THINK ON CHRIST - Ezra Taft Benson
Dr. Karl G. Maeser one day stood up and said, ‘Not only will you be held accountable for the things you do, but you will be held responsible for the very thoughts you think.’
I realize that when my life is over I will be the product of my thoughts.
Thoughts lead to acts, acts lead to habits, habits lead to character—and our character will determine our eternal destiny.
“As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Prov. 23:7.)
You will be what you think about—what you consistently allow to occupy the stage of your mind.
Sometimes you may have difficulty driving off the stage of your mind a certain evil thought. To drive it off, Elder Boyd K. Packer suggests that you sing an inspirational song of Zion or just think of its words. The late Elder Bruce R. McConkie recommended that, after having an opening song in your mind, you might preach a sermon to yourself. In fact, he said the finest sermons he ever preached were preached to himself.
Our accountability begins with how we handle the evil thought immediately after it is presented. Like Jesus, we should positively and promptly terminate the temptation.
It is our privilege to fill our memories with good and great thoughts and bring them out on the stage of our minds at will.
The Lord said, “Look unto me in every thought.” (D&C 6:36.) Looking unto the Lord in every thought is the only possible way we can be the kind of men and women we ought to be.
If our thoughts make us what we are, and we are to be like Christ, then we must think Christlike thoughts.
I testify to you that there is no greater and no more thrilling challenge than to try to learn of Christ and walk in His steps.
“What would Jesus do?” or “What would He have me do?” are paramount personal questions of this life. Walking in His way is the greatest achievement of life. That man or woman is most truly successful whose life most closely parallels that of the Master.
I know the Lord lives. I know that He loves us. I know that apart from Him no one can succeed, but as a partner with Him, no one can fail.
PERSONAL PURITY AND SELF-DISCIPLINE
Thunderous applause filled the concert hall. One of the world’s greatest violinists had just completed his final selection of the evening’s program. Eagerly, a woman made her way to the stage in hopes of expressing her admiration to this great artist. Threading her way through the crowd, she finally reached him. Shaking his hand, she said exuberantly, “Oh, I’d give my life if I could play like that!” He promptly responded, “Madam, I have!”
much of what we do or do not do in life is determined by our ability to discipline ourselves. This discipline includes doing things that are hard or difficult as well as not doing other things.
one part of us seems to want to “let go” and express our emotions or appetites; another part wants to exert control over our emotions and appetites. The controlling, restraining influence is exerted by our spirit.
“One of the false notions of our society is that we are victims of our appetites and passions. But the truth is that the body is controlled by the spirit which inhabits it” - Terrance D. Olson
“Some become enslaved with compulsive habits or yield to appetites or to improper actions, and plead that they are helpless before their habit—that they are compelled, persuaded; that temptation was stronger than their will to resist. But we can choose. … We can break bad habits; we can acquire good habits; we can choose what we think by the sheer determination to do so” - Richard L. Evans
Our Father in Heaven has told us to keep our thoughts, appetites, and emotions within certain bounds.
I started to try to control myself for just one day.That night I prayed very hard and asked for strength. I had no idea that it would be so hard. I was so excited but knew that each day I would have to be very careful. It would be too easy to slip and get back into my old habits. I kept praying all through this time for strength.
whether we are learning to play a musical instrument, trying to control our temper, or making ourselves get up when we would rather sleep longer, our efforts to discipline ourselves in any aspect of our lives can help us in our efforts to live a virtuous life.
‘It is not that I am abnormal; it is that I know I am responsible and in charge of mind and body. You think you are helpless in the face of your desires. You think you are a victim of them. I have proven to myself that I am the master of those feelings’
being morally clean and virtuous requires physical restraint and self-control. Help the young women understand that as we exercise self-discipline, we strengthen our spirit’s control over our body. Our capacity to control ourselves increases every time we make a choice to do it.