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Have we forgotten?

I received an email from one of my brother-in-laws with a photo of a man that has had his eighteen wheeler painted as a rolling memorial to Sept. 11, 2001.
The cab has a police officer carrying a toddler. The hood has the infamous image of the three rescue personnel raising the American flag. The trailer has the names of all the victims from the World Trade Centers and Pentagon, and the Pennsylvania field, with separate images of each plane and listing its crew and passengers that perished.
On the back, on the trailer doors, and above the ongoing list of people that were killed are the words, “Have you forgotten?”
It brought tears to my eyes as I remembered that awful day, but it also brought back some other thoughts of things we have forgotten.
There’s a saying by George Santayana (Spanish born American philosopher, poet and humanist), “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” I made my own rendition to it: If we do not remember, reverence and learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.
Have we forgotten lessons/truths learned – in the past and in the present? Must we always reinvent the wheel when it comes to trying to impose our own will on life? What makes us think that doing the same things expecting different results will go the way we want this time? What about eternal truths? What about what is really important – our relationship with our Heavenly Father, our family and our homes?
The list of things we have ‘forgotten,’ which really means we have chosen to overlook, is pretty long. It’s almost like childbirth. The pain goes away as we remember only the beauty of holding that precious baby boy or baby girl. (Otherwise, if women remembered only the pain and any complications they had – well, there would be fewer babies!)
Life is like that. We put away memories, issues, lessons and events that are unpleasant to us and pretend they aren’t there. (Hopefully wisdom comes with experience and age and we learn not to continue this way, but rather live by that wisdom attained.)
By forgetting, or ignoring lessons learned and eternal truths, our country and world has become more corrupt. Crime, violence and sin are rampant. The family unit is damaged and children are too often left on their own, some enduring terrible hardships. Half of all marriages end in divorce. Even deviant behaviors are becoming more accepted and tolerated. (We surely love the sinner, but a sin is a sin nonetheless.)
Have we forgotten who we are and where we came from? We’re children of God and come from a royal heritage. (Some genealogy, huh?)
We came from Heaven. We lived with Heavenly Father. We are His children. Having received a mortal body and come to earth, we hopefully have the opportunity to learn His teachings. (Have we forgotten the crucial importance of being a parent and teaching our children the eternal things they need to know?) Then we have the choice as to whether we will be obedient to those teachings and live the kind of life He wants us to live.
In actuality, this life is a time to prepare to return to our Father in Heaven. At least it is if you believe in God, and in His Son, in the prophets and in the scriptures.
It makes sense to me that if this is a preparatory time, and we recognize this, we would use the utmost care in the choices and actions we make, particularly in how we treat others. Of course we won’t be perfect – that’s why we have been provided with the principles of repentance and forgiveness. We have a Savior as our mediator. He provided us a way to return to our Father.
Christ taught us what was important, how we should treat each other, to love each other, and to teach each other about His father.
We have scriptures and albeit that man has translated them, somewhat clumsily, from their original Hebrew we have them and they are a guide for us. (With the King James Version of the Bible having been redone the fewest times, I enjoy reading that translation the most. There’s a lot of comfort in knowing that life and parenting did come with a Book of Directions!)
In the Bible, we learn that marriage was ordained (not made up, not thrown carelessly together) of God and is between a man and a woman. God didn’t offer any other combinations or substitutions. Again, we have our choices, but the eternal truths have not changed. (I love the church marquis I read this summer that said, “The Bible isn’t antique or modern. It’s eternal.”)
Have we forgotten these things? Are things that are going on today more important than our Heavenly Father, our family and our homes?
No, however, the world clamors for our attention. There are so many things we feel we should, ought or could do, and yes, we could. But the time is now to sit down and look at where we are and where we wish to go – in the eternal sense of things.
The world will continue to claim as much of us and our families, our time and money as it can get. Many things are ‘packaged’ to appear desirable, that an action or behavior is okay, that we need something advertised or insinuated to make us happy, that ‘everybody’ does it. Not so, and don’t be led astray by Satan’s temptations! He speaks through so many means, and we need to recognize them.
Times have become more difficult. We need to prepare ourselves. Keep our families close. It’s time to look at how healthy our families are. Our choices are important. Who we are is of importance – to our families, our neighborhoods, schools, communities, churches and country. It’s time to reclaim our lives and our families. We need Heavenly Father and to follow His teachings in order to glean what is important from the ‘clamor of the world.’ Have we forgotten who we are, why we’re here and where we’re going? Do the next right thing, trust in the Lord and seek His guidance.
We can color things to suit us, rationalize and justify, but Truth is still Truth. Wrong is wrong. Remember that saying, “We’re never wrong by doing right and we’re never right by doing wrong.” Remember what is important and do the next right thing.

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