When people talk about the Lord’s Law of Health or the Word of Wisdom, the common theme revolves around what Latter-day Saints cannot drink or partake. But health isn’t just about what substances people partake, but also about how they spend their strength.
In the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin counseled, “See that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength” (Mosiah 4:27). This counsel from King Benjamin is also very applicable in these latter days.
Many people get tied up in a knot of commitments, responsibilities, relationships, and extra curricular activities. They seem to want to be a part of everything all the time. Twenty-four hours never seems to be enough to accomplish everything. But is it really not enough? Or are the twenty-four hours filled with many hurried moments, and fulfilling the expectations of others that we forget to choose the “good part” of things in life?
Choosing the “good part”
In the Book of Luke, Jesus counsels a woman named Martha, to choose the things that are “needful”—the “good part[s]” that cannot be taken away. There are many noteworthy activities that people can do in their daily lives, but how many among these are the good parts Jesus counseled not only Martha, but also all mankind to choose?
The good parts of life are family relationships, genuine friendships, service to the widows and the poor, scripture study, Sunday and temple worship, family and individual prayers, seeking education, earning a living without overworking, and taking time to slow down, be still and rejuvenate from the stresses and fatigue of life. These are just some of the many “good parts” that we can choose from. The bottom-line is that our physical capabilities have a limit. Weariness, physical and mental fatigue, stress, and spiritual drought are real and our bodies and spirit can only do so much to recover. But we know that when we give heed to the Lord’s counsel to choose the “good part”, we will find strength in Him.
Principles over Preferences
A man can get so busy working for a bigger home for his family, but in doing so he must make sure that when he finally gets his dream home, he still has a happy family to live in it. A working mom can get so tied up in her career, but can still put piano recitals, school plays, and football games on top of her list. A young adult can actively build a career but make time to find someone to build a family with. A couple can waste their money on trips around the world, but never forget to do charity work and service.
If people don’t confuse principles and preferences, life will be filled with less hurried moments. God gave mankind twenty-four hours because He knows it is enough time for them to do the “good parts” and choose the items on their to-do list that will speak of principles and not preferences.
We are all created and given the same twenty-four-hour timeframe everyday and under the same nature—subject to weariness and fatigue. May we all choose our activities wisely that we may not run more than we have strength.