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Joni Hilton
Thursday, September 05 2013

Defining Moments

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As you look back at your life, can you zero in on the one moment that made all the difference?

I was watching a magician on television, recently, who said he decided to go into magic when his parents took him on a cruise, and he saw a magic act. He knew then and there that this was his life’s dream. We hear such stories all the time—Singers, musicians, dancers, and actors often express singular moments when their life’s course was set in stone.

But it isn’t only entertainers. A young boy watches a heroic fireman put out the blaze in a nearby house and vows to do the same one day. A girl is healed by a gifted surgeon and goes into medicine, herself.   A struggling student is helped by a caring teacher, and “pays it forward” by going into teaching as well.

However, perhaps more important than these career-choice turning points, is the moment when we make spiritual choices that will impact our eternal destiny. A boy at BYU is walking across campus and decides, “This is what I want. I do have a testimony. I’m going to serve a mission.” A young Primary girl hears a lesson about temple marriage, sees a picture of a sealing room, and vows in her heart not to marry anywhere else.   A babysitter watches a father give his sick child a blessing and determines to take the missionary lessons and join this amazing church. A less-active member has a business dealing with an honest LDS man, and chooses to put his life back in line, never to waver again.

These are the moments that define not only our future, but our present. We make an emphatic choice. We set an immovable goal. We determine that nothing will pull us from the route to success, and we make a series of decisions that lead us to victory.

Every successful person can look back and point to difficult moments when the going got tough, times when they were persecuted, moments when all looked bleak. Sometimes they could see Satan’s hand in the effort to pull them off the track. But they refused to fail. They were dogged, determined, and unrelenting— they mustered up the courage to persevere, even when others might have quit.

This is the character trait I’m hoping my children—and their children—will have in abundance, to prevail against the ever increasing tide of temptation in society. If you’re still rearing children—or have yet to rear them—I challenge you to have a Family Home Evening and teach them a six-syllable word: Indefatigable. Tell them stories of heroes from scripture and from history. Teach them to set life-altering goals, and show them the steps to reach the finish line. Tell them it won’t be easy, but that with God’s help they can absolutely succeed. Teach them the tools that will help: faith, prayer, and obedience. Help them learn to recognize promptings from the Holy Ghost. Let them know you’re in their corner to help them along the way, and that nothing is impossible.

Who knows—their life’s biggest Defining Moment could happen right in your living room, the night they learned the word Indefatigable.

Listen to Hilton’s radio advice show at on Thursdays at 2 pm PST.

Joni Hilton is also “Your YouTube Mom” and shares short videos that teach easy household tips and life skills at

Be sure to read her blog at

She is currently serving as Relief Society President of her ward in Northern California.





  1. Loved the article. I want to give the lesson to 11 grandchildren. I remember my moment When I heard something at a fireside in my teens and wanted to find it, but couldn't remember what was said,. I searched the scriptures until I knew I had found it: "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you." I knew then that I could always depend on Heavenly Father and he could always depend on me.
  2. Mine may be like a lot of other, but it was the moment I rose up out of the waters of baptism, 3 September 1994.

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