“How do I make time for Church activities, family home evening, and family and personal scripture study when homework takes so much time?” Liahona, February 2017
Imagine eating nothing but ice cream every day. Sounds pretty great—until your body doesn’t feel so good. But can you be healthy by eating only broccoli? No, good health requires a balanced variety of foods.
Now think about the many activities in our lives. Our spirituality, relationships, and education are all key to our growth. So how do you prioritize the important things?
Look at what’s most important to you right now and pray to know what to focus on. Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles encourages, “Keep foremost in mind the sacred covenants you have made with the Lord as you write down your daily schedules.”1 Everything works out when you put the Lord first.
Remember that “some things are better, and others are best.”2 Seek the Holy Ghost to help you decide what is most important. You might comfort a crying sibling before doing homework, but going to Mutual may come before seeing a movie with your friends. You might also identify distractions in your life. How about spending time with the scriptures before your Facebook friends?
Above all, don’t forget to rely on the Lord for energy so that you can “walk, and not faint” (see Isaiah 40:31).
If you just say, “Oh, I’ll do it when the time comes,” Satan will tempt you to never do it. Put time aside to do these spiritually uplifting activities, even if it means turning down other activities.
Allison R., age 20, Utah, USA
If we can’t make time for the gospel, it means that we are doing too much and need to cut back a little bit. We need to plan activities around the gospel and our duties. This way we will have time for the gospel and the things that truly matter.
Noah H., age 13, Arizona, USA
I do scripture study before doing homework. When you do scripture study before your school studies, you’ll be more awake, and you’ll retain more of the information. With the weekly activities, you just need to plan those into your week first—then squeeze in everything else around them.
Elder Clark, age 20, Chile Concepción South Mission
It hasn’t been easy planning my time as a student. But I drew a timetable to plan my weekly activities, which involves classes, morning devotionals with my roommates, personal scripture study, institute classes, and others. I also place them on a scale in order of importance. Planning my activities helped me overcome procrastination.
Daniel A., age 19, Edo, Nigeria
I try to remember my mom’s words: we should give priority to eternal things, which last forever (unlike temporal things, which only last for a while). I have learned that when I give priority to God, all other things fall into the place where they ought to be. I am sure that when we do God’s work, God will help us do our work.
Vaishali K., age 18, Andhra Pradesh, India
When I get home from school, I do my homework assignments so that I will not get behind and so I will have more time for Church activities. One thing that also helps is when my mother makes up a schedule with time slots for each thing that I will do every day. That makes it easier for me to participate in activities, do homework, and read the scriptures.
Rachel O., age 13, São Paulo, Brazil
When you first wake up, you can read your scriptures, even if it is just a few verses. That might mean waking up five minutes earlier to read your scriptures. For family study, set a time with your family during which you can all take a break from what you are doing and study together. As for youth activities, the time is already set, so just go and bond with the youth in your ward.
Elena F., age 15, Idaho, USA
Learning to set priorities helps us have time for everything we need to do, mainly for the things of the Lord. One of my main priorities was to attend seminary every day. If I attended seminary in the morning and then went to school, the day seemed to have more than 24 hours. Schoolwork was easier, and reading the scriptures personally and as a family became a delight. Remembering to put the Lord first in our lives helps us see everything else with a new perspective and helps us set priorities and reach our goals.
Bianca S., age 19, Paysandú, Uruguay