This month while pondering the question “Why do the choices I make matter?” I read a few articles and scriptures that had some great words of wisdom for me.
“The Five-Minute Lesson” reminded me “When I pick up one end of a stick from off the ground, I also pick up the other end. Likewise with any choice, I choose not only the action but also the associated consequence—however unforeseen the consequence happens to be.
“It is Satan who wants us to concentrate on choices without regard for consequences. He often does so by enticing us to focus on the physical appetite, ‘the will of the flesh’ (2 Nephi 2:29), and immediate gratification.
“Our Father in Heaven, on the other hand, desires us to focus on happiness and eternal blessings. He expects us to consider consequences when we make decisions and for consequences to be part of our motivation: ‘They are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death’ (2 Nephi 2:27).”
I love that thought that our desired consequences or results should be a critical part of our decision making process before we do something. One of my mentors taught this to me as she had me visualize and write down what I wanted to happen during a conversation and at the end of the conversation. She encouraged me to consider the questions “what do I want to happen?” and “what do I want the results to be?” to help me make better choices in my relationships, my work, and my life. Our desired results really do impact our decisions. I was reading Alma 41:5 the other day and was struck by how our “desires of happiness” or our “desires of good” or our “desires of evil” determine our choices, our actions, and our rewards.
Like the young man in “Trial of Your Faith,” I know that my choices matter immensely and “I don’t want to do anything that will jeopardize the blessings God has promised both me and my future posterity.” I want all of the good things that God has in store for me and I don’t want my bad choices, my sins, to withhold these good things from me (see Jeremiah 5:25).