'Try a little harder to be a little better:' New Year's encouragement from Mormon leaders


A new year is upon us, along with the opportunity to make some changes.

Whether physical, spiritual or emotional, many have made goals this month in hopes of improving their lives.

As David K. Williams points out in his article on Forbes.com, it's not always easy to stick to the goals you set on Jan. 1 — but the important thing is to keep trying.

"Do your best not to give in or quit. I know it sounds simplistic (it is) just keep going," Williams wrote.

"The important thing is to move forward continually. Some days we make great progress in some areas; other days we seem to slide backward a bit. If we were to chart our progress, it would have ups and downs, but overall it should move upward as we learn from our mistakes."

Elder Marvin J. Ashton, former member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said during general conference in October 1983, "The direction in which we are moving is more important than where we are at the moment. Goal setting should cause us to stretch as we make our way."

As you consider the goals you have made, or plan to make, for this year, here is a list of 15 motivational quotes from LDS general authorities regarding resolutions and changes to keep you going.

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Home Town USA, UT

Great wisdom. Pass It ON!


"Where performance is measured, performance improves. Where performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates."

President Thomas S. Monson

Does this mean the church is going to start reporting to us regarding where our contributions are going and whom they are benefitting?

Bakersfield, CA

These are very lovely and encouraging. So is Joel Osteen...

But the true source of Power is in God's Word, for the total package, according to Hebrews 4:12,13.

All else can be changed, modified, reversed. (And they have been...)

"But The Word of the LORD stands forever." All of Psalm 119!

Riverton, UT

To 1aggie: they already do.



If what you say is true, then for the calendar year 2012 how much cash was received in contributions, how much was expended (on exactly what) and how much cash received in 2012 remained on hand at the end of the year (and what was it invested in)?

The Scientist
Provo, UT

I have changed by learning things I did not know before. I have developed skills and knowledge that gave qualified me for lucrative jobs and advanced degrees. I have changed, grown, developed, improved, and experienced the wonder of it all.

And no god was ever involved, nor "faith" and belief in such a being.

Change is part of being human, and is not the unique province of religion or deities.

Tampa, FL

@OnlytheCross - Joel Osteen also makes money from his teaching of what he believes to be the Word of God, which is against Biblical teachings, as Jesus Christ Himself explained when he rebuked the money-changers in the temple of Jerusalem. Also, devout Latter-day Saints believe in the teachings of Psalm 119... And there is more of God's Word to be had than just in the Bible. More witnesses of Christ are a beautiful thing.

@1aggie - It's just money. Better to spend it to help bring to pass righteousness than to spend it in frivolity or idolatry or idle hobbies and minds.



"It's just money. Better to spend it to help bring to pass righteousness than to spend it in frivolity or idolatry or idle hobbies and minds."

The whole point here, cassandove, is we don't know what it's being spent on. Couldn't an extremely high-end shopping mall, for example, be considered frivolity or idolatry?

Dana the Barbarian
Merced, CA

Those who can't do, tell others how to live.

Canandaigua, NY

Is there any way the DN can publish these so I can print them all?

Manti, UT

"And no god was ever involved, nor "faith" and belief in such a being."

It kind of interesting that you did all those things with the stuff God created, but you claim he wasn't involved.

God was once approached by a scientist who said, “Listen God, we’ve decided we don’t need you anymore. These days we can clone people, transplant organs and do all sorts of things that used to be considered miraculous.”

God replied, “Don’t need me huh? How about we put your theory to the test. Why don’t we have a competition to see who can make a human being, say, a male human being.”

The scientist agrees, so God declares they should do it like he did in the good old days when he created Adam.

“Fine” says the scientist as he bends down to scoop up a handful of dirt.”

“Whoa!” says God, shaking his head in disapproval. “Not so fast. You get your own dirt.”

Bakersfield, CA

@cassendove- No, not true. Money changers had nothing to do with Christ's mandate to "give a double portion" and provide for the overseers of His Church (universal). That's in the New Testament, the original untouched one. Even the JST affirms those verses.

I agree that "more witnesses of (the true) Christ" is a good thing. Does the Lord warn of false Christs? Yes, so we want only witnesses of The Real Jesus. No polygamous, polytheistic ones, right?

And if there are more of God's accurate, bonafide Word outside of the Bible, no one told the theologians, historians, archeologists or the History Channel...

Bakersfield, CA

To my point: Every quote here is pure humanism, not a single reference to God, or the indwelling Holy Spirit giving believers the necessary power to 'be better', be successful, 'be anything you want'.

From a purely Biblical perspective, these quotes are on par with an encouraging Joel Osteen- a great cheerleader for humans, but who rarely quotes and feeds God's Word to his audience:

To paraphrase part of Paul Harvey, when you leave out "the rest of the story", you don't have His Story. Lovely, encouraging, humanistic.

Houston, TX

@The Scientist - If your existence began at birth, then what you say is true. If you, as a spirit, were nurtured by a loving Father in Heaven for eons prior to your birth, then you are continually drawing from the potential that was developed in that interval.

Flower Mound, TX

Wonderful list of quotes. Thank you for compiling these!

Rogersville, MO

when I click SEE the list all I see are the "comments" where is the actual list>?


"Do your best not to give in or quit. Those words are timeless.
For this New Year: Citizens, We have been manipulated into silence by SatanInstinctMechanism.

Read the Science Proofs, Read the Constitutional Proofs.
Get Angry at Satan/Instinct Mechanism for making you helpless.
When your heart, your inner spirit loves fair and just treatment of other human beings.
Do this in a group, take notes and read it back out loud.

Corporations with share holder laws in place are committing bribery (proof of intent gets convictions)
and UAG Reyes & D.A. Sim Gill have the filed complaint that will change the USA from corrupted government to lawful.

Slave-based Drug laws violate citizen equality and created a monopoly that causes suffering.
Any law that violates citizen equality is not good for the people.....We have been deceived by our Satan program protecting status quo for the group.
We the people hate being evil towards one another....Say it out loud....

Proof of Satan being instinct mechanism ruling our minds, in specific areas listed above:

Ask U.ofUtah/BYU Psychology professors and get proof to share.
True, Not True.

Call IBMWatson Dr.Welser

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