President Monson gave a talk in April 2016 General Conference and said, “May we ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong.”
President Monson wants us to willfully choose hard things? Yes. Choosing the right will almost always be harder, but it will make us happier and lead to greater progression.
Ease of Modern-Day
It’s human nature to avoid anything hard or uncomfortable. In the history of the world, the majority of people have been faced with difficult things every day – just to survive and provide for themselves. They were not afforded the modern-day conveniences we have that take many of the physically difficult tasks out of our lives, like dishwashers or grocery stores. Technology also be takes difficult situations we are faced with and gives us an easier out. Think about how much easier it is to text about an uncomfortable situation instead of talking face-to-face!
We are able to avoid much of the work our ancestors could not, but are there consequences to this? Is our constant quest for ease and comfort causing us to miss out on blessings that come from work? Blessings such as greater health, satisfaction at the end of a hard day, more meaningful relationships, or greater progression?
The Blessings of Work
Work is what enables us to progress. Physical work makes us stronger and more fit. The work of preparing and cooking good foods can make us healthier. The physical work of reading our scriptures, writing in our journals and attending church and the temple enables us to grow spiritually. The mental work of true pondering, meditation, and prayer opens us up to receive personal revelation and hear the whisperings of the Holy Ghost.
All these “harder rights” lead to greater happiness than the “easier wrong” would. The easier wrong might bring temporary feelings of lazy happiness, but we feel our happiest when we have put forth the effort to do things that are meaningful to us and align with our values.
Little Choices, Big Results
Read that book with your squirmy kids instead of turning on a show. Take a deep breath and hold your tongue next time you get angry. Make a healthy homemade meal instead of buying fast food. Take time to ponder and meditate instead of scrolling through social media. Pull out a dusty board game to play with your significant other instead of watching Netflix again. Go up to that person who’s all alone and introduce yourself instead of staying in your circle talking with your friends. Give that compliment you feel bubbling inside to a stranger instead of keeping it to yourself.
Next time you’re faced with a choice, think about the person you want to be 1, 10, or 40 years from now. Which choice will bring you closer to becoming that person?
Let’s allow ourselves to feel a little uncomfortable. We can not grow without a little pain, without going through some hard things. Let’s stretch ourselves and see how good it feels at the end of the day to know we worked hard and we chose the “harder right.”