Please forgive me for returning to a learning ground I have visited in the past, but a soccer field full of five year olds is such a rich spot of ground for being taught at all levels. Carson seems to have a little more energy for the game this season. In last weeks game he actually made two goals – He scored one for his team and one for the opposing team.” When his mom asked him what happened he answered back, “I Forgot!”
I can relate to your experience Carson. I’ve never played a game of soccer, but I have scored for the other team, for “the enemy” in the game of life. After I come to my senses I often question myself. “What were you thinking Nannette? What happened?” My answer is almost always, “I forgot.”
The ability to remember must be a very important part of our progress. The word “remember” is used 275 times in scripture, not by accident. Being forgetful seems to be one of the greatest handicaps among the children of Heavenly Father.
My tendency is to forget all kinds of important things: Spiritual confirmations I have felt when doing good; The pain I have felt as I have made a poor choices; Things I’ve committed to do; Reasons I’ve made commitments in the first place; Promises I’ve made to God and to others; Gifts I’ve received; Miracles I’ve witnessed; Sacrifices that have been made for me. I forget that people mean well, that people are forgiving. I forget that it’s about progress and not about perfection. I forget that the Atonement is for me, today. I forget that I can repent and start clean. I forget that God promises to forget. I forget that God loves me no matter what.
A question comes to my mind. It’s a question that Nephi asks his brothers after a particularly rough day. He say, “How is it that you have forgotten?” (1 Nephi 7:10). One day I was reading these words and it struck me that this is a good question to ask myself. So often I ask myself in disgust, “Why did you forget?” This question is usually not very helpful. It leads me to either self-loathing, as I beat myself up for being stupid, or it leads me to be self justifying, as I look for someone else to blame for my memory lapse.
Nephi doesn’t ask “why?” He asks, “How is it that you have forgotten?” “How” means “in what condition?” or “for what reason?” The answer calls me to inventory what I did or did not do that diminished my personal ability to remember the things that are important to my progress. How was it that I came to be in such a state of forgetfulness that I ran a play and score for the Devil.
I usually don’t have to look very far. In fact if I ask the Lord He will tell me. He’ll remind me that I have neglected to do those things that enable Him to bless me with a magnificent memory. Remembering is actually a gift of revelation. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ can and will help us recall, deep inside of our hearts, powerful understandings, feelings, and experiences that seem to be easily forgotten or set aside without His help. Early morning prayer and study from the scriptures, and a heart full of prayer throughout the day are not duties. They are invitations, the act of giving the Lord permission to bring images or ideas to our minds, from the past, that will keep our heads in the game, keep our legs running in the right direction, and keep our feet from the temptation to kick to ball across enemy lines.
The idea is to live this day so I do not score against myself, and when I do (because I inevitable will), I will learn from the experience by asking the right question. “Nannette, how is it that you have forgotten?” Better yet, “Lord, how is it that I have forgotten?” And then do those things that invite Him to fix my “rememberer!”
By Nannette W.
Posted Tuesday, March 31, 2009
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