“51 Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.”
1. The Lord is my light; then why should I fear?
By day and by night his presence is near.
He is my salvation from sorrow and sin;
This blessed assurance the Spirit doth bring.
The Lord is my light;
He is my joy and my song.
By day and by night he leads,
He leads me along.
2. The Lord is my light; tho clouds may arise,
Faith, stronger than sight, looks up thru the skies
Where Jesus forever in glory doth reign.
Then how can I ever in darkness remain?
3. The Lord is my light; the Lord is my strength.
I know in his might I’ll conquer at length.
My weakness in mercy he covers with pow’r,
And, walking by faith, I am blest ev’ry hour.
4. The Lord is my light, my all and in all.
There is in his sight no darkness at all.
He is my Redeemer, my Savior, and King.
With Saints and with angels his praises I’ll sing.
“It Balances” is a fun activity that will teach kids the meaning of balance. You can also talk about how we need to keep our lives in balance by being healthy physically and spiritually strong.
Place a hexagonal pencil on a flat surface so that a twelve-inch ruler can be balanced on it. Ordinarily, the ruler’s midpoint should be directly over the pencil.
Next, place a penny on each end of the ruler without disturbing its balance. Now, leave the penny in place on one end of the ruler and find where two pennies can be placed on the opposite end of the ruler to keep it in balance. When this has been done, notice the number of inches they are placed from the pencil and then find the number of inches from the pencil that three pennies must be placed for the ruler to balance.
Finally, multiply the number of pennies by the number of inches that each group of pennies was placed from the pencil and compare your answers.
In each case, the answer should be exactly the same unless an error has been made. When one penny is six inches from the pencil, the product is six. When two pennies balance with the other side, its product must also be six, so the pennies should be three inches from the pencil. For the same reason, three pennies must be two inches and six pennies one inch from the pencil.
Can you place three pennies so that they are five inches from the pencil on one side, and then find where five pennies should be placed on the other side?
Read and summarize “Seminary or Sports?” . Talk about the importance of finding balance in life and the tough decisions you may have had to make to maintain that balance.
I no longer felt a sense of balance. I couldn’t continue to juggle church, academics, and sports.
When I began high school, I participated on my school’s athletic team. Running was my passion—I had been a runner since I was nine years old—and I worked hard at it. I attended training sessions at least three times a week in the evenings. I even had opportunities to represent my city at Costa Rica’s national games.
Often, the practices went until late at night. That made getting up early for seminary, which started at 5:00 a.m., extra challenging, but I continued to make that sacrifice.
Halfway through high school, however, when I was 16 years old, I realized that I wasn’t putting my heart into seminary. I went, but I wasn’t as well rested, prepared, or attentive as I could have been. I also knew that being stretched thin by my very late and very early hours was affecting my physical performance, which wasn’t fair to my team.
Even though I had always thrived on participating in many activities and had been able to juggle church, academics, and sports up to that point, I no longer felt a sense of balance. I began to wonder if I needed to give something up. Running was a wholesome, healthy activity, one I was good at. It was an opportunity for me to use my talents and to establish patterns of discipline. And at my school, being an athlete was prestigious. I had good friends on my team, and if I left it, I’d miss those associations.
As I weighed my decision, I thought about what would most benefit all aspects of my life, both during my high school years and for the rest of my life. I thought about my long-term goals. I realized that my attitude about seminary had implications for the rest of my life—for eternity, really. I realized what I needed to do.
At the end of my second year of high school, I told my coach and teammates that I wouldn’t be participating on the team anymore. They were shocked. No one understood why I would give up my passion for running competitively—something I had done for nearly half of my life—“to go to church at 5:00 a.m.” I explained to them that it was my responsibility and my priority and that in choosing these right things, I would be a happier person. Fortunately, even though they didn’t understand my decision, most of my peers respected it.
During the next two years of school, I had more time to read the scriptures and to ponder them. Because I wasn’t so rushed all the time, I found myself receiving inspiration more frequently. Those things gave my life balance, peace, and happiness that I had never experienced before.
At the end of high school, I graduated from seminary. That achievement meant a great deal to me. I gained a love of the scriptures and the stories and lessons they contain, I learned discipline in getting up early, and I was blessed with good friendships strengthened by that early-morning hour we spent together each day. But most important, I learned through seminary about making sure that I always put the Lord first.
That pattern continues to bless my life now as I study at a university. My classes are more difficult than they were in high school. I have more responsibilities at church. But because I established a habit of putting the Lord first, it has been easy to continue to set correct priorities, and I hope I can continue that pattern for the rest of my life.
Read and summarize “Keeping Your Life In Balance” . Talk about the importance of finding balance in life and how these suggestions can help you find that balance.
These eight suggestions can help you face life’s many challenges without feeling overwhelmed.
Coping with the complex and diverse challenges of everyday life, which is not an easy task, can upset the balance and harmony we seek. Many good people are trying very hard to maintain balance, but they sometimes feel overwhelmed and defeated.
I have a few suggestions that I hope will be valuable to those of you concerned with balancing life’s demands. These suggestions are very basic; their concepts can easily be overlooked if you are not careful. You will need a strong commitment and personal discipline to incorporate them into your life.
1. Establish Priorities
Think about your life and set your priorities. Find some quiet time regularly to think deeply about where you are going and what you will need to do to get there. Jesus, our exemplar, often “withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed” (Luke 5:16). We need to do the same thing occasionally to rejuvenate ourselves spiritually as the Savior did.
Write down the tasks you would like to accomplish each day. Keep foremost in mind the sacred covenants you have made with the Lord as you write down your daily schedules.
2. Set Attainable Goals
Set short-term goals that you can reach. Set goals that are well balanced—not too many nor too few and not too high nor too low. Write down your attainable goals and work on them according to their importance. Pray for divine guidance in your goal setting.
3. Budget Wisely
Everyone faces financial challenges in life. Through wise budgeting, control your real needs and measure them carefully against your many wants in life. The prophet Jacob said to his people: “Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy” (2 Nephi 9:51).
Remember to always pay a full tithing.
4. Build Relationships
Stay close to your parents, relatives, and friends. They will help you keep a balance in your life. Build relationships with your family and friends through open and honest communication.
Good family relationships can be maintained through gentle, loving, thoughtful communication. Remember that often a glance, a wink, a nod, or a touch will say more than words. A sense of humor and good listening are also vital parts of good communication.
Search the scriptures. They offer one of the best sources we have to keep in touch with the Spirit of the Lord. One of the ways I have gained my sure knowledge that Jesus is the Christ is through my study of the scriptures. Presidents Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) and Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) called upon members of the Church to make the study of the Book of Mormon a daily habit and a lifetime pursuit.
The Apostle Paul’s advice to Timothy is good counsel for each of us. He wrote, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
6. Take Care of Yourself
Many people, including me, have difficulty finding the time for sufficient rest, exercise, and relaxation. We must schedule time on our daily calendars for these activities if we are to enjoy a healthy and balanced life. Good physical appearance enhances our dignity and self-respect.
7. Live the Gospel
The prophets have taught repeatedly that families should teach one another the gospel, preferably in a weekly family home evening. This family practice, if we are not very careful, can slowly drift away from us. We must not lose this special opportunity to “teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom” (D&C 88:77), which will lead families to eternal life.
Satan is always working to destroy our testimonies, but he will not have the power to tempt or disturb us beyond our strength to resist when we are studying the gospel and living its commandments.
8. Pray Often
My last suggestion is to pray often as individuals and as families. You can know the right decisions to make each day through constant, sincere prayer.
The prophet Alma summarized the importance of prayer in these words: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering” (Alma 13:28). When I am in tune spiritually, I find that I can balance everything in my life much more easily.
Stay Focused and Do Your Best
Other suggestions could be added to these. However, I believe that when we focus on a few basic objectives, we are more likely to be able to manage the many demands that life makes on us. Remember, too much of anything in life can throw us off balance. At the same time, too little of the important things can do the same thing. King Benjamin counseled “that all these things [be] done in wisdom and order” (Mosiah 4:27).
Often the lack of clear direction and goals can waste our time and energy and contribute to imbalance in our lives. A life that gets out of balance is much like a car tire that is out of balance. It will make the operation of the car rough and unsafe. Tires in perfect balance can give a smooth and comfortable ride. So it is with life. The ride through mortality can be smoother for us when we strive to stay in balance. Our main goal should be to seek “immortality and eternal life” (Moses 1:39). With this as our goal, why not eliminate from our lives the things that clamor for and consume our thoughts, feelings, and energies without contributing to our reaching that goal?
Not long ago, one of my children said, “Dad, sometimes I wonder if I will ever make it.” The answer I gave to her is the same as I would give to you. Just do the very best you can each day. Do the basic things and, before you realize it, your life will be full of spiritual understanding that will confirm to you that your Heavenly Father loves you. When a person knows this, then life will be full of purpose and meaning, making balance easier to maintain.
Chocolate Covered Bananas or Strawberry Cheesecake
Chocolate Covered Bananas
- 8oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 6 popsicle sticks
- 2 bananas, peeled and cut into thirds
- 1/3 cup chopped chocolate, peanuts, or any other topping
- Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of gently simmering water. Stir just until melted.
- Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Insert a popsicle stick in one end of each banana piece. Dip banana, one piece at a time, in chocolate, spooning on additional chocolate to cover.
- Sprinkle each banana with toping, and set on prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm, 20 minutes, or up to 3 days.
- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen
- Sweetened sliced strawberries
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese softened
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and butter in a bowl. Press onto the bottom of an ungreased 9-inch pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
- Place strawberries and cornstarch into a blender and blend to a puree until smooth. Pour strawberry sauce into a saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil and stir until sauce is thick and shiny, about 2-4 minutes. Set aside 1/3 cup strawberry sauce; let it cool. Cover and refrigerate remaining sauce for serving.
- Beat cream cheese in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy; slowly beat in condensed milk. Mix in lemon juice and vanilla extract, then beat in eggs on low speed until just combined. Pour half of cream cheese mixture over crust; drop half of reserved strawberry sauce by 1/2 teaspoonfuls on cream cheese layer. Carefully spoon remaining cream cheese mixture over sauce; drop remaining strawberry sauce by 1/2 teaspoonfuls on top. Cut through top layer only with a knife to swirl strawberry sauce.
- Bake in preheated oven until center is almost set, 50-60 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Use a knife around edge of pan to loosen and let it cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate the strawberry cheesecake overnight. Serve reserved strawberry sauce with cheesecake.
(From Easy Dessert Recipes)
- Make family planners: you can decorate them as you’d like and use them to keep track of what you will be doing and make sure you keep a balance day.
- Play the game of LIFE!
- Go to the park and try various games that will challenge your balance: tight rope walking, balance beam, hopscotch, and more!
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.