November 27, 2018
Writer: Bryanna Willis

Learn to have an eternal perspective, remember you have agency and helping each other are the three keys Sister Jean B. Bingham said will help a person to reach their full potential.

Bingham is the Relief Society General President for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, she said she chose this topic because she has noticed that young people tend to focus on the problems they are currently having, instead of looking at their problems in an eternal perspective.

“I have found that if I keep an eternal perspective it helps me to deal with the challenges of today rather than just get focused on them,” Bingham said. “If I see the bigger picture then I can move forward.”

In her devotional talk, Bingham shared a picture of a woman in a wheelchair.

“To some, this young woman may not look like she would have much to contribute,” Bingham said.

She went on to say that this woman had been in a car accident that rendered her quadriplegic. The woman was initially depressed but during her therapy she learned how to use a paintbrush in her mouth to paint.

That woman is Joni Eareckson Tada, who has painted around 150 paintings, pastel pencil drawings and line sketches. In addition to that, she has written over 40 books, recorded several music albums and started a non-profit organization for people affected by disabilities.

“Despite formidable challenges, Joni learned to use the gifts she was given to lift and bless others,” Bingham said. “At the same time, those efforts helped her work toward fulfilling her own divine potential.”

The first key in reaching full potential is keeping an eternal perspective.

Keeping an eternal perspective can be tough, but Bingham shared four actionable things people can do to always keep that vision.

1. Pray throughout the day

2. Hold daily scripture study

3. Attend weekly Sunday meetings and Family Home Evening

4. Regularly worship in the temple

Bingham passed on the challenge from Church of Jesus Christ President Russell M. Nelson for anyone spiritually preparing for the temple - for the first time or any other time - to study the words “anoint,” “atonement,” “covenant,” and “temple” in the Bible Dictionary.

“As you seek for answers, I urge you to continue to attend the temple, keep your covenants, and ponder and pray for increased understanding,” Bingham said. “I promise that your participation will come to be sweet and uplifting and enlightening.”

The second key to reaching potential is recognizing and embracing the gift of agency.

Bingham says this means understanding we are personally responsible for the choices we make and we will be held accountable for them.

“It can also be liberating!” Bingham said. “You have the power to act for yourself, and not merely to be acted upon.”

She encouraged the students to set their own goals and continue on their desired path even when things get tough.

“Be persistent and diligent in your efforts,” Bingham said. “The Spirit often lets us know when and what we need to change in ourselves; recognize and be grateful for those nudgings that push you off the plateau of mediocrity.”

The third key Bingham shared, was to help each other to achieve our eternal goal.

She shared the example of Christ as someone who perfectly did this. For the everyday person, she recommends taking a look at ministering assignments they have received.

Bingham said everyone should think about what ministering means to them, if they think their assignment it unimportant, and if they feel a divine responsibility.

“How you respond to that assignment tells your Father in Heaven how serious you are about returning to live with Him,” Bingham said.

Another way to serve is to serve within families. Many at BYU-Idaho are just starting small families while others are still single. Bingham said it doesn’t matter if you are married or not as family can also include those in our Church family, or even the whole family of God.

When thinking about an eternal perspective Bingham shared how there is an unimaginable number of stars in the sky, but also the same number of molecules in just ten drops of water.

“It doesn’t matter whether you impact others through a symbolic molecule of water or that of a star,” Bingham said. “You most certainly can become a force for good, a lift to others, a witness for Jesus Christ in the way you live.”