A life plan is essential to becoming like and returning home to Heavenly Father, Elder Shayne M. Bowen of the Seventy taught during a campus devotional at Brigham Young University-Hawaii on March 24. “That way life doesn’t just happen, but rather we can act and direct much of what goes on in our lives.”
In order to become like Heavenly Father, individuals must do what He does, Elder Bowen said. That includes planning.
“This requires us to have a vision, it requires us to make a plan, and it requires that we set goals,” he said. “God has a plan for each of us. He has given us a timetable to follow, specific events should take place at specific times. Strive to stay on God’s time table.”
Sharing of when he was a young missionary in Chile, Elder Bowen spoke of how he learned how to pray and how to recognize the Holy Ghost guiding and directing his life. Those skills helped him after his mission as he made a life plan for himself — setting goals associated with marriage, family and employment.
“I want to share with you what I did when I was twenty-three years old and let you into my thought process as I wrote my life plan and then have tried to live that plan,” he said. “Almost 40 years later, I can say that my life has changed forever because of my life plan.”
Elder Bowen first chose the most important things he wanted to focus on in his life, set goals associated with those topics and created a personal guide to becoming a “whole man.”
“I realized that in order for my life to be meaningful and everlasting, that God had to be at the center of everything that I did,” he said. “I also realized that there is no lasting happiness without family. And finally, I realized that if I were going to be happy and be a blessing to my family and others that I needed to be self-reliant financially. Which translated into work.”
As he set out to accomplish his goals, Elder Bowen pulled together thoughts, scriptures and quotes that would keep him grounded and on course to where he wanted to be.
“I wrote my plan based on the personal values that would guide my future decisions,” he said. “If my values were right, I knew that by setting short and long-term goals based on and around those values that I would be able to become the person that I aspired to be and that that person would be pleasing to my Father in Heaven. That is who I am still striving to be. A son of God who is loved and who is pleasing to my Father.”
Drawing from his patriarchal blessing, prayer and meditation, Elder Bowen paid attention to the promised blessings and talents — as well as warnings and admonitions — that he was given.
Elder Bowen encouraged listeners to do the same — to create a life plan, where they would choose between eight and ten values to work on. He said to write them down, for documenting helps in committing to the plan.
By having a plan, individuals are able to become the person they set out and work to become.
“Where do you want to go?” he asked. “Plot your course. The power is yours.”
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