The Doctrine of Opportune Moments: Priorities of a Successful Saint



It seems to me that there are certain ideal or opportune moments wherein if we act, we will succeed. Consider the following evidences:


(A somewhat related note: Truman G Madsen speaks of how apparently women have a particular sense of timing, they know things before men, they can discern things spiritually and be prepared to act on them quickly, whereas for men it often requires prolonged reasoning and milling it over.)


-According to Sean Covey author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, 90% of being successful is just showing up. That means all we do that day matters little compared to the monumental moment of showing up, and that on time too.

-When it comes to school, it’s all based on turning in assignments, and scoring well on exams. Let everything else fall apart and do whatever you want throughout the semester with your time, but so long as you are successful in these 2 items, you will do excellently in the class, and receive an excellent grade to show for it.

-For unmarried people: dating can be a numbers game. In other words, you must spend lots of time dating to find a combatable partner. Show up to the date. Show up to the prayer consultation with Father in Heaven after the date. Show up to ask her to marry you. Perform these steps over and over and you’re bound to get it right, and within a respectable time frame as well.

-For families: have the weekly family night, the weekly couples date, the parent child outings & interviews & blessings, tell the bedtime stories, log 15 minutes or more per day playing with your child/children, make enough money to pay the modest expenses, pray with your family daily morning and night including scripture study with them daily, take them to church weekly. Do these things regularly, religiously, faithfully, making them regular appointments not to be missed, and you will do well. It has been said by a prophet that anyone can serve a mission, but it takes a true disciple to lead a family in righteousness. Do these things, and they will not solve all your problems, but they will be the springboard for you to successfully solve all your problems.

-College for the family-oriented person? It involves beauty and joyful discovery and scientific mastery in the field of the heart, but only inasmuch as such pursuit does not get in the way of meeting the needs of the family. The family oriented genuine student also cares but little for the fanfare of the world, the titles and letters, but realizes that learning does not stop with university, it continues indefinitely, daily, in powerful non-formal and sometimes formal avenues with the advent of the internet and affordable / easily accessible books of all sorts.

-The family-oriented learner and career man is foremost guided by this truth: he will care for his family first and foremost forever. He will let nothing get in the way of his family. If he foresees a certain size of family, or a certain gift for his family which is Holiness to the Lord, he will break through heaven and hell to bring it about. He is as the Puritan of old, who will die before seeing someone else provide for his own, and who will build his own coffin. He knows that any failure in his designs are his fault alone. He takes risks, oh does he! But those risks are risks in the right direction, not risks which pull him in the wrong direction. He brings all things together in one in Christ, and ministers with holiness and rigorous balance of his difficult affairs.

-The family-oriented man does much good in many fields, but he knows how to prioritize family relationships and duties above all else. Yes, he impacts the community and world, and that generationally and exponentially, but first and foremost, he impacts his family generationally. He does family history work, but he also does family future work. He understands that the core way that he ministers to the whole world is by ministering to those in his own home. He foresees the future, wherein his children grow to fill the world as salt and leaven for the whole. Every lesson he teaches at home is worth 100 lessons taught at the pulpit or the town square, or the social media group, etc. He calculates to bless the entire world and derives this power to bless from the work done in his home.

-Joseph Smith taught that the man filled with the love of God will not be content with ministering to his family alone but will seek to range though the world blessing the entire human race. This however does not excuse man from his home duties. In the D&C, the prophet Joseph is chastised by the Lord for not caring sufficiently to his family duties. If even this grand archangel brother Joseph can be at fault in this, oh how we need be vigilant! As Moroni said, if there be fault, we seek to do well and learn from it. And oh, the courage of the traveling missionary! This is good doctrine, we can taste it. But it has its time and season. One missionary reluctant to return home for the mission field was asked by a wise leader, ‘what is it that you fear upon returning home? Do you not know that there is much work you must do there yet for the building of the kingdom of God in earth?’ Let the family man also find ways to reach far and wide while ministering to his family. For example, he might write a book which can teach others in his absence, and his writings he may use the great latter-day tool of the worldwide internet web to send his messages repeatedly and instantly to the far ends of the earth. Let the man of God fear no pain in fulfilling all his duties, for life is short, and the coming of the Lord is at hand. The judgement of him who is righteous is soon to burst upon us like the morning rays!



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