Priorities and Balance

To build an eternal marriage, both husband and wife must constantly maintain proper priorites with regards to all activities they particpate in. 

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has observed:  "Our priorities determine what we seek in life."  In building an celestial marriage, those priorities should be inline with what God has revealed those priorities to be. 

Elder Oaks continues:

"Jesus taught about priorities when He said, 'Seek not the things of this world but seek ye first to build up the kingdom of God, and to establish his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you' (JST, Matt. 6:38, in Matt. 6:33, footnote a). 'Seek … first to build up the kingdom of God' means to assign first priority to God and to His work. The work of God is to bring to pass the eternal life of His children (see Moses 1:39), and all that this entails in the birth, nurturing, teaching, and sealing of our Heavenly Father's children. Everything else is lower in priority."

How does one properly decide what priorities ought to be maintained?  Elder Oaks taught:

"In terms of priorities for each major decision (such as education, occupation, place of residence, marriage, or childbearing), we should ask ourselves, what will be the eternal impact of this decision? Some decisions that seem desirable for mortality have unacceptable risks for eternity. In all such choices we need to have inspired priorities and apply them in ways that will bring eternal blessings to us and to our family members."  ("Focus and Priorities,” Ensign, May 2001, 82)

Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave offered this insight regarding the distraction of good things:

Are there so many fascinating, exciting things to do, or so many challenges pressing upon you, that it is hard to keep focused on that which is essential?  When things of the world crowd in, all too often the wrong things are allowed to take highest priority.  Then it is easy to forget the fundamental purpose of life.  Satan has a powerful too to use against good people, those who are committed to a worthy, righteous life, who want to do good and intend to make the most of this life.  His tool is distraction.  He has an extensive array of undeniably good things that are used to keep us from doing the essential ones.  Have you notice that when you begin to focus on something truly important, something of eternal significance, there often come thoughts of other good things to distract you?  Satan promotes distraction.  He would have good people fill life with “good things” so there is no room for the “essential ones.”  Have you unconsciously be caught in that trap?  (Finding Peace, Happiness, and Joy [2007], p. 10)

Elder Oaks gives counsel in how to choose which good activities we should give priority to

We should begin by recognizing the reality that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it.  The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them.  Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives.  ...  As we consider various choices, we should remember that it is not enough that something is good. Other choices are better, and still others are best. Even though a particular choice is more costly, its far greater value may make it the best choice of all.  Consider how we use our time in the choices we make in viewing television, playing video games, surfing the Internet, or reading books or magazines. Of course it is good to view wholesome entertainment or to obtain interesting information. But not everything of that sort is worth the portion of our life we give to obtain it. Some things are better, and others are best.  ("Good, Better, and Best," Ensign, pp. 104-108)

The following are excellent articles dealing with keep the things of life in proper balance and priority: