Friday, September 26, 2008

3 Nephi 2, and Helaman 5:12 Remember Remember

3 Nephi 2:1 And it came to pass that thus passed away the ninety and fifth year also, and the people began to forget those sign and wonders which they had heard...

I got this far into the chapter, and it reminded me of Helaman 5:12, which begins, and now my sons, remember, remember...

I like reading old BYU devotional talks- this one caught my eye, as the title was "Remember, Remember."- the speaker, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, DENNIS B. NEUENSCHWANDER. (makes me glad for my short last name).

I liked how he started his talk:

During my first year of graduate school, I had an evening class on Slavic culture. On one occasion, after a day of intense study, I was hurrying to class to take an exam. Information, dates, and events were swimming around in my head. The closer I got to the exam, the more confused I became. On the way I happened to see one of my professors and asked him to clarify what for him must have been a very obscure matter. He looked at me and asked in a tone I still remember, "Is it important?"
Over the years I have pondered his question. It has helped me to distinguish the important from the trivial, to remember the important things and to forget the things that have little consequence or that would, by forgetting them, bring a blessing.
Remembering important things is fundamental to both our temporal and spiritual well-being. Confusing what we should remember with what we can or ought to forget creates difficulties for us. Much trouble in life originates from forgetting what we should remember and remembering what we should forget. One of Nephi's experiences with Laman and Lemuel is an interesting example of this. Nephi told his brothers that they were "slow to remember the Lord" (1 Nephi 17:45). They had seen an angel, and he had spoken to them. Though no response is recorded, I suppose that Laman and Lemuel could have looked at each other and said, "Oh, yeah, we forgot."
Remembering the kindness of others while forgetting their offenses is spiritually much healthier than forgetting their kindness and remembering their offenses. We should keep in mind that even the Lord, who is capable of remembering everything, has promised that He will forget our sins if we repent.
It seems to me that living the gospel has as much to do with remembering important things as it does with knowing them in the first place. Interjection- by me- I like that last sentence- "living the gospel has as much to do with remembering important things as it does with knowing them in the first place." The word remember and its derivatives appear hundreds of times in the scriptures--certainly a lot to remember! This repetitious scriptural reminder to remember takes on added significance when we understand that in Hebrew the word remember has a much broader meaning than does the English connotation of "keeping something in mind." In the Hebrew context, "doing" is an essential part of the remembering process. Thus, "to remember" is "to do," whereas "forgetting" is "failing to do." Interjection by me again- isn't that an interesting perspective- that "to remember" is "to do", whereas "forgetting" is "failing to do". I'll bet that those Nephites that "began to forget those signs and wonders" first began to forget to study the scriptures and say their prayers, and go to church.

Today, I will try to harder to be a "rememberer."


Jill said...

I am so inspired by your blog. I love it and wish I could attend your class! I found you through your other blog on design (through my cousin Tammlyn). I love that one too and I am taking pictures to send to you! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the scriptures. It's like a mini devotional for my day.

Christine said...

I think you are the very first person to read this blog! Thank you for your kind words!