Quentin L. Cook: Choose wisely

Elder Cook
Elder Quentin L. Cook, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, speaks during the Saturday evening priesthood session of General Conference. (Mormon Newsroom)

Elder Quentin L. Cook, of the Quorum of the Twelve, opened Saturday evening’s priesthood session with an address about decisions and making wise choices.

Elder Cook began his address with a story from his years as a lawyer in California.

He spoke about how the firm he worked for dealt with the comic strip Peanuts. Elder Cook then went on to share one of his favorite strips involving Lucy.

It was about a baseball game and the final play. A fly ball was hit high and right to Lucy. If Lucy were to catch the ball her team would win, and she would be the hero; if she did not, her team would lose. As the ball came to Lucy she tried to catch it but dropped the ball. Lucy then makes the comment, “How do you expect me to catch the ball when I am worried about our country’s foreign policy?”

“Rise above any rationalizations that prevent us from making righteous decisions, in respect to serving Jesus Christ,” Elder Cook said.

Elder Cook talked about dating, referring his comments to single young men. He spoke about how some young men don’t date at all or are dating those who aren’t temple worthy. Elder Cook brought up other rationalizations that are popular among young men in regards to marriage, stating they are not made in faith. One such example was putting off marriage for educational purposes.

Another concern Elder Cook had for priesthood holders was the use of the Internet. He suggested it was becoming something that “perpetuates foolishness if not used correctly.”

With regard to using social media, Elder Cook shared a question from a father about his children inquiring about the use social media and technology: “Will it make you a better person?”

“When we rationalize choices big or small we lose the blessings and protections that we need that can protect us from sin,” Elder Cook said.

Elder Cook concluded his talk about his experience with his father’s counsel about worthwhile activities. Elder Cook played football in high school and was involved in other school activities. One day the coach from Standford came to visit Elder Cook and another student who also played football. After the discussion with the coach Elder Cook decided not to play collegiate football and instead worked toward other goals.

Moderation, balance and wisdom are needed when working toward achieving personal goals. Elder Cook cautioned that personal behavior should be consistent with our goals.

“We should not take our eyes off the ball,” Elder Cook said in reference to service and Church commitment.

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