Generally it is good to try to anticipate what is coming and prepare to deal with it. At times, however, this captain’s counsel is wise: “Take it one day at a time. . . . Don’t look ahead to the pain. Just get through the day.” To worry about what is or may be coming can be debilitating. It can paralyze us and make us quit.
In the 1950s my mother survived radical cancer surgery, but difficult as that was, the surgery was followed with dozens of painful radiation treatments in what would now be considered rather primitive medical conditions. She recalls that her mother taught her something during that time that has helped her ever since:
I was so sick and weak, and I said to her one day, “Oh, Mother, I can’t stand having 16 more of those treatments.”
She said, “Can you go today?”
“Well, honey, that’s all you have to do today.”
It has helped me many times when I remember to take one day or one thing at a time.
D. Todd Christofferson was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when this fireside address was given on 9 January 2011.