Memories: A Penny in the Shoe

Ed J. Pinegar, Richard J. Allen

Our spiritual growth cycle begins when we recognize and remember the goodness of God. Until we recognize, until we acknowledge, until we recall and appreciate, until we respect and understand the things that God has done for us, we will not enter the process of growing and becoming like Christ, yea, men and women of Christ.

There are many ways to “remember.” As a young bishop, I tried to remember to do the things that the Lord would have me do. And it seemed like life was full, for I could never do everything I wanted to do. My mind would wander to the cares of the world. So to get away from the things of the world, I put a little penny in my shoe. Six years wearing that penny in my shoe helped me remember that it’s the power of the Holy Ghost by which we learn to be ever mindful of the things of the Lord.

As a penny in the shoe was a reminder to me of the things of God, so can little notes of a single word at home or at work become little signs and reminders. Yes, just one word: remember. As soon as I would view the word, it would cause me to think: “I must keep Heavenly Father’s commandments.” “I must remember the goodness of God.” “I must stay on the straight and narrow path.”

In the scriptures, the word remember has a specific meaning. The scriptures use the word remember to tell us to get busy, to do what is right. Remembering becomes the key to motivation because in remembering we become mindful of the love of God, and His love is the greatest source of all motivation in serving other people. When we recognize God’s love for us, we begin the great process of moving towards Him and of gaining compassion for others.

How else can we remember? Those who have been endowed wear a sacred garment to remember their covenants and the many mercies and goodnesses of God. The Lord has made covenants with us that we might remember. King Benjamin counseled his people to remember the name that he gave them and to imprint it on their minds. Through baptism we have taken upon ourselves the name of Christ. Every Sabbath day as we partake of the sacrament, we should be in the process of remembering. Let us follow carefully the words we have taken so often to heart (but sometimes do not recall them to our mind), in order that we may do that which we have promised to do:

“O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.” (D&C 20:77; emphasis added)

The doctrine of remembering occurs repeatedly throughout the Book of Mormon, helping to bring the wayward back and to urge all to stay on the straight and narrow path. (Ed J. Pinegar)

Commentaries and Insights on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 2