Why Diligence Is Important to Mormons

Stop focusing on success or failure by harnessing the power of diligence

Tree Frog Hanging from Stem
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Before you can be diligent, you must diligently learn what you are supposed to be doing in this life. Once you learn that, you should do it all diligently. Think of diligence as consistent persistence.

What the Bible Says About Diligence

We are commanded to diligently learn what Heavenly Father would have us do, and then do it. He said:

Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all ​​diligence.
He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand.

Notice that this commandment is two-fold. We must first diligently learn what we should do and then diligently do it.

Each of us has a unique mission in this life. You are not expected to do everything or be everything. In your narrow sphere of responsibilities, Heavenly Father expects you to be diligent. He will assist you to know what to do and then do it.

What Diligence Is And What It Is Not

Diligence is a Christ-like attribute that is easily overlooked, but it is necessary to our salvation. The words diligence, diligent, and diligently are found all throughout the scriptures and emphasize what is being said.

Take the following scripture for example. If you remove the word diligently it is not as strong. When you add diligently, it adds a lot more emphasis to the importance of keeping the commandments:

Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.

Diligence is not success or achievement. Diligence is keeping at something. Diligence is not giving up. Diligence is where you keep trying.

How We Can Be Diligent

President Henry B. Eyring spoke about diligence and explained how there is a pattern needed to be diligent servants of Heavenly Father. He gave a list of four things to be done, which are:

  1. Learn what the Lord expects of you
  2. Make a plan to do it
  3. Act on your plan with diligence
  4. Share with others what you learned from being diligent

After learning about diligence and being diligent, we can share our testimonies of diligence with others. Our stories could be the spark that motivates others to keep this commandment.

Diligence is the Perfect One-Size-Fits-All Commandment

You are just one of billions of Heavenly Father's children. Can you imagine the complexity of tailoring each commandment to the abilities and needs of each individual person? 

Heavenly Father knows each one of us is different. Some have extraordinary abilities and some are severely limited. However, each of us can be diligent, given whatever abilities or limitations we have.

Diligence is the perfect commandment because each of us can obey it. Moreover, by focusing on diligence, we can escape the damaging tendency to compare ourselves with others.

We Must Be Diligent in All Things

We must be diligent in all things. Our need for diligence can be applied to all of Heavenly Father's commandments. He has commanded us to be diligent in all things. This holds true for difficult and extensive responsibilities, as well as seemingly insignificant ones. Diligence in all things means everything.

Heavenly Father rewards diligence. By focusing on diligence rather than results or success, Heavenly Father emphasizes the process of life. He knows the process can keep us busy. If we try to see the end result, we can often get discouraged.

Discouragement is the devil's tool. He uses it to influence us to give up. If we remain diligent, we can prevent discouragement.

The Savior's Example of Diligence Can Give You the Courage to Press On

As in all things, Jesus Christ is the perfect example of diligence. He kept consistently and persistently at his responsibilities. None of us are asked to shoulder the monstrous burden that He was, but we can be diligent in our own responsibilities.

We can be as diligent as Christ was and is. We know the Atonement can make up for what we lack. His grace is sufficient for any of us.