“To be, or not to be”

Aside from food and flooding, I want to reflect on one of my favorite addresses from last week’s General Conference: Lynn G. Robbin’s What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye Be?

Robbin began, “To be, or not to be’ is actually a very good question. The Savior posed the question in far more profound way, making it a vital doctrinal question for each of us: ‘What manner of men [and women] ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am’ (3 Nephi 27:27; emphasis added). The first-person present tense of the verb be is I Am. He invites us to take upon us His name and His nature.”

Later, Robbin stated, “Many of us create to do lists to remind us of the things we want to accomplish. But people rarely have to be lists. Why? To do’s are activities or events that can be checked off the list when done. To be, however, is never done. You can’t earn checkmarks with to be’s. I can take my wife out for a lovely evening this Friday, which is a to do. But being a good husband is not an event; it needs to be part of my nature—my character, or who I am."

I am the queen of to do lists. I have to do lists for school, to do lists for chores, to do lists to enhance my spirituality, to do lists before I die—places I want to see and activities I want to experience. (I’m not joking when I say I am currently looking at a to do list that includes research for capstone, process record for internship, write paper for family course…) But, I have yet to take seriously my to be list. Perhaps I should add “make a to be list” to my to do list…I’m kidding.

In all seriousness though, I loved this talk. To do's are only half of the puzzle. In order to be whole and entirely happy, we need to do lists AND to be lists. Sure I have some ideas of who and what I want to be—and many of my to do lists are for the intent of helping me to be—but they’re still in my thoughts. I’ve heard it said, an unwritten goal is merely a wish. I need to work to fuse my to do's and to be's. Looks like I have some writing and reflection cut out for me…

“May your efforts to develop Christlike attributes be successful so that His image may be engraven in your countenance and His attributes manifest in your behavior” (Robbins).

For Robbin's complete talk see here.

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