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March 10, 2015

Evaluating What Matters Most

An invitation to students and missionaries from Pathway's managing director

On my desk at work, just a few inches above my computer monitor, hangs a document titled, “The Purposes of BYU-Pathway and Goals.” With the New Year having recently begun, it is a perfect time to evaluate goals.

For some, a new year brings excitement and hope, while others may feel overwhelmed and unsettled. As I ponder my own goals — while simultaneously considering the wide variety of goals of all the students and missionaries affiliated with PathwayConnect — I am humbled to know that the Lord is aware of each one of us personally. He knows the intents and desires of our hearts. He knows about our many obligations and stresses of life. He can help us evaluate the things that matter most as we strive to become what He knows we are capable of.

Former PathwayConnect students with J.D. Griffith gather before receiving their degrees from BYU-Idaho Online

As we set out into a new year, I reflect on what President Dieter F. Uchtdorf reminded us in the October 2010 general conference when he said, “We would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most.”1

The key, therefore, is to find out what matters most and then set out to change our lifestyle to match those areas. So, what is the best way to do that?

President Uchtdorf counseled us to “turn to our Heavenly Father and seek His wisdom regarding the things that matter most.” As we prayerfully consider these things, “we learn over and over again the importance of four key relationships: with our God, with our families, with our fellowman, and with ourselves.”

President Uchtdorf encouraged us to focus on the following four key relationships:


Building family relationships

Our Relationship With Our Heavenly Father

We do this by “quietly focusing on daily personal prayer and scripture study, always aiming to be worthy of a current temple recommend — these will be some wise investments of our time and efforts to draw closer to our Heavenly Father.”

Our Relationship With Our Family

“We build deep and loving family relationships by doing simple things together, like family dinner and family home evening and by just having fun together.”

Our Relationship With Our Fellow Men

“We build this relationship one person at a time — by being sensitive to the needs of others, serving them, and giving of our time and talents.”


Building relationships with others

Our Relationship With Ourselves

Some people can’t get along with themselves. They criticize and belittle themselves all day long until they begin to hate themselves… Learn to see yourself as Heavenly Father sees you — as His precious daughter or son with divine potential.”

For many of us, including myself, it is time to simplify our lives. President Uchtdorf shares, “If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most.”

I know firsthand that simplifying our lives is not the easiest thing to do. I also know that the Lord will bless us if our goals are of a righteous nature and that we will find peace and joy even in a constantly moving society. May the Lord bless you in your efforts throughout this year and beyond.

  1. ^ Deiter F. Uchtdorf, “Of Things That Matter Most,” Ensign or Liahona, Oct. 2010.

Comment on "Evaluating What Matters Most"

Kipre zadi Desire says:

I am very happy for this advice. I know that a big challenge awaits me, because I am a French speaker who wants to follow the BYU-Pathway courses in English. It’s not easy, but it is not impossible either. I will get there, and I thank God for these encouraging messages.

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