Everyone has priorities in his/her life. For some, it is getting ahead in business, even if it means harming others to get there. For others, it is putting food on the table for their families before following their own dream career. Some priorities are good; others can be not so good. However, as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes mistakenly called the “Mormon Church”, I have recognized a pattern throughout my life. Whenever I take a minute to set aside pressing matters like school work, jobs, or social events, and focus on putting God first, everything else seems to work out better.
As a new freshman in college, I often feel the stress of assignments and tests. Quite often, I think of skipping church activities or not fulfilling my church responsibilities to the fullest. I notice that when I skip these things, I can get the work done, but I will be easily distracted and the quality of the work will be less than satisfactory. When I do take the time to put spiritual matters first, I find myself more focused and motivated when I come back to do my work. Things usually work out for the better when I set aside a little time to put church before everything else in my life.
Jacob, a prophet in the Book of Mormon, also spoke to his people on this same matter. Jacob’s people were becoming wicked and prideful in their riches and success. They did not realize that God was the reason for their success, so they boasted of their own greatness and thought that they were better than less wealthy people. Jacob taught them a great lesson. In Jacob 2:18-19, he said, “before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God. And after ye have obtained hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good.”
When we seek for the kingdom of God, we do everything we can to come closer to Jesus Christ. We follow God’s commandments, we study the life of Christ through the scriptures, we repent when we make mistakes, we give up material goods to give to others instead, and we do everything we can to become like Christ. We will be able to accomplish the things that God intends for us if we put Him first in our lives.
If we do these things, we will obtain riches. However, these riches may not always be in the form of worldly wealth. Riches can be in the form of talents that we use to bless other people’s lives. Riches can also be the heavenly reward waiting for us after this life. Riches can also be success in jobs. It is important to realize that if we truly seek for the kingdom of God and obtain hope in Christ, we will not want these riches for our own monetary gain. We will seek to bless others’ lives with the riches that we gain, no matter what form they come in. We will truly “seek them for the intent to do good.”
I have seen so many blessings in my life in direct correspondence to my obedience to the will of God. I am truly grateful for those blessings. I hope that I can follow Jacob’s teachings and bless the lives of others through the things that I gain from my Heavenly Father.
This article was written by Kristen B., a student at Brigham Young University and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.