In a past General conference a speaker referred to “our 4 minutes”. Please explain what that means.
The talk you are referring to was given by Bishop Gary E. Stevenson. It’s entitled “Your Four Minutes.”
In his talk he brings up Noelle Pikus-Pace, a Mormon athlete who performed in the 2014 Olympics in the Skeleton event. He mentions the years and years of training it takes for these athletes. In Noelle’s case, those years of training is all determined by a series of four 60 second races as to whether she would win an Olympic medal or go home empty.
Bishop Stevenson said this regarding her run for an Olympic medal:
“It may seem unfair that Noelle’s entire Olympic dreams hinged on what she did during just four brief minutes. But she knew it, and that is why she prepared so diligently. She sensed the magnitude, the urgency of her four minutes, and what they would mean for the rest of her life.”
Bishop Stevenson likened Noelle’s four minutes to our own journey through life. Our life here on earth is but a brief moment in time in the entire eternal perspective. How we live our life here on earth will determine our eternity. Eternal life and the Celestial Kingdom is our gold medal. Everything we do in this life should be working and progressing towards winning that “gold medal.”
Bishop Stevenson also had this to say:
“Now, consider how your pathway to eternal life is similar to these athletes’ “four-minute performance.” You are an eternal being. Before you were born, you existed as a spirit. In the presence of a loving Heavenly Father, you trained and prepared to come to earth for a brief moment and, well, perform. This life is your four minutes. While you are here, your actions will determine whether you win the prize of eternal life. The prophet Amulek described, “This life is the time … to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day … to perform [your] labors.”
In a sense, your four minutes have already begun. The clock is ticking. The words of the Apostle Paul seem so fitting: to run the race, that you may obtain the prize.
In the same way that certain steps are essential in the very brief performance of an Olympic athlete—jumps or maneuvers for ice skaters and snowboarders, negotiating the turns of a bobsled run, or carving through the gates of a downhill slalom course—so it is in our lives, where certain things are absolutely essential—checkpoints which move us through our spiritual performance on earth. These spiritual markers are the essential God-given ordinances of the gospel:baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, priesthood ordinations, temple ordinances, and partaking of the sacrament each week.”
Bishop Stevenson is asking if we are seeing the urgency of our “four minutes” here on earth and how it relates to our eternity.
Each day we should stop and ask ourselves, “What are you doing with your four minutes?”