Good resolutions can make your life happier, successful

Using Luke 2:52 as the theme for his Jan. 9 satellite fireside address, Elder Joe J. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy admonished young adults to increase "in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man."

Elder Christensen was the speaker during a Church Educational System/BYU 19-stake fireside in the Marriott Center at BYU. The fireside was telecast over the Church satellite network throughout the United States, and to Canada, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico for married and single college-age young adult members of the Church. This fireside was a first in a series of six CES firesides to be telecast throughout the year.

Elder Christensen counseled those listening to make and keep resolutions. "Don't overlook the power that making good resolutions can have to help make your life happier and more successful - regardless of your past behavior."

In making these resolutions, he said, focus on four areas - intellectual, physical, social and spiritual. Elder Christensen then discussed those four areas and suggested several resolutions:

I resolve to expand my intellectual horizons. I will increase in wisdom. "This year, commit yourself to read good books - not just when you are attending university or college but throughout your life.

"We should continue learning throughout our entire lives, and especially, learning more about the gospel," Elder Christensen admonished. "Now, with the enhanced institute of religion program, all of you can and should resolve to be enrolled in a religion class every term - whether or not you are a college student."

In addition to reading only the best in print, Elder Christensen also counseled young adults not to watch R-rated or X-rated (NC-17) movies, videos or television shows. "That may sound extreme to some of you, but I assure you that much of our future happiness and success depends on it."

I will be resolute in preserving and strengthening my physical health. Elder Christensen exhorted those listening to "resolve to follow the `do's' in the Word of Wisdom. Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and grains. Discover that a meal does not have to feature the meat dish every time in order to be enjoyable."

Continuing, he said: "Resolve to avoid completely the `don't's' - tobacco, alcohol, and addictive stimulants, coffee, tea, and drugs in any form, and you will be blessed in a multitude of ways."

Elder Christensen also encouraged listeners to get adequate physical exercise. "Choose some sport or other vigorous physical exercise that is consistent with your situation and physical condition and be regular in pursuing it. Get the blood circulating and give your major muscles a workout."

"Get adequate rest," he said. "Some of you are not getting the rest that you need. Some are habituated to going to bed late and sleeping much longer than your system really needs and thus missing out on some of the personal inspiration you could be receiving."

I resolve to be a truer friend and to become more socially acceptable to people of high standards. "Learn to be the kind of person with whom others of high standards enjoy associating," Elder Christensen counseled. "Occasionally," he said, "look in a full-length mirror. Certainly we should not become obsessed with how we look, but we should work to improve our physical appearance.

"After you have done what you can to improve your appearance, forget about yourself and think of others and their needs."

Continuing, Elder Christensen said: "Our challenge is to resolve to love everyone in the appropriate way. You all know that there are different kinds of love - the romantic, brotherly and the kind that enables us to love our enemies. The Savior universally commanded us to love our neighbors and even our enemies. On the other hand, the expression of romantic love is anything but a universal commandment. The full expression of romantic, physical affection by you is designed for you and one other person only, inside the bonds of marriage."

I will grow spiritually. I will increase in favor with God. "If we are to increase in `favor with God,' we must resolve to overcome as much as possible the sin of human pride. Pride creeps up on us, because as human beings, we have a remarkable capacity to fall under its influence - even when we think we are in the safest of religious settings.

"Even in Church callings there can be danger. We may fall into the trap of aspiring to some position or another. Where we serve does not matter. How we serve matters a great deal."

Elder Christensen also encouraged listeners to read the scriptures daily. "President [Ezra TaftT Benson has repeatedly emphasized that we should include some reading every day from the Book of Mormon. It really is another testament that Jesus is the Christ."

Continuing, he admonished young people to "pray and not just say prayers. There is a big difference. Learn to pour out the real in-depth feelings of your heart to your Heavenly Father, rather than merely going through the form of saying about exactly the same trite words and phrases that you have become accustomed to use."

Elder Christensen also encouraged young men to prepare to serve full-time missions, and everyone to keep the Sabbath holy.

"It will take energy and effort to keep the resolutions we have made together this evening. I pray that we will do this so that we can "increase in wisdom, and in stature, and in favor with God and man."

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