Making Good Use of Your Time

“Making Good Use of Your Time,” New Era, Aug. 2020, 34–35.

HE Object Lesson

Making Good Use of Your Time

When you put the Lord first, there’s room for the rest.

How many different activities fight for your attention every day? We all have the same 24 hours to spend, but how we choose to use that time makes a big difference!

President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, has said: “The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives. … We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best.”1

In this activity, you’ll demonstrate what happens when we make the Lord’s work our first priority.

1. Filling Time

There are lots of good activities we can use our time to pursue. Ask your family to share some of the things they spend their time doing each day.

Explain that the jar represents time. The rocks and sand represent the different things we can do with our time: the larger rocks stand for things the Lord has asked us to prioritize, like scripture study, service, temple and family history work, and church attendance, while the sand symbolizes other good activities, like doing homework and spending time with friends.

2. Prioritizing Out of Order

Pour all the sand into the jar first, then add the larger rocks on top. When you add the sand first, there isn’t enough space for all the larger rocks—just like how when we prioritize other activities over the things Heavenly Father has commanded us to do, we may run out of time for the things that are most important.

3. Falling into Place

Jesus Christ commanded, “Seek not the things of this

world but seek ye first to build up the kingdom of God,

and to establish his righteousness” (Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 6:38 [in Matthew 6:33, footnote a]). Discuss how you can prioritize your time by seeking the kingdom of God first.

Empty your jar and start over with the same items. Younger siblings may want to help. Have them put the larger rocks in the jar first. As you add the sand after, watch how it fills into the extra space around the larger rocks until all the sand fits inside.

Ask your family what they think this promise from President Russell M. Nelson might mean: “As you consistently give the Lord a generous portion of your time, He will multiply the remainder.”2

Putting the Lord First

When we seek to do God’s will first, He helps us to have enough time for other necessary and uplifting things. So if you’re struggling to find enough time to finish homework, develop your talents, or get the sleep you need, ask the Lord what you can do to prioritize your time according to His plan. Set goals together as a family to put the Lord’s work—and your relationship with Him—first each day.