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Making Big Decisions

We can make decisions alone, but they’re better made with advising mentors and God

Decisions can have an eternal impact, so it’s important to choose your studies and career carefully. President Monson taught that we have the right to choose, the responsibility to choose, and will experience the result of our choice. 1
Thomas S. Monson, "The Three R's of Choice," General Conference Address, Oct. 2010, 67.
Everyone wants to make the best decisions, but with so many paths to choose from, sometimes it may be difficult.

However, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you are entitled to inspiration that will help you choose best. You are not alone when you are planning your future. There are people all around you who are fully invested in your successful future. Most importantly, you have a loving Father in Heaven who loves you, cares for you, and desires for you to be happy.

BYU-Pathway’s advising team…

  • Informs students of additional academic resources offered through BYU-Idaho
  • Offers assistance to struggling students
  • Provides specific advising and counseling based on geographic location
  • Encourages students to continue pursuing goals
  • Serves as a link from PathwayConnect to the online degree program


Because of agency, you have the right to choose; however, as Elder Hales warned, “making no decision at all could be just as deadly as making the wrong decision.” 2
Robert D. Hales, “To the Aaronic Priesthood: Preparing for the Decade of Decision,” General Conference Address, Apr. 2007, 48.
It is important to prepare to make the right decisions and accept the counsel the Spirit offers.
During the translation of the Book of Mormon, Oliver Cowdery asked God to allow him to translate. Although he expected a positive answer, he was told no. The Lord explained that expecting the answer without further thought is not enough. He teaches, “You must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.” 3
Making no decision at all could be just as deadly as making the wrong decision.

Study it out. Explore career opportunities, job shadow, and take classes to gain experience and knowledge. Be prayerful about these decisions. As you plan for your future, remember you are of royal blood. Your potential is not yet defined. Your future begins right now.

Include God

The responsibility to choose a career or field of study becomes easier if you include the Lord. President Monson taught, “Each of us has come to this earth with all the tools necessary to make correct choices,” which he lists as prayer, the Holy Ghost, and the scriptures. 4
Thomas S. Monson, " The Three R's of Choice ," General Conference Address, Oct. 2010, 67.
In addition, the Lord has given you a patriarchal blessing to use as a guide.
King Mufasa appearing to Simba gif
The King Mufasa appeared to his son, Simba, to remind him of his potential.

Use these tools and look for other ways to be more receptive as He speaks to you through the Spirit. In Disney’s animated movie The Lion King, 5
The Lion King, Dir. Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, Walt Disney Pictures, 1994.
the main character, Simba, is strengthened and guided when he rediscovers his identity as the son of the King Mufasa. Much like Simba is the son of Mufasa, we too are the offspring of a King; better yet, a God. Our potential is not defined by our past, our mistakes, our surroundings, our missteps from the pathway of life, but rather our heritage: the heritage of deity.

Heavenly Father knows what is in store for you and will help you reach great heights. He knows where you need to be heading and how to get there. He will help you make the best decision if you allow Him. He needs you to commit to being a disciple leader.

When doubts arise or you question His promptings, remember what President Uchtdorf taught: “Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith. We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner and keep us from the divine love, peace, and gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.” 6
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Come, Join with Us,” General Conference Address, Oct. 2013, 21.

Be Steadfast

The results of your choices are determined through your diligence. You may make a decision after receiving the Lord’s help, but you must be steadfast to enjoy all the blessings. Elder Hales reminds members, “In the preexistence, our decision to follow the Lord was all-or-nothing. Following that pattern through our mortal probation will get each of us back to our Heavenly Father.” 7
Robert D. Hales, “To the Aaronic Priesthood: Preparing for the Decade of Decision,” General Conference Address, Apr. 2007, 48.

It’s vital to be steadfast until the end and be obedient to God’s commandments. You can’t partially follow or uphold a decision and expect to receive all the associated blessings.

Each of us has come to this earth with all the tools necessary to make correct choices.

By way of making a bad choice in the past, having an unfair hand dealt to us, or simply time passing us by, we may feel that our future is bleak. As Rafiki, Mufasa’s friend and advisor, taught Simba, we must first know who we are to make the best decisions for our future — even if they seem difficult.

Choose to obey and enjoy good results because, as President Faust said, “Tomorrow’s blessings and opportunities depend on the choices we make today.” 8
James E. Faust, “Choices,” General Conference Address, Apr 2013, 51.
define yourself quote

Be There

Finally, be there to enjoy the blessings you receive. You are accountable for your decisions and will experience the outcomes. President Monson said, “If we make the wrong choice, we have no one to blame but ourselves.” Always put forth your best effort to do what’s right. Be where you need to be and where God needs you. Be dedicated and diligent.

Alan Fine’s book You Already Know How to Be Great 9
Alan Fine, You Already Know How to Be Great, Portfolio, 2010.
shares three Fs for success. Use them to push you to new levels and elevate you to new heights. The three Fs are:
  1. Faith – Faith is what you trust you can do and what propels your behavior and results. Beliefs that you can improve — but not far-fetched beliefs, such as thinking you can win Wimbledon shortly after first picking up a racket ― affect performance most. When you lack faith, you’re insecure, fearful, and prone to negativity or self-criticism.
  2. Fire – Fire is your passion and motivation, and it is what compels you to achieve what may seem to be impossible results. When you lack fire, you aren’t interested, energized, or committed.
  3. Focus – Without concentration, you’re inconsistent, but with it, you attend well to tasks and eliminate interference. Focus fuels your faith, confidence, and fire.

When you are down, struggling, and want to give up, remember the words of Rafiki: “Who are you?” Answer it with a bold, “I am (insert name), a son or daughter of God who is all-powerful, and I can accomplish anything I set my mind to!” Then go to work — and contact your student advisor for more help.