“That Good Part”

Luke 10:38–42

38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

President Dallin H. Oaks said:

“. . . [J]ust because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives.

“Jesus taught this principle in the home of Martha. While she was ‘cumbered about much serving’ (Luke 10:40), her sister, Mary, ‘sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word’ (v. 39). When Martha complained that her sister had left her to serve alone, Jesus commended Martha for what she was doing (v. 41) but taught her that ‘one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her’ (v. 42). It was praiseworthy for Martha to be ‘careful and troubled about many things’ (v. 41), but learning the gospel from the Master Teacher was more ‘needful.’ The scriptures contain other teachings that some things are more blessed than others (see Acts 20:35; Alma 32:14–15).”

(“Good, Better, Best,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2007, 104.)

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