We again find ourselves facing a new year. One that I hope will bring joy and happiness to our lives. Most years in the past have done so. However, good years don’t usually come without help from its recipients. Most of us have thoughts of doing something, like the cat of losing weight.  Yet, when faced with actually doing something, we opt to buy a bigger basket. It is a rare person that has a “wonderful” year of joy and prosperity, just by sitting and watching the year go by. In 1994 a talk was given by Elder Joe J. Christensen of the Seventy, at a BYU devotional entitled “Resolutions”, he gave this thought:

“In an informal survey that I requested be taken among 150 young adults, they were asked to list three resolutions they felt would help them become happier and more successful during the new year. Almost everyone in the survey (98 percent) included resolutions to increase their spirituality. Two out of three (68 percent) indicated they would like to improve their social skills. Half (49 percent) indicated a desire to improve their physical fitness, and half (48 percent) wanted to grow intellectually. Everyone indicated a desire to improve. After all, self-improvement by coming unto Christ is at the heart of why we are here in mortality…Only one verse of scripture in the entire King James Version of the New Testament suggests what the Savior did to develop himself from age twelve until he began his formal ministry at age thirty: “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52; see JST, Matt. 3:24–26). In other words, the Savior developed in the same areas indicated on the poll: intellectually (in wisdom and knowledge), physically (in stature), socially (in favor with man), and spiritually (in favor with God).

I am convinced that if we make and keep resolutions in those four areas, we will have a happier and more successful new year this coming year and every year for the rest of our lives. Let’s consider the nature of such resolutions and the benefits that can be ours if our resolve to improve ourselves is firm.”

Elder Christensen then lists the four areas of resolutions that will make us happier and more successful in the coming year. He states them as such- 1)I resolve to expand my intellectual horizons, to increase in wisdom. 2) I will be resolute in preserving and strengthening my physical health. 3)Now to the third major resolution: I resolve to be a truer friend and to become more socially acceptable to people of high standards. 4)Let’s turn to the fourth resolve, the one mentioned by nearly everyone in the poll: I will grow spiritually—I will increase in favor with God.

Let’s take the advice of Elder Christensen and make this a time of resolutions. Despite what comes along, 2018 can be a wonderful year, if we will do our part by joining with the Lord in making it happen.

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