Choice and Accountability quotes
We all create the person we become by our choices as we go through life. In a real sense, by the time we are adults, we are the sum totalof the choices we have made.
— Eleanor Roosevelt
The greatest battles of life are fought in the silent chambers of the soul.
–David O. McKay
To see what is right and not to do it, is want of courage.
Each decision we make determines the range of choices we’ll face next.
The last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances – to choose one’s own way.
Life seems full of choices, but in the end, it all boils down to choosing one of two roads.
(Choose the strait and narrow one.) –Sharon
“There will be other evils come, too, if we do not control this, and the other things which come into our homes uncensored, simply because they are there, and we permit them. Handled correctly television can be an influence for good. Handled incorrectly, it will become a force for endless evil.”
Elder S. Dilworth Young Conference Report, April 1955, p.100
Of those to whom much is given, much is required. –John F. Kennedy
Today…I Can Choose
Today comes with built in decisions, great and small. The clothes I put on, the road I travel, the people whose lives I touch…in fact, nearly everything in my day depends on how I choose. Today I can choose to carry the blame myself, or to hold out a helping hand…to shout out loud in anger, or to wait ten seconds…to cloud someone’s mind with doubt, or to lift a heart with encouragement.
Today I can choose to count stars or to count mud puddles. When I go to the store, I can choose to see how much there is to buy instead of how much I have to pay. When I get stuck in traffic, I can see, in every other car, a person just as important as me. Today, because I live in a free land, there are a thousand things I can choose: The neighborhood I live in, the friends I laugh with, the work I do, the thoughts I think, the dreams I dare. And what I will become, in spite of my fears and failures, in spite of the talents I lack, in spite of all the privileges I never had, depends on how I choose to challenge myself today. For I have power, if I choose, to act instead of complaining…to speak out instead of cherishing a hurt…to seek justice instead of getting even…to love the world instead of waiting for the world to embrace me first. What I choose today may well be the cause of my tomorrow. Today…I shall live as I choose.
Let me choose wisely and well…
President James E. Faust quoting Spencer W. Kimball:
“Develop discipline of self so that . . . you do not have to decide and re-decide what you will do when you are confronted with the same temptation time and time again. You need only decide some things once.”
(Spencer W. Kimball, “President Kimball Speaks Out,” 1981, p. 94; as quoted by James E. Faust, Ensign, May 02, 47)
“The truths of the gospel do not change. If you will follow the Christ, follow his prophet, and follow his Spirit, you will always choose the right. As a result of your wise choices, your testimony will grow stronger, and great blessings of joy, happiness, and peace will be yours.”
(Joseph B. Wirthlin, “It’s Your Choice,” New Era, Feb. 1998, 4)
“You are wonderful and you have within you the potential to do great and marvelous and good things. Don’t let anyone stop you, don’t let anybody get in your way, don’t get sidetracked on some venture of one kind or another that might injure you and hurt you. ‘Do what is right; let the consequence follow’ [Hymns, no. 237]. If things get going the wrong way at a party that you are attending, walk out, say good-bye. Stand tall, do what is right, count on the Lord and He will bless you in a wonderful way.”
(Gordon B. Hinckley, “Inspirational Thoughts,” Ensign, Aug. 1997, 5)
“Private choices are not private. They all have public consequences…Our society is the sum total of what milions of individuals do in their private lives. That sum total of private behavior has worldwide public consequences of enormous magnitude. There are no completely private choices”.
-President James E. Faust May 1987 Ensign
“Challenging though it may be, there is a way to apply traditional moral principles in our day. For some unknown reason, there is constantly appearing the false rationalization that at one time in the long-ago, virtue was easy and that now it is difficult. I would like to remind any who feel that way that there has never been a time since the Creation when
the same forces were not at work that are at work today. The proposal made by Potiphar’s wife to Joseph in Egypt is no different from that faced by many men and women and youth in our day.”
(Gordon B. Hinckley, “With All Thy Getting Get Understanding,” Ensign, Aug. 1988, 4)
“God is truly loving and kind. Part of his pattern is to help us use our gift of free agency, but his pattern does not condone sin. When we abuse our agency to choose a life-style contrary to revealed patterns, we must live with the consequences. Our unwillingness to follow the true and tested patterns given for our happiness causes the individual, family, and friends heartaches and ultimate disaster. Our freedom to choose our course of
conduct does not provide personal freedom from the consequences of our performances. God’s love for us is constant and will not diminish, but he cannot rescue us from the painful results that are caused by wrong choices.
“It is no secret that Satan wages open war with the truth and all those who live righteous lives. He deceives with skill and effectiveness even his own followers. He would have us give up, quit, rebel when setbacks come. Sometimes in life when we are committed to and are following proper patterns, we experience heavy bumps and anxious hours. Many times true winners in life are those who have been hurt and disappointed but have risen above these challenges. Very often in life, God gives us difficulties to bring out the best in us. It is true, life does not determine winners. Winners determine life.
“The great Olympic slogan says that the glory of the Olympic Games is not in the victory, but in taking part–taking part like a man. Grantland Rice once wrote, ‘When the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name, he marks–not that you won or lost–but how you played the game.’ (In The Home Book of Quotations, 8th ed., sel. Burton Stevenson, New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1956, p. 754.)”
(Marvin J. Ashton, “A Pattern in All Things,” Ensign, Nov. 1990, 20)
President James E. Faust on Choices
“In this life we have to make many choices. Some are very important choices. Some are not. Many of our choices are between good and evil. The choices we make, however, determine to a large extent our happiness or our unhappiness, because we have to live with the consequences of our choices. Making perfect choices all of the time is not possible. It just doesn’t happen. But it is possible to make good choices we can live with and grow from.”
(“Choices,” Ensign, May 2004, 51)
President Thomas S. Monson on Conscience
“May I provide a simple formula by which you can measure the choices which confront you. It’s easy to remember: ‘You can’t be right by doing wrong; you can’t be wrong by doing right.’ Your personal conscience always warns you as a friend before it punishes you as a judge.”
( “Pathways to Perfection,” Ensign, May 2002, 100)
In these days directly ahead of you is the decisive decision. Are you going to yield to the easy urge to follow the crowd, or are you going to raise your head above the crowd and let them follow you? Are you going to slip off into the mediocrity, or are you going to rise to the heights which your Heavenly Father set for you? You could stand above the crowd and become a leader among your people so that some day they would call your name blessed, or you can follow the usual demands and urges and desires and lose yourself in the herd of millions of folks who do not rise to their potential. The decision is yours and yours only. No one else can fashion and order your life. We, your friends, can suggest and encourage and help you, but you are now in these months and this year or two setting the bounds and the limitations on your life. (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 147)
Temptation is like Goliath.
Now, my young brothers, remember that every David has a Goliath to defeat, and every Goliath can be defeated. He may not be a bully who fights with fists or sword or gun. He may not even be flesh and blood. He may not be nine feet tall, he may not be armor-protected, but every boy has his Goliaths. And every boy has access to the brook with its smooth stones.
You will meet Goliaths who threaten you. Whether your Goliath is a town bully or is the temptation to steal or to destroy or the temptation to rob or the desire to curse and wear; if your Goliath is the desire to wantonly destroy or the temptation to lust and to sin, or the urge to avoid activity, whatever is your Goliath, he can be slain. But remember, to be the victor, one must follow the path that David followed. The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball p. 154
JUST THIS ONCE
Richard L. Evans-
There is in our language a dangerously disarming phrase by which people often persuade other people to compromise principles. It is the phrase “Just this once.” “Just this once” has a siren-like lure. It is the forerunner of the phrase “Just once more.” It is the beckoning voice of a false friend that leads us from safety to a false position, first “Just this once,” and then “Just once more.” “Just once more won’t matter.” “Just once more, and then I’ll quit.” And so we sometimes move from one false step to another, often
deluding ourselves into thinking that this is the last time. In some social and personal matters, many of us live somewhat this way. We may know, for example, that we are living our lives at a pace we cannot keep up, but we hate to refuse a friend. Thus we are led from obligation to obligation, and each time we say “yes,” we tell ourselves that we are saying it “Just this once” and that tomorrow will be better. But tomorrow is seldom better except as we have the backbone to make it better. In matters of eating and appetite, people often go from one indulgence to another, always saying to themselves, “Just this once, Tomorrow I begin to diet.” “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.” “Just this once” becomes especially serious when people persuade other people that a principle is a matter of frequency rather than a clear-cut matter of right or wrong. It is true that a one time offender is locked upon with more leniency than a frequent offender. But stealing “Just this once,” lying “Just this once,” deceiving “Just this once,” or any other act of immorality urged upon anyone “Just this once” is a dangerous doctrine. “Just this once” is a long step, but “Just once more” is an easier step, and so men often forget their own fetters from link to link. If it isn’t right, let it alone. Don’t do “Just this once” what shouldn’t be done at all.
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on my life. Attitude to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday
regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change the past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the string we have that is our attitude… I am convinced that attitude is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you… We are in charge of our attitudes.
“When you get to Heaven you will likely view, Many folks whose presence there will be a shock to you. But keep it very quiet, do not even stare, Likely there’ll be many folks surprised to see YOU there!”
Reed Bradford at BYU had a saying that I use often.
” The decisions we make today affects the generations yet unborn.”
“Set aside the things of this world and unite in strength and power as you commit to stand for truth and righteousness.” (Pres. Ezra Taft Benson)
The YW logo, a stylized torch, serves as a reminder for YW everywhere to stand for truth and righteousness and hold up the Light of Christ. You can help light the way for others with every Christ like act, every kind word spoken, every good thought, every honest act, every righteous choice, every scripture read, every prayer offered every act of forgiveness, every effort to lift another. By making these choices, you can become a
righteous influence and a courageous example for others. As you seek to be a righteous influence, many of your choices may not be popular. You may be ridiculed or made fun of. You may feel afraid. It will take courage. But once you choose to stand for truth and righteousness, the Lord will strengthen you. Every time you make a right choice, your self-confidence will improve. Others will be drawn to you because they will see your light.
“Young women, you are needed. Never before in the history of the Church has there been such a need for young women who are willing to sacrifice popularity if necessary, suffer loneliness if required, even be rejected if needed, to defend the gospel of Jesus Christ. When you keep the commandments and follow the savior’s example, it’s like holding up a light. Your good example helps others to find their way in a darkening world.”
–Ardeth G. Kapp (November 1988 Ensign, page 94)
“As the world grapples with more efficient ways of managing time, it lures us into more and more earthly pursuits. But life is not a struggle with time–it is a struggle between good and evil.”
(Keith B. McMullin, “Come to Zion! Come to Zion!” Ensign, Nov. 2002, 94)
“Like Mary, I hunger to feast at the Savior’s feet, while, like Martha, I need to somehow find the laundry room floor, empty my in-box, and serve my husband something other than cold pizza. I have 15 grandchildren whose tender little spirits and daily challenges I want to better understand, yet I also have a slightly demanding Church calling! I don’t have lots of time. Like all of you, I have to choose. We all are trying to choose the good part which cannot be taken from us, to balance the spiritual and the temporal in our lives. Wouldn’t it be easy if we were choosing between visiting teaching or robbing a bank? Instead, our choices are often more subtle. We must choose between many worthy options.”
(Bonnie D. Parkin, “Choosing Charity: That Good Part,” Ensign, Nov. 2003, 104.)
“The course of our lives is not determined by great, awesome decisions. Our direction is set by little day-to-day choices which chart the track on which we run.”
—President Gordon B. Hinckley
“Our destiny and ultimate fate depend upon our daily decisions. . . .Tomorrow’s joy or tomorrow’s despair has its roots in decisions we make today. . . . Those who stand at the threshold of life always waiting for the right time to change are like the man who stands at the bank of a river waiting for the water to pass so he can cross on dry land.”
(Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Three Choices,” Ensign, Nov. 2003, 79)
“In this life we have to make many choices. Some are very important choices. Some are not. Many of our choices are between good and evil. The choices we make, however, determine to a large extent our happiness or our unhappiness, because we have to live with the consequences of our choices.”
(James E. Faust, “Choices,” Ensign, May 2004, 5)
“In my quiet moments, I think of the future with all of its wonderful possibilities and with all of its terrible temptations. I wonder what will happen to you in the next 10 years. Where will you be? What will you be doing? That will depend on the choices you make, some of which may seem unimportant at the time but which will have tremendous consequences.”
(Gordon B. Hinckley, “Stay on the High Road,” Ensign, May 2004, 112-113)
“Some of our important choices have a time line. If we delay a decision, the opportunity is gone forever. Sometimes our doubts keep us from making a choice that involves change. An opportunity may be missed. As someone once said, ‘When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that in itself is a choice.’ (William James, quoted in Evan Esar,
ed., 20,000 Quips and Quotes  132).”
(James E. Faust, “Choices,” Ensign, May 2004, 52)
“Life’s journey is not traveled on a freeway devoid of obstacles, pitfalls, and snares. Rather, it is a pathway marked by forks and turnings. Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed: the courage to say, ‘No,’ the courage to say, ‘Yes.’ Decisions do determine destiny.
“The call for courage comes constantly to each of us. It has ever been so, and so shall it ever be.”
( “The Call for Courage,” Ensign, May 2004, 54-55)
Dear and precious teenage girls
How does your album go?
Will pictures there
Be sweet and rare
You*ll want the world to know?
Will you be glad
To show your dad
A snap of what you*ve done,
And share with mom each moment
Of last night*s party fun?
Life can be your greatest joy
Or hours full of sorrow:
It depends on your decisions
You may shove a smutty picture
Way back upon your shelf,
But you can*t hide it far enough
To hide it from yourself.
Your albums are your memories
To bring a happy glow
Be careful what you put in them
How will your album go?
The decisions we make today affects the generations yet unborn.
Today comes with built in decisions, great and small. The clothes I put on, the road I travel, the people whose lives I touch. In fact, nearly everything in my day depends on how I choose. Today I can choose to carry the blame myself, or to hold out a helping hand*to shout out loud in anger, or to wait ten seconds*to cloud someone*s mind with doubt, or to lift a heart with encouragement.
Today I can choose to count stars or to count mud puddles. When I go to the store, I can choose to see how much there is to buy instead of how much I have to pay. When I get stuck in traffic, I can see, in every other car, a person just as important as me. Today, because I live in a free land, there are a thousand things I can choose.
The neighborhood I live in, the friends I laugh with, the work I do, the thoughts I think, the dreams I dare. And what I will become, in spite of my fears and failures, in spite of the talents I lack, in spite of all the privileges I never had, depends on how I choose to challenge myself today. For I have power, if I choose, to act instead of complaining*to speak out instead of cherishing a hurt*to seek justice instead of getting even*to love
the world instead of waiting for the world to embrace me first. What I choose today may
well be the cause of my tomorrow. Today*I shall live as I choose. Let me choose
wisely and well*.
CHOICE AND ACCOUNTABILITY
DECIDE TO DECIDE – – Such a simple directive, but oh so powerful! We can push some things away from us once and have done with them! We can make a single decision about certain things that we will incorporate in our lives and then make them ours – – without having to brood and re-decide a hundred times what it is we will do and what we will not do. **- – President Spencer W. Kimball
There is in our language a dangerously disarming phrase by which people often persuade other people to compromise principles. It is the phrase *Just this once.* *Just this once* has a siren-like lure. It is the forerunner of the phrase *Just once more.* It is the beckoning voice of a false friend that leads us from safety to a false position, first *Just this once,* and then *Just once more.* *Just once more won*t matter.* *Just once more, and then I*ll quit.* And so we sometimes move from one false step to another, often deluding ourselves into thinking that this is the last time. In some social and personal matters, many of us live somewhat this way. We may know, for example, that we are living our lives at a pace we cannot keep up, but we hate to refuse a friend. Thus we are led from obligation to obligation, and each time we say *yes,* we tell ourselves that we are saying it *Just this once* and that tomorrow will be better. But tomorrow is seldom better except as we have the backbone to make it better. In matters of eating and appetite, people often go from one indulgence to another, always saying to themselves, *Just this once. Tomorrow I begin to diet.* *Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.* *Just this once* becomes especially serious when people persuade other people that a principle is a matter of frequency rather than a clear-cut matter of right or wrong. It is true that a one time offender is looked upon with more leniency than a frequent offender. But stealing *Just this once,* lying *Just this once,* deceiving *Just this once,* or any other act of immorality urged upon anyone *Just this once* is a dangerous doctrine. *Just this once* is a long step, but *Just once more* is an easier step, and so men often forget their own fetters from link to link.
If it isn*t right, let it alone. Don*t do *Just this once* what shouldn*t be done at all.
-*- Richard L. Evans
One reason for the decline in moral values is that the world has invented a new, constantly changing and undependable standard of moral conduct referred to as ‘situational ethics.’ Now, individuals define good and evil as being adjustable according to each situation; this is in direct contrast to the proclaimed God-given absolute standard: ‘Thou shalt not!’ as in ‘Thou shalt not steal’ (Ex. 20:15). **- – David B. Haight
I would say to him, do not lie. Just one lie told and you have committed yourself to remember every facet of the situation to protect that lie. Furthermore, once you lie and are discovered, just once, all the rest of your life that person will not trust you. Every time your name comes up, if he is in a position to give you some position or advantage involving trust, that lie will be remembered, and he will not have confidence. You may have repented long since and have been forgiven, even by him, but in spite of himself, he will wonder if you truly have repented. On the other hand, if you tell the truth always, no matter what, it will someday save your reputation and perhaps your honor. **- – S. Dilworth Young
CHOICE AND ACCOUNTABILITY
We love you, the youth of the Church, and we know you will collectively succeed. However, we have great anxiety for individuals we may lose along the way. Speaking as a father, I can tell you the loss of one of you is too many. We want each and every one of you to succeed, not just the majority.
To those of you who are struggling and losing ground, you who have been lured into that building through one of its many doors and now find no doors going out, you who feel trapped and defeated, we assure you there is hope, and all is not lost. Through his atonement, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has provided a way for you to escape that awful place. He knows you intimately. He knows your name, and he knows your pain. If you will approach your Father in Heaven with a broken heart and contrite spirit, you will find yourself miraculously lifted out of that great and spacious building and into the loving and comforting arms of the Savior of mankind.
At your earthly home, you will find your father*s arms have always been open for you and that during your absence your mother never stopped setting your place at the table in front of your empty chair. You will see clearly the difference between telestial happiness and celestial happiness, and you will experience and savor celestial joy through this life and throughout all eternity.
FREEDOM OF TRUTH
Some people think freedom is the ability to do anything they want. We do have freedom to choose, but we do not have freedom from the consequences of our choices.
We are free to lie.
We are free to cheat.
We are free to steal.
We are free to kill.
We are also free to sluff school, skip home assignments, sneak a peak at pornographic pictures, or think dirty thoughts. We*re free to smoke. We*re free to eat foolishly and mistreat our bodies.
Some people forget that we lose freedom by choosing freely to do the wrong things; or by not knowing what is right, what is truth; or by refusing to listen and believe; or by ignoring laws and breaking commandments.
The consequences of wrong choices can limit our freedom in making other choices along the steps of life. For instance, we can no longer *choose* to go on a mission or enter the temple if we have already *chosen* to be unclean, unworthy. We can*t go ahead with college plans if we have chosen to be a high school dropout. We*re no longer free to date and enjoy the carefree times of youth if we choose to marry too young.
You want to be worthy of every blessing the Lord has in store for His choice children. Start now to build your strength to live the gospel. Exercise your spiritual muscles by:
Bearing your testimony
Accepting Church assignments
Listening more and talking less
Praying, praying, praying
Keeping the commandments of God
CHOICE AND ACCOUNTABILITY
We are like children walking a path in the rain. We can walk in or around the mud of life as we desire, but with our choices come the consequences. And we are rapidly becoming what we are choosing to be for all eternity.
Spiritual maturity is understanding that we cannot blame anybody else for our actions. Some factors may make it harder for us to perform according to God*s plan for us, but being accountable for how we use our agency means being answerable for our own behavior*
I sometimes wonder if we know God*s will for us, if we know what is hurtful or sinful and why, if we know God*s will for us, if we know what is hurtful or sinful and why, if we have the faintest notion, on the other hand, of the glories He has in store for our reward, here as well as hereafter, if we are obedient. I wonder if mothers have really taught daughters about truth, agency, and accountability. Are daughters sharing with mothers their own learnings? Individuals and families are strengthened as we help each other grow in the gospel of Jesus Christ. ***- – Elaine Cannon