by Elder Quentin L. Cook
As I was doing a Google search for this particular talk, the following quote from Indianan Jones and the Last Crusade kept coming up. The Knight says, "But choose wisely, for while the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you."
What a great quote! The "True Grail"- Jesus Christ and His gospel- will bring us Eternal Life, but the "false Grail" - Satan and His subtle ways that are meant to trick us into thinking we have the "true Grail"- will take Eternal Life away from us.
Elder Cook tells us "to rise above any rationalizations that prevent us from making righteous decisions, especially with respect to serving Jesus Christ."
"I believe it is of particular importance in our day, when Satan is raging in the hearts of men in so many new and subtle ways, that our choices and decisions be made carefully, consistent with the goals and objectives by which we profess to live. We need unequivocal commitment to the commandments and strict adherence to sacred covenants. When we allow rationalizations to prevent us from temple endowments, worthy missions, and temple marriage, they are particularly harmful. It is heartbreaking when we profess belief in these goals yet neglect the everyday conduct required to achieve them."
Elder Cook gives the examples of professing to believe in temple marriage but dating non- temple-worthy individuals. OR Postponing marriage until education is complete and a job obtained.
We need to not only focus on the "big tipping-point decisions" but also the "Work-aday world and seemingly ordinary decisions where we spend most of our time."
"In these areas, we need to emphasize moderation, balance, and especially wisdom. It is important to rise above rationalizations and make the best choices."
Elder Cook spends a large chunk of his remarks counseling us about Internet and Social Media balance and moderation. (You should seriously reread this. There is some really good information on this topic and how it affects us.)
"Distractions and opposition to righteousness are not just on the Internet; they are everywhere. They affect not just the youth but all of us."
Remember Elder Oak's 2007 talk "Good, Better, Best"? Elder Cook mentions it in his talk. He says, "distinguishing between "good better best" provides an effective way to evaluate choices and priorities."
"Many choices are not inherently evil, but if they keep us from the best choices, then they become insidious.
A choice may be GOOD, but is it BEST?
"Even worthwhile endeavors need evaluation in order to determine if they have become distractions from the best goals."
"I encourage everyone, young and old, to review goals and objectives and strive to exercise greater discipline. Our daily conduct and choices should be consistent with our goals."