exaltation, and in so doing they trade their spiritual birthright for a mess of pottage. They exchange the absolute certainty of the Restoration for a doubt, and in that process they fall into the trap of losing faith in the many things they do know because of a few things they do not know. — Elder Tad R. Callister, “Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, p. 37

We must remember that much spiritual growth does not occur suddenly but rather through time and experience.  The encouraging message of the gospel is that God does not often require us to perform sensational or extraordinary deeds but rather to try to do better today than we did yesterday.  He is mindful of our desires, our determination, and our direction as well as of our deeds. — Brent L. Top, “A Balanced Life,” Ensign, April 2005, p. 26

I fear that many of us rush about from day to day taking for granted the Holy Scriptures. We scramble to honor appointments with physicians, lawyers, and businessmen.  Yet we think nothing of postponing interviews with Deity postponing scripture study.  Little wonder we develop anemic souls and lose our direction in living. How much better it would be if we planned and held sacred fifteen or twenty minutes a day for reading the scriptures.  Such interviews with Deity would help us recognize his voice and enable us to receive guidance in all of our affairs. — Elder Carlos E. Asay, “Look to God and Live,” Ensign, Nov. 1978, p. 52

God grant me a vacation to make bearable what I can’t change.  A friend to make it funny.   And the wisdom to never get my knickers in a knot because it solves nothing and just makes me walk funny! — Irish Wisdom

Sadly, many individuals don’t know where to find God, and exclude him from their lives.  When spiritual needs arise, they may look to the left, the right, or round about.  But looking to other people on the same level cannot satisfy spiritual shortages.  When the immortal spirit is starved, hunger persists for something more filling.  Even when material success comes, there is a hollow ache – if living well falls short of living worthily.  Inner peace cannot be found in affluence accompanied by spiritual privation. — Elder Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, May 1996, p. 14