“Q&A: Questions and Answers,” New Era, Nov. 2001, 16
Questions and Answers
Answers are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.
“How can I keep my thoughts centered on Christ during my daily activities?”
Take the sacrament each week and ponder your baptismal covenant to take upon you the name of Christ.
Learn as much as you can about Christ through personal scripture study.
Avoid places and situations where the Spirit may not be present.
Focus your talents and energy on helping others.
Remember, the Holy Ghost will help guide you if you continually strive to keep your thoughts centered on Christ.
When we are baptized we take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ. Each time we take the sacrament, we renew that promise and further commit to “always remember him” (D&C 20:77). The Lord commanded, “Look unto me in every thought” (D&C 6:36). But how do we do that?
Always remembering Christ doesn’t mean continually imagining Him in our minds. The Savior said, “Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am” (3 Ne. 27:27). What better way to remember Him than to make Him the pattern for our lives?
In order to do what Jesus would want us to do, we must learn as much about Him as we can. Through personal study, seminary, and church, we learn about His life and teachings. The New Era, general conference, and Church Education System firesides are also sources where we can learn about Christ.
Once we have begun to learn of Christ, we need to turn our knowledge into action by applying His teachings to our lives. With all the temptations and all the worthwhile activities competing for our attention, it can be difficult to center our thoughts on Christ. The world teaches us to center our thoughts on ourselves. Christ teaches us to center our lives on serving others.
If we are to keep our thoughts centered on the Savior, we must avoid places and situations where He wouldn’t go. If a movie is offensive, walk out. If a get-together with friends turns toward unwholesome activities, go home. If our friends are talking about things that make us uncomfortable, we should change the subject or leave. It is impossible to keep our thoughts centered on Christ if our lives are mired in un-Christlike activities.
“‘What would Jesus do?’ or ‘What would He have me do?’ are the paramount personal questions of this life,” said President Ezra Taft Benson. “Walking in His way is the greatest achievement of life” (New Era, Apr. 1994, 6).
If we look at Jesus’ life, most of His time was spent serving others. When we focus our talents and energy on helping others, the Holy Ghost will help guide us, and our minds will stay centered on Jesus Christ.
I find that reading scriptures in the morning before school helps me start my day in a spiritual mindset. As part of my study, I also try to include literature from the words of the prophets and apostles, or I read articles from the Ensign or New Era.
Jennifer Stirling, 17
There are small things we can do every day at school like inviting someone who always eats alone to come and eat with us, or just saying hi to someone in the halls who looks sad or lonely. These things may not be big things, but they are the kinds of things that make you feel good inside because they are the kinds of things Christ would probably do if He were here.
Diana Lyn Hardy, 15
We can keep our thoughts centered on Christ if we keep all of our blessings in mind and strive to do what’s right.
Chase Ferguson, 16
Sometimes it seems impossible to avoid those things that distract us from the teachings of Jesus Christ. That’s why it’s so important to build a foundation of Christ’s teachings to help protect us from the world. The way we do that is through reading, pondering, and praying for the Lord to bless us to remain worthy of the guidance of the Holy Ghost.
Elder Stephen A. Viramontes, 20
Australia Sydney North Mission
Listening to uplifting music whenever I have the chance is something I like to do. It invites the Spirit and keeps my thoughts on spiritual things. Doing this in the morning is especially beneficial because I have those inspirational songs in my head for the rest of the day.
Joni Pokorny, 17
Partaking of the sacrament worthily and listening to the sacrament prayer can help you know that Jesus is your Redeemer and Savior. Applying Jesus’ teachings to your life can help keep your thoughts centered on Him.
Unwannah Harrison Ikpe, 19
Akwa, Ibom, Nigeria