Take Control (1): Be the Captain

These are some thoughts I wrote down in September, but have not posted here until today:

I never thought I’d say it: RIX FM (a commercial hit radio station) has given me inspiration! I was listening to the radio the other week, and I heard one of the DJ’s say that she neither smoked nor drank because this gave her the greatest sense of control. Then she challenged her listeners: “I want to tell everyone out there: Take control of your life!

Wow. How simple, yet profound. I liked it so much that I decided to include it in my teaching, and I actually got the chance last weekend when I used it as a theme for a study convention for some young adults in the Church. Time won’t allow for a detailed report, but one of the most decisive questions that stuck in my mind during our classes was the following:

Do I let surrounding forces govern my actions?

In other words, am I the captain of my life? Or is something else – or someone else – controlling me? When I sit down in the boat, do I take command of the oars, or am I left a victim of water currents that leave me drifting every which way?

Who commands the oars?

Life is not always peace and joy. In fact, sometimes we feel like we’ve been conquered by unseen enemies, who leave our body and soul broken down on the battle fields of life. In that moment we often shout: “It’s not fair! Why me?”

I certainly don’t have all the answers, but this I know: For whatever reason you feel down, there is always a way out. Why? Because you’re not a victim! You are the creator of your destiny, not an accident of chance. Sure, rain will sometimes pour all over you, but with a right balance of faith and hard work you can pull yourself through any situation – if you really want it! That’s why rain coats are made.

Take Control (2): Be Good

6 replies »

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  2. Thanks, Mats, for pointing that verse out to me (us).

    Of course I have read the chapter many times, but I can’t believe I have “missed” this verse. It was wonderful! I understand why it is a favorite. It’s on my favorite list now too.

    It’s good that you point out that when we have done all we can do, in faith, then God will fight our battles for us. It is in His strength that we are made strong. It is with His power that we can do anything (good). All we have to do is WANT it – and BELIEVE it.

    Best regards,

  3. I much liked what you wrote here, and it reminded me of my favorite scripture from my mission:

    “Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.”

    D&C 123:17 (When Joseph Smith was in Liberty jail)

    There are many great “hidden” principles in this verse but instead of me explaining what I get out of this verse I’m going to give you the joy of doing that your self 🙂

    /Mats, Västerås Branch

    • So funny… Think I told you before, but when I moved to a new office I lost both quotes. A few months ago I clicked on a random post on your site and here they are. Lightning normally doesn’t strike twice, but I was just telling Mark about the first quote this morning and found it here. Again, without any trouble. Think someone is trying to tell me something ;-). Hugs, hope all is well with you, Angelica and the kids!! Angie

  4. Amen! I have two quotes in my office which tie in nicely with this topic:

    “If circumstances had the power to bless or harm, they would affect all men alike – but the fact that the same circumstance will be good to one and bad to another demonstrates that good or bad is not in the circumstance, but only in the mind of him that encounters it.”

    “You are the one who has to decide
    Whether you will do it or toss it aside
    You are the one who makes up your mind
    Whether you will lead or linger behind
    Whether you will strive for the goal that’s afar
    Or be content to stay where you are
    Take it or leave it, there’s something to do
    Just think it over, it’s all up to you.”

    Thanks again for a wonderful post!



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