Pause and Ponder Now for a Happier Future

We make countless choices in life, some large and some seemingly small. Looking back, we can see what a great difference some of our choices made in our lives.” —President Dallin H. Oaks

Photo by Enrico Perini

There were three paths at the top of the mountain. We went straight instead of left without thinking. Then we rode the sweetest single-track ever. A couple of miles down the mountain, though, we realized we had made a mistake and had a critical decision to make: either keep going down the other side of the mountain or turn around and ride uphill
and turn left, like we should have done. We chose to keep going down the mountain to an unknown destination with the light receding quickly on a trail covered with fresh mud. The only thing we knew for sure was that there was a mountain between us and our car. Oh, how I wish that I had stood longer at the top of the mountain and pondered where each path would lead.

President Dallin H. Oaks in his recent conference address “Where Will This Lead?” suggests that “we [will] make better choices and decisions if we look at the alternatives and ponder where they will lead.…Our present and our future will be happier if we are always conscious of the future.”

The next time I’m sitting on top of a mountain with an important decision to make, I will carefully weigh the alternatives and think about the consequences. Yet there are more important decisions in life than choosing which way to go on a trail. President Oaks reminds us to “remember the importance of getting an education, studying the gospel, renewing our covenants by partaking of the sacrament, and attending the temple.” Stopping to ask, “Where will this lead?” before making a decision can lead us down a happier future path.

Read more in President Dallin H. Oaks’s talk “Where Will This Lead?”


—Pamela Nelson, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights 

Look at  “3 Ways to Make a Great Life” by Emma Chapman to find more insights on decision making.

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