Happy New Years!

Dear Missionary!

It's a new year.  Do you plan on making new resolutions or goals?  Did you complete your goals for 2014?  Why is it that Jan 1st marks the day to start a new goal or habit, stop a bad habit or evaluate your life?  Shouldn't we weigh our lives on a daily basis?  Because we mark the day, the month, the years and even the hours and minutes - the new year is a good time to evaluate our life.  Straight from David O. McKay in his book Secrets of a happy life comes todays letter...

David O. McKay
Secrets of a Happy Life

Out of eternity comes the years and into eternity they go.  Like sentinels of time they pass us by, heedless of whether their passing leaves pleasure or pain, joy or misery, life or death.  Measured by hours, each seems a mighty span in the life of man: but considered as part of eternity, each year is but an infinitesimal fraction of a moment. 

A year!  What is it but a dot in the endless line of eternity, a measurement by which man counts his existence in mortality? Man marks the passing in measured beats of days, months, years, until four-score years have passed: and then another score marks the silent passing of the century.  On, on, they come and so they come forever!  There, there, they go and so will go forever.  Time has no beginning, neither will it have an end.  To para phrase an old familiar couplet:  Years may come and years may go, but time exists forever.  Each newborn year brings newborn souls" each dying year carries souls away.  Thus life really seems to be but "a little gleam of time between two eternities."

This is true, however, only of man's mortal life.  Man's spirit, man's soul, is as endless as time, as enduring as eternity.

What a man is today will largely determine what he will be tomorrow.  What he has been during the past year to a great extent marks his course throughout the year before him.  Day by day, hour by hour, man builds the character that will determine his place and standing among his associates throughout the ages. 

What then should be man's greatest purpose as he marks one by one the passing years?  It should be to cherish those attributes which, like his soul, will endure and brighten throughout all eternity.  He should strive to drive from his life those things which will be transitory and which in the soul's eternal progress must somewhere be discarded and rejected.  More important than riches, more enduring than fame, more precious than happiness is the possession of a noble character.  Truly has it been said that the grand aim of man's creation is the development of a grand character, and grand character is by its very nature the product of a probationary discipline.

Life is before you; not an earthly life alone, but an endless life - a thread running interminably through the work of eternity.

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