Elder M. Russell Ballard said:
In my office hangs a printed statement that includes the last words spoken by my grandfather Elder Melvin J. Ballard before his passing. He was in the hospital phasing in and out of a coma. My father said that Grandfather suddenly opened his eyes and looked into the room and said, “Above all else, brethren, let us think straight.” A few minutes later he passed away.
That was more than 65 years ago. How much more does the world need people today who can think straight?
Straight thinking demands discipline. You have to listen carefully and accurately—not only to what you hear others say, but to what you hear yourself say.
The Lord admonished Oliver Cowdery, “Study it out in your mind” (D&C 9:8). Paul wrote to Timothy, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
If there are messages in your head about being a failure, or being irresponsible, define those terms. What exactly do you mean by failure or by irresponsible? Write down your definitions. Be rigorous. As you struggle to find just the right words to describe what you mean by a given term, you will discover what you don’t know right now. That’s the magic of writing.
Caution: Make sure that when you apply the standards for success or responsibility, they are ones that apply to others as well as yourself. That’s the logical way. Remember, if your Belief Box is filled with standards for yourself that you never apply to others, you might be operating out of things that just aren’t True!