Thursday, September 1, 2011


This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Desire, by Dallin H. Oaks
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Now that I have a mortgage, I feel like there is a ever-present weight hanging over my head, ready to fall and crush me if I'm not constantly vigilant. I'm beginning to wonder how anyone with such a large debt can ever decide to spend money on entertainment, fun, or frivolity. Hopefully I'll learn to adjust to life under these conditions and can take my family out to a movie, a trip to a theme park, or for a ride in a hot air balloon.

Even larger than my desire to be free of debt is my desire to be with my family. Whenever I'm away, I feel drawn like a fleck of iron to a large magnet—I want to get back to them! It may sound strange, but at the beginning of meetings at church where announcements are being made, someone will ask, "Does anyone else have an announcement?" Without fail, I always want to raise my hand and say, "I have an announcement: I love my wife!"

Every time. Without fail. But I haven't done it yet...

When we moved, we somehow acquired a large painting of Helaman and the Stripling Warriors (see [link]). While the story is captivating and worth studying, I've never been a fan of the portrayal shown in this particular painting. I don't know why, but it's never drawn me in.

However, my seven-year-old son wants to hang the painting on his wall. When he expressed this desire, we asked him why he wanted it. After telling us that he liked the picture and story, he proceeded to recount it all in great detail! Suddenly, my appreciation for the painting increased. Because my son likes it and wants to be like the sons portrayed in the painting, it looks better to me now.

Apparently his desire influenced my own.

(By the way, Elder Oaks referenced the stripling warriors in his talk.)

Desire is powerful. Much like thoughts lead to actions, Elder Oaks presented another causal connection chain that I love; it starts with desires:

Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. The desires we act on determine our changing, our achieving, and our becoming.

As I studied this talk, I thought of my desires. I've shared two: to be debt-free, and to be with my family. I think these are righteous desires. I know I have at least a couple of unrighteous desires—I'm not going to write about them here—but I'm going to focus on developing and maintaining righteous desires. Elder Oaks didn't talk about debt, but he did talk about marriage and family:

All should desire and seriously work to secure a marriage for eternity. Those who already have a temple marriage should do all they can to preserve it.

This is what I'm doing. I try to every day.

And in case you're wondering, I do have an announcement I'd like to make:

I love my wife!

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