At times you may feel, like I have, that you have some great mission to accomplish on this earth. It most likely involves helping others—changing the world. You may have aspirations to be a great novelist, a journalist, a physician, a psychiatrist, a filmmaker, a physicist, a Mother Teresa. Perhaps you believe that there’s something incredible that you can do that has never been done before. You want to leave your mark on this earth.
I think we all do. I think we all want to be remembered. But I think these types of goals—the ones that could certainly be attainable and yet just out of reach—are only a distraction. Your real mission, your sole purpose for coming to this earth—you’re already doing it.
I do not doubt that there are those among us who will rise to recognition and do something that no one else has done, so don’t let me discourage you from getting there. All I’m saying is that if you’re worried you have some amazing thing to do and you feel like you’re just sitting around waiting for it to materialize, chances are you’re already on your way. You’re already on the path and making great strides.
A modern prophet has said, “The most important…work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own homes.” (Harold B Lee, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church, Chapter 14) President Lee counseled with a young surgeon about the order of our priorities, that “a man [or woman] has responsibility to himself, he has responsibility to his family, he has responsibility to the Church [or community], and he has responsibility to his profession; and in order for him to live a balanced life he must so try to find the avenues by which he gives service in each of these areas.” So your first priority? You. Then your family, then your community, then your job. But let’s not forget that as we help others we are also helping ourselves.
If God himself declared that His work and His glory was in bringing immortality and eternal life to his children (Moses 1:39), shouldn’t that be our goal as well, if we desire to be his servants?
I have let go of my need to “do something great someday.” I’m already doing it. Looking too far forward has only kept me from seeing what is right in front of me.