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What’s Your Why?

There’s more to living the gospel than mere obedience. We need to understand the why behind our decisions and act with deliberate purpose. 

"The most important 'why' behind everything you do is that you love the Lord and recognize His perfect love for you."

Photo courtesy of Aaron Burden

There are countless reasons we might do certain things in our lives. We might do our homework because we want to get good grades, because we want our parents to be proud of us, or because we want to gain knowledge and improve our lives. The same concept is true in how we live the gospel. In a message entitled “Living with Real Intent,” Randall L. Ridd emphasizes the importance of doing things for the right reasons—doing them with real intent.

So what does it mean to live with real intent? Brother Ridd explains, “Living with real intent means understanding the ‘why’—the motives behind our actions.” When we live with real intent, we aren’t merely reading our scriptures because we’ve always been taught to do so. We aren’t going to church because all of our friends do. Instead, we know the real reasons to live the gospel, and we eagerly seek the blessings that come from this life of discipleship.

If we remember our eternal purpose and try to align our will with the Lord’s plan for us, it will be easier to live with the right reasons in mind. “Start now,” Brother Ridd challenges us. “Live an intentional life, understanding why you do what you do and where it will lead. As you do these things, you will discover that the most important ‘why’ behind everything you do is that you love the Lord and recognize His perfect love for you.”

Read Brother Ridd’s full article in the Ensign or Liahona to find out what else you can do to live with real intent.

Source: Ensign and Liahona

—Melissa Gee, Mormon Insights

feature image by viktor kern

Find more insights 

Watch Brother Ridd’s devotional address at BYU-Idaho on the same topic.

Watch this video made from Brother Ridd’s message.

Listen to “Doing the Right Things for the Right Reasons,” by President Harold B. Lee.

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  1. I think that this article is really inspiring. By thinking about what our why is, then we can create a greater sense of purpose for our actions. I think that it was insightful to know what it meant to be living with real intent. I really appreciate the challenge to start living with real intent. I want to try to understand the real reasons why I do anything, and I think that it provides more understanding to my life here on earth.

  2. I agree wholeheartedly with this article. While there is something to be said for being obedient for obedience’s sake, I feel that I have been much more powerfully motivated when I have understood the true purpose of life—to grow and to become more like Heavenly Father.

  3. I love that phrase, “Live an intentional life.” I think everyone should read this article, because it helps us determine the why of our actions. Heavenly Father doesn’t give us commandments for us to go through the motions. He gives us commandments for us to spiritually blossom because we are actively seeking to live God’s will.

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