The prophets have told us time and time again to remember. President Spencer W. Kimball even said that “remember” is perhaps the most important word in the dictionary.
In April 2019, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles also spoke about how remembering is vital.
“If it is good and worthy and eternal, we should remember it,” he said during BYU–Idaho’s Winter Commencement. “Remember and never forget that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true, that His name is the only name given under heaven whereby any man, woman, or child can be saved, and that this gospel—with its saving principles and ordinances, its covenants and righteous counsel—is only available in its fullness in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
Later that month on social media, Elder Holland shared how remembering requires action.
The scriptures list 554 references of the Lord or the prophets or others asking someone to “remember” something, hoping that will prompt a certain course of action. On the other hand, the scriptures contain a total of nine uses of the word “recall” or “recollect,” seven of those used by sinful characters in the scriptures or those afflicted with some kind of pain.
The meaning seems clear to me. Speaking of spiritual things, if it is good and worthy and eternal, we should remember it. If it is sinful or wrong or dark, we might “recollect” it only—and even that would only be for the purpose of helping ourselves or others to learn an important lesson and move on.
I charge you this day to remember, remember, remember. Remember to pray. Remember to serve. Remember to learn. Remember to tithe. Remember to teach. Remember to be clean, to be honest, and to forgive.
The prophet Helaman taught his sons about the importance of remembrance. Last week we learned that Helaman urged his sons to remember many things. According to the Come, Follow Me manual, “He wanted them to remember their ancestors, remember the words of the prophets, and most of all remember ‘our Redeemer, who is Christ’ (Helaman 5:5–14).”
The sons of Helaman took their father’s words to heart and it prepared them as they preached the word of God to many. But in this week’s Come, Follow Me, we see a stark contrast between Nephi and Lehi’s obedience to the counsel to “remember” compared to the people of Nephi. This is evident in Helaman 7, where we see Nephi preaching not only repentance but remembrance to the people, who have forgotten the Lord.
“O, how could you have aforgotten your God in the very day that he has delivered you?” he laments. “But behold, it is to get again, to be bpraised of men, yea, and that ye might get gold and silver. And ye have set your hearts upon the criches and the vain things of this world, for the which ye do murder, and plunder, and steal, and bear dfalse witness against your neighbor, and do all manner of iniquity” (Helaman 7:20–21).
The manual mentions that “all of Nephi’s efforts—preaching, praying, performing miracles, and petitioning God for a famine—were attempts to help the people turn to God and remember Him. In many ways, forgetting God is a bigger problem even than not knowing Him, and it’s easy to forget Him when our minds are distracted by ‘the vain things of this world’ and clouded by sin” (emphasis added).
From these verses, it seems that the people’s forgetfulness is one of the key factors that led them to the state of wickedness where they could be destroyed. But as the manual states, it’s also never too late to remember and “turn . . . unto the Lord your God.”
Prophets have many responsibilities. Whether it is to preach repentance, to share what the people need to hear from God, or to seal things on earth and in heaven, prophets have ministered to others throughout the ages. Today, we are blessed with the guidance of prophets in many ways. At the beginning of a recent Sunday on Monday episode, podcast host Tammy Uzelac Hall highlighted the apostolic blessing President Russell M. Nelson gave during April 2020 general conference. He said:
I bless you with peace and increasing faith in the Lord.
I bless you with a desire to repent and become a little more like Him each day.
I bless you to know that the Prophet Joseph Smith is the prophet of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fulness.
Should there be illness among you or your loved ones, I leave a blessing of healing, consistent with the will of the Lord.
I so bless you, adding once more my expression of love for each of you, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.
“As I read it, I truly got weepy. I didn’t even fully understand the power behind his words when he spoke and gave us that apostolic blessing because everything was so new,” Tammy said, recalling her reaction to the talk last April. “Like, ‘This pandemic’s not really going to last. It’s going to end next week. Well it hasn’t. And when I read his apostolic blessing, I got weepy because everything he said is what I need right now,” she said.
The episode that follows focuses on Helaman 7–12 and discusses how the prophet Nephi reacted when he found out the Nephites had turned to chaos and wickedness. During the discussion, Tammy and her guests also discuss our day and how this is the final phase before the Second Coming of the Savior.
The Sunday on Monday Study Group is a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS+ original presented by LDS Living. You can access the full study group discussion through the Bookshelf app. Listen to a segment of this week's episode above or listen to the full Sunday on Monday episode here.
How have the words of the living prophet blessed your life today? How do you find power in his words and how do they give you hope for the future? Consider pondering these questions this week as you go about your Come, Follow Me study. Here are a few other ideas to get your gospel study on these topics started this week.
Set a Goal
This week’s Come, Follow Me discusses remembering and talks about the key role of prophets in our world. Here are a few ideas of goals you can set this week that correspond with the lesson:
- • Do you remember a significant moment when a prophet of God was called, and you sustained him? Do you remember when a prophet of God made a promise and you felt the Spirit testify that the promise he made was true? Take some time this week to write down or record that experience for your loved ones. You may also consider testifying of prophets on social media or in a conversation with a friend.
- • Look up a challenge President Russell M. Nelson has made recently and see how you can focus on it in a way that meets your needs this week. You may also want to consider inviting others to join you in that challenge and then discussing your experiences with them later.
- • When Nephi felt cast down, he “[pondered] upon the things which the Lord had shown unto him” (Helaman 10:2–3) While he was pondering, a voice came unto him, calling him “blessed” for the work he had done. We often take the time to read the scriptures, but do we spend the time to think and pray afterward? This week consider planning out a time where you can focus on pondering the things you feel the Lord has shown you and see how it blesses your life.
In a January 1999 devotional on Brigham Young University campus, then-Elder Henry B. Eyring spoke about how as we remember the Savior, great promises will be in store for each of us.
“Now for the sure promises. First, if you will let your heart be drawn to the Savior, to always remember Him, and to our Heavenly Father in prayer, you will have put on spiritual armor. You will be protected against pride because you will know that any success comes not from your human powers. And you will be protected against the thoughts which come rushing in upon us that we are too weak, too inexperienced, too unworthy to do what we are called of God to do to serve and help save His children. We can have come into our hearts the reassurance recorded in Moroni: ‘And Christ truly said unto our fathers: If ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me’ (Moroni 10:23).”
And while it may seem like a difficult task to remember, we can move forward with reassurance as we do so that God has not forgotten us.
“Start with remembering Him. You will remember what you know and what you love. The Savior gave us the scriptures, paid by prophets at a price we cannot measure, so that we could know Him. Lose yourself in them. Decide now to read more and more effectively than you have ever done before,” President Eyring said. “There is another sure promise. It is this: Whether or not you choose to keep your covenant to always remember Him, He always remembers you.”