Elder Erich W. Kopischke spoke about the importance of visions at his University Devotional address on Dec. 2. He emphasized how visions and dreams determine direction, goals and priorities.
Kopischke’s vision for his life included an enthusiastic, happy wife. He envisioned his future wife to be like his Aunt Anni, who always seemed happy and was playful with him as a child. His vision led him to eventually marry his “beautiful” wife Christiane, who accompanied him at Tuesday’s University Devotional. He said that even after raising seven children together, she was always as enthusiastic and playful as he had envisioned.
Kopischke invited listeners to create a clear vision for their lives and embrace it. “Where there is a vision, the people flourish,” he said.
Kopischke said everyone envisions a life of happiness, which should not be confused for worldly pleasures. “Joy and happiness are inseparably connected with choosing the lifestyle God has in mind for us.”
He described the season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s as a time when people seek for warmth and light from candles, fireplaces or Christmas lights. He said these elements of light remind us of Jesus Christ, the source of all light.
Kopischke said this time of year gives room for personal reflection and future contemplation, where we set goals for the new year.
“Sadly and far too often this wonderful season of re-evaluation becomes ‘the time of the good intentions,’ … our resolutions to be better end in ‘sudden death’ within a few days or weeks into the new year,” Kopischke said.
He said that even when people fall short in their resolutions, Heavenly Father intends for his children to fill the measure of their creation. Kopischke highlighted the doctrine of family as critical to finding happiness and achieving one’s divine potential.
He said having a family requires hard work, sacrifice and faith. He quoted Joseph Smith when he said, “For after much tribulation come the blessings.”
Kopischke’s advice to make it through stumbling blocks successfully was to look to the temple. He said nothing has provided him more joy than seeing his children go through the temple.
“I have every confidence that as you sincerely ponder and prayerfully consider your personal vision in the context of these doctrines and principles, you will be able to develop a vision for your life that will be pleasing to the Lord and lead to your greatest happiness,” Kopischke said.
A full transcript of the Devotional will be posted on speeches.byu.edu.