In In the Stillness/ WonderDays

6 Ways to Harness the Power of the Past {map for your monday}

So as my one word for 2017, my theme for the year is to “remember,” I’ve kept it simmering in the back of my mind, waiting for the whispers of the Spirit to teach me just exactly how to do that this year.

I kept wondering, Why remember? What’s the point of my past? What purpose does remembering have if I can’t in some way use the things that I collect as I reminisce?

“Of course, it’s not enough to learn these lessons as a matter of history and culture. Learning the names and dates and sequence of events from the printed page won’t help you very much unless the meaning and the message are written in your hearts. Nourished by testimony and watered with faith, the lessons of the past can take root in your hearts and become a vibrant part of who you are.” {Russell M. Ballard}

The answers have come in small flashes over the past few weeks, so I wanted to compile a list of all the ways we can use remembering to add richness to our lives.

  1. Our Old Journals contain all the stories of our past. As we peruse them, we will undoubtedly laugh at all of the quirks and follies of youth and the changing of our personalities over the passing decades. But even more than that, we will see the hand of the Lord shaping our experiences in a way that carved our character. As we look back, we will see His mighty power of deliverance so much clearer than we do in the present moments. {I will be keeping a little notebook as an index of stories to use in teaching my children, lessons, and future blog posts. Our stories are each so unique and wondrous – let’s use them!!}
  2. Favorite Books remind us of insights gained during the times we first read them (especially if your book margins are filled with as many notes as mine are)! A flood of memories can embrace us when we read our well-loved children’s books, novels, inspiring non-fiction, biographies, and most importantly, scripture. {This year I’ve made it a goal to reread the Book of Mormon along with several of my other favorite books and keep a list of notable quotes, passages, and lessons learned.}
  3. Family History Stories are a treasure trove of wisdom just waiting to be explored. Imagine the warmth that will fill our hearts as we read the stories of those faithful men and women who are a very real part of us. Their strengths can be ours and we can learn from their weakness. {All last week I felt an overwhelm hang like a cloud over my head, so I asked my husband for a blessing and the words he spoke were not what I was expecting. He counseled me to ponder on the stories of my ancestors and I would know how best to live my life and the direction it should take. So I’ll be keeping another notebook filled with the faith-promoting stories of my ancestors.}
  4. Words from Loved Ones can be discovered as we delve into old letters, cards, emails, and even text messages. {I have many letters saved in shoe boxes and baskets. It’s time I gathered the baskets and boxes together to remember the words of love and encouragement contained therein.}
  5. History is replete with hundreds if not thousands of men and women who can teach us lessons with their lives. History books or a few new biographies of those we admire can be excellent reading material. We know that history repeats itself, and if we can but learn from the past, perhaps we can change the future. {I may start a notebook for this as well. ;)}
  6. Every Person we meet can offer a font of wisdom, if we choose to listen and perhaps ask the right questions. {More than ten years ago, I started a journal [big surprise, right? ;)] to record the quotes and lessons I learned from the words and lives of those I met. I think it’s time to dust this journal off and begin recording again.

Would you add any ways to remember the richness of the past?

“Learning the lessons of the past allows you to walk boldly in the light without running the risk of stumbling in the darkness.” {Russell M. Ballard}

Let’s choose to walk in the light, shall we?


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