“My 24 year old daughter is pregnant again. She called the other night needing a place to stay. Her live-in boyfriend from time to time has been physically abusive.”

The mother added “Of course I let her stay a few days.” The mom went on to say “It’s causing problems with my new husband. He says my daughter should figure things out on her own and he feels left out-less important.”

The mom concluded “It’s my grandbaby! How could I ever tell her she’s not welcome home. But he’s my husband. We were just married in the LDS temple. WHAT DO I DO?”

“I can’t do both.”

Wouldn’t it be great if God came down and gave us a list of what is really important in His eyes?

He did.  Here is the list.


Seek ye [YOU] first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.” Matthew 6:33

Harold B. Lee makes it very clear:

Most men [and women] do not set priorities to guide them in allocating their time, and most men [and women] forget that the FIRST PRIORITY should be to maintain THEIR OWN spiritual and physical strength. ” (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, ed. Clyde J. Williams [1996], 615).

If you’re still not convinced of your #1 priority read My Spouse Is NOT My #1 Priority.

Conclusion: There is no other #1 priority.



That’s right, having a wife or a husband and being married to him/her in the temple is #2.

“I close with a final example of a desire that should be paramount for all men and women—those who are currently married and those who are single. ALL should desire and seriously work to secure a marriage for eternity. Those who already have a temple marriage should do all they can to preserve it. Those who are single should desire a temple marriage and exert priority efforts to obtain it. Youth and young singles should resist the politically correct but eternally false concept that discredits the importance of marrying and having children.( Dallin H. Oaks, Desire, General Conference April 2011).

Spencer W. Kimball clarifies what that mean as he commented on D & C 42:22:

 “… The words none else eliminate everyone and everything. The spouse then becomes preeminent in the life of the husband or wife and neither social life nor occupational life nor political life nor any other interest nor person nor thing shall ever take precedence over the companion spouse. [Except priority #1] We sometimes find women who absorb and hover over the children at the expense of the husband, sometimes even estranging them from him. This is in direct violation of the command: None else (The Miracle of Forgiveness, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969], 250-51).

Conclusion: If you don’t have a spouse-GET ONE! If you haven’t married that spouse in the temple-GO THERE NOW! Your #2 priority is to preserve that temple marriage with your spouse.



James E. Faust talks about a

shift in attitude about the purpose of marriage. More and more young people view marriage ‘as a couples relationship, designed to fulfill the emotional needs of adults, rather than an institution for bringing up children.’… Children are becoming less valued…”  (Strengthening the Family:Multiply and Replenish the Earth, Apr 2005)

Gordon B. Hinckley talks about the importance of parenting saying we

work at our responsibility as parents as if everything in life counted on it, because in fact everything in life does count on it.” (“Each a Better Person,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2002, 100.)

The importance of children has always been emphasized in our Church. Perhaps the simplest way to evaluate what priority you have placed your children is by asking When was the last time you had Family Home Evening? Check these First Presidencies Statements out on the importance of children and family home evening.

Conclusion: Many voices in the world today minimize the importance of having children or suggest delaying or limiting children in a family for items listed clear down as a #5 priority. This is wrong. Your #3 priority is to have children and parent those children.



This #4 priority is frequently confused with the #1 priority. Notice a person’s personal spirituality  -relationship with God (Priority #1) is separate from church activity and service (Priority #4).

Some have come to think of activity in the Church as the ultimate goal. Therein lies a danger. It is possible to be active in the Church and less active in the gospel. Let me stress: activity in the Church is a highly desirable goal; however, it is insufficient. Activity in the Church is an outward indication of our spiritual desire…By contrast, the things of the gospel are usually less visible and more difficult to measure, but they are of greater eternal importance.” (Donald L. Hallstrom, Converted to His Gospel through His Church, General Conference Apr 2012)

Conclusion: Learning the difference between “Active in the Church (#4 priority) AND Active in the Gospel (#1 Priority)” is one of life’s greatest challenges.



I wanted to take some time and develop this priority. But, I’m in California with my children and grandchildren- soon we are headed to Legoland.  But, let me say one thing -when we have our personal PPI with the Savior come judgment day, I’m pretty sure he’s NOT going to ask how much money I make or how big is my house.

It’s Easy as 1,2, 3….If we use this of God’s priorities as a guide, we will harvest blessings. But when we put things of less importance in positions of more importance, we will experience confusion and turmoil.

For example, it is a real temptation during the early days of marriage to become a workaholic and have the wife work in an attempt to acquire all that your parents have accumulated over a lifetime. It is an even greater temptation to rationalize that school has to come first for the next few years and delay children. The list of examples go on- in fact you have examples in your own life.

Keep it simple.

The only time it is okay to change God’s priority list is


Personal revelationwhen an angel tells you otherwisecan inspire us to change our priorities or even violate a commandment!

  • Remember Nephi (See: 1 Nephi 4) being commanded “By the Spirit”  to  violate the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” and “”Slay King Laban.” And “to kill” was the “right” thing to do.

My only recommendation is to make sure, “like Nephi”


“an angel has told you otherwise” 

usually a result of  thoughtful prayer and fasting – before you change God’s priorities.


Harold B. Lee summarizes:

Most men [and women] do not set priorities to guide them in allocating their time, and most men [and women] forget that the FIRST PRIORITY should be to maintain THEIR OWN spiritual and physical strength. THEN comes THEIR FAMILY [spouse and children] then the CHURCH, and then their PROFESSIONS—and all need time (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, ed. Clyde J. Williams [1996], 615).

I reviewed the above list of God’s priorities with the mom. I told her I believed her new husband was correct and she was wrong. He is #2 in her life and her daughter is #3. (This doesn’t mean the Mom can’t help e.g. give her daughter the number of the local YCC etc.)

I reminded her of the only exception-

An angel (personal revelation) having told her otherwise.  

Yes she was right about “I can’t do both.”

Many of my years in the helping profession as a shrink, have  been spent teaching God’s list of priorities and the ONLY rule for exception.

If while reading this blog – you sensed some guilt or had an impression of an 
Angel whispering in your heart
to live your priorities differently

make those changes now.

dr rick
dr rick’s index

Other similar blogs:
Not Enough of Me
My Spouse Is NOT My #1 Priority
Easy as 1,2,3…Unless an Angel tells you otherwise
The Gift – Between God And I

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