Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Using Time Wisely

                    Families grow stronger when both parents and children understand the importance of wise time management.  By using their time wisely, families are better able to accomplish the necessary duties of the day and still have time to spend together.

Wise men and women have counseled good time management for many years.  Benjamin Franklin said, "Do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of."

Whenever I think about the subject of using time wisely, I remember a book I read when I was a young woman.  It was a very small book, both in size and in number of pages, but I remember it often.  The title of the book - or at least one of the stories in the book - was Twenty-four Golden Hours.  The story was about a young woman - I think that her name was Charlotte - who had a negative attitude about life.  Someone counseled her to spend twenty-four hours thinking positive thoughts, looking for the good in people, and searching for people that needed her service.  At the end of that twenty-four hour period, the young woman considered that time to be golden - the best of her life.

                    I was taught the importance of time when I was just a child.  My family lived on a farm, and we were always up early in the morning in order to get as much work as possible completed during daylight hours.  We worked hard all day long and did not rest until after sunset.  I remember learning a hymn about time - written by Robert B. Baird (1855-1916) and entitled "Improve the Shining Moments," (Hymns, 226).

                    Improve the shining moments; Don't let them pass you by.
                    Work while the sun is radiant; Work, for the night draws nigh.
                    We cannot bid the sunbeams To lengthen out their stay,
                    Nor can we ask the shadow To ever stay away.

                    Time flies on wings of lightning; We cannot call it back.
                    It comes, then passes forward Along its onward track.
                    And if we are not mindful, The chance will fade away,
                    For life is quick in passing, 'Tis as a single day.

                    As wintertime doth follow The pleasant summer days,
                    So may our joys all vanish And pass far from our gaze.
                    Then should we not endeavor Each day some point to gain,
                    That we may here be useful And ev'ry wrong disdain?

                    Improve each shining moment.  In this you are secure,
                    For promptness bringeth safety And blessings rich and pure.
                    Let prudence guide your actions; Be honest in your heart;
                    And God will love and bless you And help to you impart.

                    I am always trying to learn better time management, trying to stretch my time as far as possible.  I recognize that we are all given the same number of seconds in every minute, the same number of minutes in every hour, and the same number of hours in every day.  I also recognize that some people seem to use their time so much better than other people.  The old adage, "If you want something done, ask a busy person," seems to be true in many, many cases.   

                    "Time is never for sale; time is a commodity that cannot, try as you may, be bought at any store for any price.  Yet when time is wisely used, its value is immeasurable.  On any given day we are all allocated, without cost, the same number of minutes and hours to use….
                    "The poor use of time is a close cousin of idleness.  As we follow the command to `cease to be idle' (Doctrine and Covenants 88:124), we must be sure that being busy also equates to being productive.  For example, it is wonderful to have the means of instant communication quite literally at our fingertips, but let us be sure that we do not become compulsive fingertip communicators.  I sense that some are trapped in a new time-consuming addiction - one that enslaves us to be constantly checking and sending social messages and thus giving the false impression of being busy and productive."  (See Ian S. Ardern,"A Time to Prepare," Ensign,Nov. 2011, 31.)  

                    An ancient American prophet taught, "For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors."  (See Book of Mormon - Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Alma 34:32.)

                    Time has suddenly become even more important to me.  My husband's sister was recently diagnosed with cancer - liver and pancreas - and has been given limited time to live.  She plans to have radiation treatment in order to lengthen the time she has with her family.  I often find myself thinking, "What would I do if I were given three months to live?  What would be the most valuable use of my limited time?  Would I spend my time and energy finishing projects to leave to my children and grandchildren or would I simply spend the time enjoying my loved ones?"

                    The fact remains that we will all run out of time at some point in our lives.  Are we preparing for that day by using each hour, each day to the fullest?  Wise families learn good time management in order to have more time to enjoy each other.

                    A wonderful family home evening about time management can be found here.

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