Sunday, February 6, 2011

Duty - Elders Quorum Lesson

We are going to talk about duty today.  I am going to ask a lot of questions in this lesson and we are going to discuss them somewhat, but for the most part they are for us to ponder in our hearts if our lives are in balance.  Maybe you will find after pondering and praying about these things that you life is in balance as best you can based on your circumstance and that’s great, but let’s keep our hearts and minds open as we discuss these things today.

What are some synonyms for Duty

What are our duties
  • Work
  • School
  • Home teaching
  • Fulfilling what we have agreed to do.

If we have agreed to teach a lesson or bring something to an activity or be at a service project, whose responsibility is it to make sure the task gets completed?

Now you might have an instance where someone doesn’t call you to remind you that you had that you had agreed to do this thing.  The person who didn’t call you is accountable for your failure to do your duty, correct?

If you have a seminar that you have to attend for school or work, does your teacher or boss call you the night before to remind you or is it expected that you be a responsible for your own calendar and make sure you get there on time?

Occasionally one of our siblings will give birth to a child and there will be a subsequent baby blessing that we want to be a part of.  You should skip the blessing and come teach your lesson or bring the bread you signed up to bring for the second Sunday social, true?  Probably not, but whose duty is it to see that your responsibility is fulfilled, since you are going to be out of town?

If you take on an assignment, it is your responsibility to fulfill the assignment or make sure that there is someone to take your place.  No matter how big or small you feel the assignment is.


We all have a lot of responsibilities that draw on our time and sometimes some of our duties don’t get enough time devoted to them.  If we are not spending enough time on some of our duties we should first determine which things are not our duty and trim them down.

What are the things that take a lot of your time that are not necessarily your duty.
  • TV
  • Video games
  • Sports

After we trim the things that are not our duty then we can assess which duties are taking more time than necessary.

Are we spending too much time at work?  Do we work more hours than are required just to climb the ladder of success more quickly?  Often employers require us to work overtime.  Sometimes we need to volunteer for overtime in order to provide for our families.  We should assess if we volunteer for more overtime than we can afford to still be able to do our other duties?  

Are we spending too much time with school?  Are we taking more classes
than we have time or money for?

It is a worthy goal to get through school as quickly as possible or to provide financial security for our family as quickly as possible, but ponder what it means to be possible.  If we are sacrificing essential parts of our life to make it possible then it should not be on our list of possibilities.

Elder Oaks stated, “We should begin by recognizing the reality that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives.” (Good, Better, Best, October 2007 General Conference)

Let’s consider a couple of scriptures
  • Mosiah 4:26-27
    26 And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may
    awalk guiltless before God—I would that ye should bimpart of your substance to the cpoor, every man according to that which he hath, such as dfeeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.
    27 And see that all these things are done in wisdom and
    aorder; for it is not requisite that a man should run bfaster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.

    The scripture states that “ALL” these things must be done, but they have to be done in wisdom and order.  Working 16 hours a day 7 days a week to have lots of money to impart to the poor wouldn’t leave much time for family home evening, date nights, schooling, or home teaching.
  • Doctrine and Covenants 10:4
    4 Do not run
    afaster or labor more than you have bstrength and means provided to enable you to translate; but be cdiligent unto the end.

    In this chapter the Lord is giving Joseph Smith a heads up about what is being done with the lost 116 pages of the Book of Mormon and where the work needed to go from there.  One message I perceived in this verse was the Lord telling him that the work is important, so get it done at a reasonable pace.  You are no good to the work if you are spent, nevertheless the work is important and be diligent.

Are we sacrificing some of our duties now, so that we can do our duty more easily later?  Are our wives having to take on our duties because we have chosen to run faster than we have strength.

“By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

“Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

“In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)  Do we find “other circumstances” that are of our own making that we could change that cause our wives to have to take on our responsibilities?

What are some duties that our wives might have to take on if we do not manage our time wisely?
  • Providing for the family
  • Gathering the family for prayer, FHE, and so forth
  • Protecting the home

Again, the proclamation states that there are other circumstances that may make it necessary for our wives to help with some of our duties.  I challenge you to ponder, pray and assess what it is truly necessary.