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COMPLETE THE WORK (6/26/04)

There are only two reasons for our failure in any endeavor: (1) We don’t start, (2) We don’t finish! According to this, a simple "formula" for success is: (1) Start, (2) Don’t Stop!

Have you ever had a pile on your desk of papers to "handle" that just seemed to linger for weeks and even months … and finally you "buckled down" and completed it all. Do you remember what a "thrill" that was … to finally have gotten it "out of the way", and the relief/satisfaction you immediately felt … so much so that now you could conquer anything that came your way! True is the saying: "Success Breeds Success." This is the feeling one has when they are "on a roll" and will go from one task to the next, completing each one in turn … and even building up momentum! In his book, How to Personally Profit From the Laws of Success, Sterling W. Sill states: "…the way to growth is activity, whereas the way to death is idleness… Obstacles are put in our way to strengthen us .. . The use of our strength makes us powerful, while the pursuit of easy things makes us weak. It is seldom the work we do that makes us tired. Most likely we tire because of the work we have left undone."

… and on the topic of finishing, here are a few scriptures –

"I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." (John 17:4)

"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." (John 19:30)

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith" (2 Tim. 4:7)

"And Alma said: Be it according to the will of the Lord. But, behold, our work is not finished; therefore they burn us not." (Alma 14:13)

"I, having accomplished and finished the will of him whose I am, even the Father, concerning me—having done this that I might subdue all things unto myself" (D&C 19:2)

One final "note"… not only is it important to finish what we start (and thereby be excited/motivated to keep on keeping on), it is also vital to our sense of success and, for that matter, our peace of mind, that we finish/complete tasks well AHEAD of time! Here again, can you imagine those times you just barely finished a task JUST before it was due? … and the stress you felt … and the worry/concern you had the whole time leading up to its completion?! Like Sterling W. Sill stated, we tire more from mulling over tasks left undone than from the effort it actually takes to just go ahead and DO the task. As Pres. Kimball once said: "Just do it!" … And along this same line, do you recall those times it was your "turn" to do the dishes … and how at times you might "drag your feet" and "dread" doing them … putting it off till the "bitter end" … perhaps even till the next morning. What "agony" this would generate! … however, by the same token, do you recall those times it was your turn and you just "jumped right in" immediately and got them out of the way? … What exhilaration! … your mind was relieved and troubled no more by a task "beckoning" to be done … one that could "antagonize" you thoughts for as long as you allowed it to "persist" … undone!

Brethren, let us be up-and-doing. Let us schedule time for those things of highest priority/importance so that we may be able to focus our energies appropriately. If we do all things in order, there will be no need to panic or run till we are weary. "And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster 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." (Mosiah 5:27) All we need do is schedule what needs to be done so that in following our schedule/plans, they will be completed well before they must be (before there is no time "cushion" remaining).

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