10 New Year’s resolutions from the prophets for 2018

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The Christmas decorations are put away, the gifts unwrapped, the holiday treats devoured. Now it’s time to turn over a new leaf, to set new goals, to start fresh.

According to a recent report  by YouGov, the three most popular 2018 New Year’s resolutions are to (1) eat better, (2) exercise more, and (3) spend less money. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints might want to add another resolution or two to that list — perhaps a goal taken from the words of living apostles and prophets. Here are 10 goals, taken from addresses given in the October 2017 general conference, to consider adding to your docket.

1. Read the Book of Mormon

Several apostles echoed President Thomas S. Monson’s April 2017 plea for Church members to read the Book of Mormon every day:

“Immersing ourselves regularly in the truths of the Book of Mormon can be a life-changing experience.” — President Russell M. Nelson

If you need help and motivation, try following along with @BofM365 on Instagram.

2. Serve others

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught that our journey back to God is ultimately about using our strength to serve others. He said:

“On your journey back to Heavenly Father you will soon realize that this journey isn’t just about focusing on your own life. No, this path inevitably leads you to become a blessing in the lives of God’s other children — your brothers and sisters.”

3. Become more humble

Elder Quentin L. Cook taught about humility in all of its forms and bore witness of its ability to transform relationships. Increasing humility can look different for every person. As Elder Cook said:

“Sometimes humility is accepting callings when we do not feel adequate. Sometimes humility is serving faithfully when we feel capable of a more high-profile assignment. Humble leaders have verbally and by example established that it is not where we serve but how we faithfully serve. Sometimes humility is overcoming hurt feelings when we feel that leaders or others have mistreated us.”

4. Don’t let social media get you down

Elder Gary E. Stevenson spoke about the “idealized reality” often portrayed on social media and encouraged everyone to see these images in perspective and avoid comparing our lives to others’. He said:

“Hopefully, we can learn to be more real, find more humor, and experience less discouragement when confronted with images that may portray idealized reality and that too often lead to debilitating comparisons.”

5. Work to overcome prejudices

Our nation is experiencing a period of great political division. Groups of people unite against other groups, increasing contention and hate among God’s children. Elder M. Russell Ballard taught that all Church members should eliminate any prejudice from their minds:

“We need to embrace God’s children compassionately and eliminate any prejudice, including racism, sexism, and nationalism. Let it be said that we truly believe the blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ are for every child of God.”

Further, Elder Quentin L. Cook taught the same principle:

“Anyone who claims superiority under the Father’s plan because of characteristics like race, sex, nationality, language, or economic circumstances is morally wrong and does not understand the Lord’s true purpose for all of our Father’s children.”

6. Support local and general Church leaders

The words we speak have great power. When we speak badly of others — and especially of Church leaders — we increase contention and reduce the faith of those around us. President Henry B. Eyring taught this truth:

“Your leader in the Lord’s Church may seem to you weak and human or may appear to you strong and inspired. The fact is that every leader is a mixture of those traits and more. What helps servants of the Lord who are called to lead us is when we can see them as the Lord did when He called them.”

7. Attend the temple more often

Elder David A. Bednar reinforced the importance of temple worship in his address “Exceeding Great and Precious Promises.” He taught:

“A principal purpose of the temple is to elevate our vision from the things of the world to the blessings of eternity. Removed for a short time from the worldly settings with which we are familiar, we can ‘look to God and live’ by receiving and remembering the great and precious promises whereby we become partakers of the divine nature.”

8. Repent

In his priesthood session address, Elder Dale G. Renlund spoke about the atonement of Christ and the importance of our willingness to repent. He taught:

“The atoning power of Jesus Christ is essential because none of us can return to our heavenly home without help. In mortality, we invariably make mistakes and violate God’s laws. We become stained by sin and cannot be allowed back to live in God’s presence. We need the Savior’s atoning power so that we can be reconciled to Heavenly Father.”

9. Bring spiritual light into your life

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke eloquently about the light of Christ and how we can more effectively draw it into our lives. He gave several ideas for daily habits we can develop to increase in spiritual light:

“Every time you turn your hearts to God in humble prayer, you experience His light. Every time you seek His word and will in the scriptures, the light grows in brightness. Every time you notice someone in need and sacrifice your own comfort to reach out in love, the light expands and swells. Every time you reject temptation and choose purity, every time you seek or extend forgiveness, every time you courageously testify of truth, the light chases away darkness and attracts others who are also seeking light and truth.”

10. Be patient with yourself

If sometime around February 1 you find yourself falling short of the ambitious goals you’re setting today, at least keep this one: Go easy on yourself. As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught:

“Every one of us aspires to a more Christlike life than we often succeed in living. If we admit that honestly and are trying to improve, we are not hypocrites; we are human. May we refuse to let our own mortal follies, and the inevitable shortcomings of even the best men and women around us, make us cynical about the truths of the gospel, the truthfulness of the Church, our hope for our future, or the possibility of godliness.”

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Breanna Olaveson worked in the magazine industry before taking her writing from full-time to nap time with the birth of her first daughter. Her work has appeared in the Ensign, Liahona and New Era magazines, as well as Utah Valley Magazine, Utah Valley BusinessQ, Utah Valley Bride and the Provo Daily Herald. She lives in Utah county with her husband and three children. She blogs at www.breannaolaveson.com.

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