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BYU-Pathway Worldwide Devotional

“Reaching the Desires of Our Hearts”

March 02, 2021
As BYU-Pathway Worldwide students, you know a thing or two about the importance of planning and setting goals in an effort to make yourself into who the Lord needs you to become. I love the teachings about planning and goal setting in the scriptures and in Preach My Gospel. The Lord Himself stated His goal very clearly: “For behold, this is my work and my glory — to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." 1 In order to accomplish that, He created the plan of salvation, also known as the plan of redemption or the plan of happiness.

In order to execute that plan, it was necessary to create this earth and all thereon. Can you picture in your mind the Gods “[organizing] the lights in the expanse of the heaven, and [causing] them to divide the day from the night; and [organizing] them to be for signs and for seasons, and for days and for years”? 2 And They would have to plan it in such a way that stars and planets would be at the perfect distance from the planet Earth, including our Sun, because, if placed too close to the Earth, the Earth would burn, but if placed too far from the Earth, it would freeze.

Well, I don’t want to bore you with this, but for me, these are simply marvelous accounts. It gives us an idea that God is detailed in His planning and building processes. How much would you like to, one day, be able to participate in the creation of something of such magnitude? I certainly hope one day I may be able to do that. I don’t know everything that will need to go into being able to create something like that, but I do believe detailed planning will be part of it.

When teaching the young adults of the Church, President M. Russell Ballard gave his impression of the importance of goal setting and making plans as he said this: “I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master the technique of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When you learn to master the principle of setting a goal, you will then be able to make a great difference in the results you attain in this life." 3
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How Do I Use Time Wisely? Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service (2004), 146

Do you see how much importance this Apostle of the Lord, a man of great experience, places on goal setting and planning? Life is already difficult enough as it is. Without goals and plans, life can be even harder.

May I suggest that obtaining higher education, the way you are through BYU-Pathway, is an essential part of your plans for making a big difference in your life and in the lives of others.

Perhaps you should look ahead in your life — 20 or 40 years ahead. Picture the kind of person you would like to be. Hopefully, you will want to be more like the Savior. Picture your family in your mind and what kind of comforts you would want to give them. How much would you like to be able to contribute to the poor, to good causes, and to the kingdom of God?

Do you want to get there? It is not easy, but it is easier with a plan. Do you really want to get there?

In Preach My Gospel, we learn that: “Goals reflect the desires of our hearts and our vision of what we can accomplish. Through goals and plans, our hopes are transformed into action. Goal setting and planning are acts of faith." 4
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Oh, my dear friends. I invite you to seek revelation and plan your future. Determine what you need to do to get to the inspired destination you set for yourself.

Look at the great example of Guilherme Cidade, a BYU-Pathway student from Florianopolis, Brazil, who was studying full time, working to support his family, completing an internship, and fulfilling a Church calling. With so many demands on his time, he quickly felt overwhelmed and doubted his ability to accomplish everything he’d taken on. Guilherme learned to manage his time through careful daily planning. He said, “I put [my plan] everywhere — in front of me, in front of my computer, on the refrigerator, on the bathroom door, every place in my house." 5
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Lauren Conrad, “ A Certificate, a Degree, and Two Promotions ,” BYU-Pathway Worldwide Blog, Jan. 4, 2021
By scheduling time for every item on his daily to-do list, he was able to achieve his goals.

Be diligent in following your plan even when it is difficult or when you are tired. Continue in patience facing “…delay[s], trouble, opposition, or suffering without becoming angry, frustrated, or anxious …[having] the ability to do God’s will and accept His timing. When you are patient, you hold up under pressure and are able to face adversity calmly and hopefully." 6
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How Do I Develop Christlike Attributes? Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service (2004), 120

Challenging goals will take you to higher achievements, even if, at the end, you were not able to fully accomplish what you intended. When we want to accomplish something extraordinary, we have to rely on the Lord for His help all the way. For He knows the desires of our hearts, He understands the plans we have made, He sees our efforts, and He is aware of our difficulties. Constantly relying on the Lord and staying close to Him is an expression of our faith in Him.

I have great confidence that, if our goals and our plans are inspired of Him, and our actions are sincere and approved of Him, I believe that He will be satisfied with our efforts and He will help us along the way. I am confident He will bless us beyond our dreams. He will take us farther than we could take ourselves on our own.

May God bless us as we do this, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.