Lest Thou Forget

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a set apart day for us to remember those who have offered the ultimate sacrifice of their life to defend a cherished possession: our freedom. People much more eloquent than I have already written volumes about this, so I will not attempt to amend or append anything already said about that subject, other than to acknowledge the profound gratitude I have for those men and women who have fought valiantly for liberties we enjoy.

I’ve been thinking about other things we enjoy that also require a great sacrifice. Of course the ultimate sacrifice of life is the one Jesus Christ made for us in the Garden and on the cross. Spiritually speaking, our lives would be worth nothing without what our Savior did for us.

In Remembrance

We have Memorial Day precisely for the purpose to help us remember those things that are important. We have Easter to help us remember the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus. There are traditions we participate in to help us remember other life-altering events.

Repetition helps us remember things. For example, there are many reasons we repeat the same topic of study in Sunday school every four years – the repetition helps us to remember principles, as well as discover new ways to apply those principles over time as we ourselves change over time.

One way I remember things is to write things down. I mean, let’s face it – I’m never going to to remember everything I need to get at the grocery store without a list. I will forget – not just the eggs and milk – but things that matter in the long run too, like things I want to remember from my day, or important conversations I’ve had. And the physical act of writing helps cement the things I’m learning.

Remembering important things and people matter to our progression and growth. Besides soldiers and forefathers, There are certainly other sacrifices made on our behalf, or that we make, that contribute to our happiness. One of those things is our belief in the gospel, or our testimony. That definitely matters!

Lest Thou Forget

In Deuteronomy 4:9 it says, “Keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons.” (Emphasis added.)

If we are to remember the things that matter the most to our soul, we need to teach them to those who come after them.

The other day I found a note my mother wrote to me, shortly before she passed away. It was short, but in it she expressed to me what she still knew to be true – her love of the gospel and appreciation of the atonement of Jesus. She definitely understood the principle Moses was trying to teach us in Deuteronomy – one way to help us remember our testimony is to share it with the people who matter the most to us: our children.

“Generations are affected by the choices we make. Share your testimony with your family; encourage them to remember how they felt when they recognized the Spirit in their lives and to record those feelings in journals and personal histories so that their own words may, when needed, bring to their remembrance how good the Lord has been to them.” (Ronald Rasband, “Lest Thou Forget,” October 2016 General Conference.)

Remember Faith and Testimony

When’s the last time you wrote your testimony down? It doesn’t even have to be for your children; it could be, even more importantly, for yourself.

Or maybe you’re struggling with believing right now. If that’s the case, write down what those doubts or concerns are. What are they? Why are they thorns instead of comfort? Perhaps there are aspects in your life right now that make those issues stonier than what they usually would be.

There have been times I have had questions leading to doubt. Topics for my spiritual “shelf” – the things that I wonder about but don’t have immediate answers for, so I mentally put them on a shelf to deal with later. There are not always easy answers for those things, but stuffing them down and not dealing with or addressing them has not been a successful exercise for me, not ever. Rather, addressing them head on is the only thing that’s gotten me through those times. Otherwise it’s too easy for me to get into a spiritual downward spiral of doubt.

Have you taken those issues to heaven in prayer, in faith, believing you will receive an answer? Do you believe you will receive an answer? If not, why?

Can you remember a time when your prayer was answered? What did it feel like? Maybe that’s a good place to start. Recall what it feels like when Heaven speaks to you. Then seek to have a similar experience now. Sometimes it feels like the heavens are silent because we don’t act on answers soon enough. But trying to recall those times when we know we have received answers can more easily allow the next one to come. (See D&C 6:22-23.)

Elder Rasband again has great counsel for us: “Never forget, question, or ignore personal, sacred spiritual experiences. The adversary’s design is to distract us from spiritual witnesses, while the Lord’s desire is to enlighten and engage us in His work.”

Sometimes our doubts are simply that – doubts we manufacture based on our own inaction or desire to believe. When we work with a desire to believe, the light and answers come.

When is the last time you wrote or shared your testimony with someone who matters to you? (Including yourself?) Lest thou forget, this Memorial Day may be the perfect time to do just that.

 

LauraAuthor
Laura will be the first to tell you she’s not perfect. That’s why she loves the restored gospel, and loves the atonement.
2017-05-29T11:33:01-08:00

About the Author:

Laura will be the first to tell you she’s not perfect. That’s why she loves the restored gospel, and loves the atonement.