Yes, the New Year brings us a chance to start over, clean the slate, and begin anew. But for most of us, that means setting unattainable goals, or at least ones that take longer to reach than we thought they would.
Instead, how about beginning the year with a word or phrase that can guide you each day? It could be a line from your favorite scripture, or just a word that seems to encompass your priorities. Words like Oneness, Invite, and Worthy hit a chord with some members.
But another one I’d like to share is Continue. I see so much discouragement swirling about, so many people too worn out to keep on through their trials. And this is a great time to resolve not to collapse, not to quit, but to persevere.
Enduring to the end doesn’t mean just breathing and surviving. It implies valiance and obedience, an indomitable spirit of commitment, even enthusiasm. And yes, sometimes that means just putting one foot in front of the other to demonstrate our faith, and to serve those around us when life unfolds its toughest challenges.
But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what a few of our leaders have said about how vital this word is. The italics are mine.
Joseph Smith: All your losses will be made up to you in the resurrection, provided you continue faithful.
Ezra Taft Benson: Heavenly Father wants you to continue to learn from the Book of Mormon every day. It’s Heavenly Father’s special gift to you. By following its teachings, you will learn to do the will of our Father in Heaven.
Elder Robert D. Hales: He knows your sacrifices and your sorrows. He hears your prayers. His peace and rest will be yours as you continue to wait upon him in faith. Every one of us is more beloved to the Lord than we can possibly understand or imagine.
Bonnie L. Oscarson: True conversion occurs as you continue to act upon the doctrines you know are true and keep the commandments, day after day, month after month.
And finally, Christ’s words from the Doctrine & Covenants: …Continue your journey and let your hearts rejoice; for behold, and lo, I am with you even unto the end. (D & C 100:12)
Beautiful promises await those who simply continue, refusing to give up, determined to keep striving. We can be in that group. And what a glorious way to begin the New Year.