Get an education. Serve a mission. Get married. Travel the world. Get a career. Be financially stable. Have a baby. With so many important life decisions and voices telling us how to “adult,” how on earth are we supposed to narrow down our priority list?
With these countless opportunities and the common fear of messing up or missing out, it’s understandable that so many young adults are struggling. Yet the answer to prioritizing life decisions is always the same: turn to Jesus Christ. As we navigate the unpredictable sea of young adulthood, we can use the following four suggestions to keep our lives centered on Christ.
There’s a difference between studying and reading—one that makes all the difference! To me, studying implies prayerfully reading with a purpose and searching for guidance and knowledge.
President Thomas S. Monson centered his last address as prophet on the power of the Book of Mormon. Among other blessings, he promised that as we read the Book of Mormon, we’ll be “in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit, to resist temptation, to overcome doubt and fear, and to receive heaven’s help in our lives.”1
By studying the scriptures, you show God that He’s important. Just as we feed our bodies each morning for physical strength, our spirits need daily spiritual strength as well. Creating a habit of daily scripture study will provide us the spiritual sustenance we need to keep us firmly anchored in Christ and to open our minds and hearts to the Spirit.
While the wrong perspective can make it worldly, money is a reality of life. It’s a worry for many young adults. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were guaranteed blessings if we sacrificed a little bit of what we’ve been given?
Oh, wait—we are!
Malachi in the Old Testament and Jesus Christ himself in the Americas both promised that if we pay our tithing, the windows of heaven will be opened and blessings will pour out (see Malachi 3:10; see also 3 Nephi 24:8–10). God knows about our financial worries and is aware that asking for a portion of everything we earn can feel like a lot. However, anything else we could do with that 10 percent contribution doesn’t compare to the blessings God has in store for us, and we strengthen our faith every time we consecrate our tithes to the Lord.
Practicing gratitude throughout the good and the bad is a skill that takes effort and practice. However, gratitude has the potential to make life infinitely better! Expressing gratitude isn’t just ignoring all the negative aspects of life and pretending everything is fine and dandy. Instead, it involves finding things to be grateful for in spite of all the negative.
Studies show that some of the positive effects of gratitude include enhanced well-being, deeper relationships, increased optimism and happiness, stronger self-control, decreased stress, better physical and mental health, and an overall better life! President Nelson said that gratitude “provides us with a greater perspective on the very purpose and joy of life.”2
Next time you have a few minutes, opt to reflect on what you’re grateful for. Whether through prayer or pondering, gratitude will benefit your life and will keep you focused on the Savior.
My final thought has to do with the most impactful and eternity-altering event ever to have taken place: the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
I can point to one moment during my mission that transformed the way I viewed the Savior’s Atonement. It was during a morning scripture study when the necessity and grandeur of Christ’s Atonement suddenly hit me. I don’t remember what I read, but I suddenly understood at a deeper level how truly pointless everything in life would be without Jesus Christ and His Atonement.
You can start today by reading and listening to the scriptures and words of the prophets about Christ and His atoning sacrifice. Try praying for a deeper understanding. Combining study and prayer brings miracles and will invite greater power into your life. President Nelson has repeatedly counseled us to overcome the world, which he defined as “growing to love God and His Beloved Son more than you love anyone or anything else.”3
Learning more about our Savior and His infinite Atonement will help us to overcome the world, refocus our priorities, and change how we think and act every day. It will bring us closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and we will be better equipped to tackle life’s many challenges.