Remember Him

Do you remember Him? Photo replica of Thorvaldsen’s Christus

I  do always remember Him—
  At work and play, home and gym
      I do always remember Him—
Deliberate, consistent, not on a whim
        I do always remember Him—
Now and still when eyes grow dim
  I do always remember  Him—
      My heart, all pride, I strive to trim
I do always remember Him!

I  do always remember Him—
  If in deep waters I’m want to swim
      I do always remember Him—
When hope abounds and when it’s slim
        I do always remember Him—
With prospects daunting and outlooks grim
  I do always remember  Him—
      In defeat’s low valley, on victory’s rim
I do always remember Him!

I  do always remember Him—
  He is the trunk and I a limb
      I do always remember Him—
My rock, my support, my balancing shim
        I do always remember Him—
My blessing bowl filled to the brim
  I do always remember  Him—
      My life’s devotion, a sweet-sung hymn
I do always remember Him!


I heard a story once, true or not, that has helped me focus during the sacrament. Someone was sitting next to one of the modern-day apostles during the sacrament and heard him saying quietly to himself over and over, “I do remember Him.  I do remember Him.  I do remember Him.” 

That is one of the things we promise in the sacramental prayers:

O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.

(Doctrine and Covenants 20:79, emphasis added)

Putting part of this in first person would make it read as follows: “that I may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that I do always remember him”.

That is a pretty tall order.  Do I really always remember Him?  What does that even mean?  How do I actually apply that to my everyday life?  And why should I anyway?  A serious reflection on these questions suddenly takes the sacramental prayers out of the casual, complacent category where they sometimes fall because of our common interaction with them.  Following the example in the story above, many times I have taken the quiet moments during the passing of the sacrament to focus on the phase “I do always remember Him” and what I can to do make that statement true.  One of the things I have done is to look at each word in that phrase individually to try and discover more of what it really means.

I.

I: me, my, mine, myself, my own, individual, personal, unique, human being, personal, specific, necessary, exclusive, one of a kind.  I: learner, engineer, beekeeper, hobby gardener, piano player, amateur artist, thinker.  I: son, brother, valuable, of infinite worth, important, precious.  Not you, he, she, or it but I.  Not they, them, or those.  Not us, we, a group, a crowd, the collective but I.  Not generic, run-of-the-mill, common, standard, or general.  Not a dot or a spec or a blob.  Not worthless, finite, temporary, dispensable or disposable but I.  I: bought with a price, loved without measure, child of God.

I do.

Do: verb, depicts movement, has direction, state of mental, emotional, spiritual, physical action.  Do: present tense, now, taking place, unfolding, developing, current, up-to-date, today.  Do: carry out, work through, execute, bring to pass, act, perform, obey, accomplish, achieve, at this moment, in progress, happening.    Do: firm, strong, committed, determined, resolute, with grit.  Not will or did, not yesterday or tomorrow, or someday but now.  Not before this or after that.  Not when, then, or if.  Not could, would, should but do.  Not wishy washy, splishy splashy, half-hearted, mediocre, or lackadaisical.  Not a weak or feeble effort, not casual or lazy.  Not can’t, won’t, or don’t.  Not compromising, giving up or giving in.  Not stuck on forever try but do. Do: trust to step into the darkness despite the unknown, moving forward, moving onward, moving upward.

I do always.

Always: forever and ever, everywhere, every time, at all times, in all things, in all places, day and night, faith and fear, near and far.  Always: in summer and winter, young and old, rich and poor, wise and unschooled.  Always: continuously, constantly, consistently, persistently, relentlessly.  Always: dedicated, deliberate, devoted, loyal, unwavering, sustainable, faithful.  Always: one step at a time, one foot in front of the other, for the long haul, of marathon duration.  Always: perpetually, unceasingly, infinitely, without beginning and without end.  Always: immovable, immutable, eternal, absolute, unchanging.  Not once in a while, now and then, here or there, frequently, often, or even regularly.  Not intermittently, sporadically, occasionally, seldomly, randomly, accidentally, or arbitrarily.  Not temporary, a flash in the pan, or a sprinting dash.  Not just when it’s convenient, comfortable, or socially acceptable but always.  Always: steady, valiant, patient, enduring, every second, every minute, every hour, day. . .after day. . .after day. 

I do always remember.

Remember: reflect, ponder, come to know again, think of, think on, think about.  Remember: keep in mind, keep in memory, pay attention to, notice.    Remember: retain, remain, recall, recollect, reminisce, regard, return, repent.  Remember: to consider, contemplate, feel, sense, experience, relive, revive, find again.  Not to forget, release, revile.  Not to overlook, desecrate, disregard, despise, defile.  Not to set aside, set behind, or set at naught.  Not to neglect, ignore, push way, pass off, discount, snub but to remember.  Remember: to commemorate, consecrate, honor, revere, observe, celebrate, stand in wonder of, worship, sanctify, love. 

I do always remember Him.

Him: Christ, Jesus.  Him: King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Immanuel.  Him: Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the great I Am.  Him: Savior, Redeemer, Advocate, Creator, Judge, Example, Teacher, Bridegroom, Forgiver, Messiah, Mediator, Maker, Master.  Him: the True Vine, Bread of Life, Living Waters.  Him: glorified immortal man.  Him: the Word, the Way, the Truth and the Life.  Him: the refiner and purifier.  Him: Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.  Him: perfect, holy, spotless, sinless, glorified.  Him: totally and completely and always obedient.  Him: First-born of the Father, Only Begotten Son, brother, friend.  Not another.  Not someone else, a substitute, hired servant, imposter, imposer.  Not a fake, fraud, phony, cheater, actor, deceiver, or liar but Him.  Not limited, mortal, immaterial, or irrelevant.  Not a mystical being, force or a cloud, not everywhere yet nowhere.  Not unaware, uninterested, or incapable but Him.  Him: in control, aware, awake, involved, concerned, compassionate.  Him: Love without end.

I do always remember Him—I am not perfect at it yet, but I am trying.

Written: February 25, 2017

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