How to gain an eternal perspective

When trials come our way, or even in facing every day life, gaining an eternal perspective is important. Since the death of my sweet husband nine months after we were sealed in the St. George Temple, gaining and maintaining an eternal perspective has been vital to my life. The following ways help me to do so:

Pray always. I pray often for help and guidance from above. Sometimes I pray on my knees in private. But I also pray throughout the day in other circumstances. This has helped me become closer to Father in Heaven and recognize His peace.- Be worthy and prepared. I discovered that when I become angry or feel sorry for myself, it is more difficult to feel the love and peace from my Savior. He is always there, and it is I who must be a worthy vessel, ready to receive His peace.

Search the scriptures. They are filled with examples of faith and endurance that uplift and strengthen. Sometimes the whisperings of the Spirit while reading are the greatest part of the scriptures.

Serve others. The best way to take your mind off yourself is to serve someone else.

Think of the eternities. I think of the joy that awaits, and the reunion and eternities I'll have with my eternal companion if I keep myself righteous and happy.

Sherrin B. McHenry, Panaca, Nev.

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How to checklist

Pray, study scriptures; this helps you feel close to God.

Realize purpose of life; learn of God's plan for His children.

Serve others; be involved in family history research.

Consider eternal consequences of your decisions.

More to living

It gets easier as we reach our 80s to picture life beyond this veil, but it can be done earlier. Studying the scriptures and listening to the living oracles is basic to gaining an eternal perspective. Add to that the study of prophecy, including your own patriarchal prophecy.

I think the seed was sown when I first learned about the gospel. I was already a wife and mother, and was concerned about how to instill in my child the principles I knew to be right. It was then that the missionaries came and brought just what I needed.

Since my introduction to the Church, I have learned that there is more to living than the accumulation of wealth and prestige. When we see mortality for what it really it - a mere blip on our eternal time line - it's difficult to have any other than an eternal perspective. - Flora B. Friend, Millers Creek, N.C.

Family theme

One of the themes of the California Arcadia Mission in 1988 was "Make every decision in light of all eternity." When I returned home, I asked my family if that could be our family theme. When I write to my children and grandchildren, I always remind them of our family theme. When something upsetting, but trivial, happens to me, I remind myself, "What does this have to do with my eternal welfare?" - Gwen Sutton Robinson, Newdale, Idaho

Bound in love

Much of the work I do daily doesn't last very long, but when I do family history and temple work I gain an eternal perspective because I am doing work that has eternal consequences.

Sweet promptings of the Spirit to guide me in this work have helped to make eternity tangible and eminent. And as the Spirit of Elijah has been manifest to me, my heart and the hearts of my ancestors have been bound together in love - a love that will last eternally. Most of these ancestors died before I was born, and I look forward to meeting them.

I more fully appreciate the infinite consequences of the atonement of Christ as I help to make it available to those who died without the gospel.- JoAnn Penrose, Bountiful, Utah

Eternal blessings

The essence of our purpose in life is to always progress spiritually in order to prepare to return to our Heavenly Father. An eternal perspective, therefore, is of much value to us. To obtain an eternal perspective, we must do the following:

Consider the end of our salvation in all things.

Weigh the importance of all things to see if they will serve us in the long run and if they are worthy of much emphasis.

Look toward our goal in daily decisions.

Remembering that we're God's children and striving to attain our ultimate goal of eternal life focuses our perspective on eternal blessings. - Elder Sam Roberts, Dominican Republic Santiago Mission

Live life to fullest

I am 28 years old, and I work as a secretary at a men's prison. I have had the opportunity to serve a full-time mission and to serve in various other callings. I am currently the Relief Society president in a singles ward. I think there are many different things that a person can do to gain an eternal perspective. However, a couple of things that stand out in my mind are taking each day as it comes and living life to its fullest. There have been times in my life when I have spent too much time pondering the past and the mistakes I have made, or I have spent too much thinking about the future - anticipating marriage so my life might be more fulfilled. I have noticed the times in my life when I have felt the happiest and at peace with my Father in Heaven are when I take each day as it comes, say my daily prayers, have daily scripture study, share my gifts and talents, and faithfully serve my Father in Heaven - eternally. - Pamela Foltz, Grover City, Calif.

Attend temple

Everyone experiences sorrow and trials in this life, some to a greater degree than others. We often ask through bitter tears, "Why?" This life is a proving ground, a time of testing to see if we can endure to the end in righteousness and obedience, regardless of our challenges. If we succeed, our Father in Heaven promises us a glorious life in the eternities to come. (Abr. 3:25-26.) We are told that these earthly sorrows will end. (Rev. 21:4,7.)

To help us gain an eternal perspective, we should:

Know the scriptures, for in them we find our answers.

Pray for peace and understanding; we are living God's plan, and He will help us to know His eternal truths.

Attend the temple often, for everything we do there has an eternal purpose. - Janet Pliler, Salem, Ore.

Calms my fears

More than 25 years ago, I cut the following "Today's Thought" by Robert McCheyne from the Deseret News and posted it on my refrigerator door: "Live near to God so that all things will appear to you small in comparison with Eternal Realities." This has been my guide ever since in gaining and keeping an eternal perspective.

As a busy mother of eight children, an active member of the Church and the wife of a promising architect, these few words were the very ones I needed to get through the little everyday trials that we all meet, but which can seem overwhelming at the moment. Whenever I become discouraged or frightened or upset by temporal problems, this sentence calms my fears. - Lenore N. Cornwall, Flintridge, Calif.

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