Not long ago I received a nice letter from a reader who thanked me for a recent column, but wondered if I could be more specific.  He said that what I wrote was true and correct. But he needed some real solutions – as in “How To’s” – to correct a difficulty.  I appreciated his letter, and it caused me to dig around for some bottom-line helps.

I found a few that I think are well worth sharing. Their wisdom far exceeds mine. So –if you, like me, and this good man who emailed me, are attempting to be more successful as a human being, and a child of God, I hope these “To-Do’s” will be of help to you!

The first, from President Thomas S. Monson’s book entitled “Favorite Quotations from the Collection of Thomas S. Monson, Deseret Book Co., p 66.” 

How To Discover Solutions To Problems

  1. Recognize your problem.
  2. Ask: Where could we improve?
  3. Concentrate on the problems one at a time.
     [I seem to have a tough time with this one- my husband, and little granddaughter, are my encouragers!]
  4. Talk through the problem with others .
    [It helps- a lot- simply to say it out loud, taking responsibility for the issue or problem ]
  5. Pray and fast.
  6. Gather all available material at hand.
  7. List and discuss possibilities leading to a solution.
  8. Trust the inspiration which will come.
    [In the Lord’s time- some times we want it “now!”]
  9. Put solutions into immediate operation.
    [Practice really does make perfect, when shifting our behaviors.  It seems a good idea to congratulate ourselves when we ‘do it right’ instead of flogging ourselves when we, once again, goof up.  Being gentle with ourselves, as we would another person, helps in this whole process.]

Ten Commandments For Salesmen [Dr. Frank Crane]

I include these because they seem pertinent for each one of us, as we strive to get rid of obstacles, find good solutions, and feel better about ourselves as Father’s children:

  1. Be agreeable
  2. Know your business
    [think about this in terms of whatever it is you are working on!]
  3. Tell the truth
  4. Don’t argue
  5. Make it plain.
    [This is great- sometimes we complicate the things we want to ‘fix’ within ourselves.]
  6. Be dependable
  7. Beware of egotism
  8. Remember names and faces
    [For this one, I think in terms of the people who have given me good advice, the folks I may have offended and want to make it right, the ones I most love and wish to be continually better at showing them]
  9. Think success
  10. Be human
    [This gives us pause to relax a little bit, and accept the truth that we were given weakness to make us humble. It reminds us that we can do nothing without the Savior.]

Constant effort to keep ourselves worthy of the Holy Spirit will bring us joy and help

This is an often-used idea. We know it’s true. We simply don’t always want to turn the other cheek, get rid of the vice that we enjoy, or whatever.  Among the simplest and most beautiful counsel comes from Psalms 51:10,

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit
Within me.  Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not
Thy holy spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of thy
Salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.”

God Knows of our Worth and is Willing to Grow us in His Fertile Soil

The following poem written by the great poet Edgar A. Guest, teaches us a lesson about the seeds within us.

The Package of Seeds 

I paid a dime for a package of seeds
And the clerk tossed them out with a flip.
“we’ve got ‘em assorted for every man’s needs,”
He said with a smile on his lip,
“Pansies and poppies and asters and peas!
Ten cents a package! And pick as you please.”

Now seeds are just dimes to the man in the store,
And the dimes are the things that he needs;
And I’ve been to buy them in seasons before,
But have thought of them merely as seeds;
But it flashed through my mind as I took them this time,
“You have purchased a miracle here for a dime!”

“You’ve a dime’s worth of power no man can create,
You’ve a dime’s worth of life in your hand!
You’ve a dime’s worth of mystery, destiny, fate,
Which the wisest cannot understand.
In this bright little package, now isn’t it odd?
You’ve a dime’s worth of something known only to God.”

In feeling my way through Mr. Guest’s words, I sense the glory of the seeds within us based upon the fact that we are, in fact, as packages that come from God. Only He knows our great potential.  He is patient and merciful with us as we figure out to tend ourselves in His soil. 

Were we not in fertile soil, we wouldn’t even care to do better and be better.  So as we figure out how to overcome the obstacles that we ourselves may create, He surely celebrates our desire to grow. When we figure out a solution to a ‘better’ us, He surely appreciates our efforts.  His love helps us through our growing seasons.  It is all part of the solution to our problems!