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9. Decide to Remember

Remember your blessings. Let us not be like the Nephites of old, who were admonished by Samuel the Lamanite:

Ye do not remember the Lord your God in the things with which he hath blessed you, but ye do always remember your riches, not to thank the Lord your God for them; yea, your hearts are not drawn out unto the Lord, but they do swell with great pride, unto boasting, and unto great swelling, envyings, strifes, malice, persecutions, and murders, and all manner of iniquities. (Helaman 13:22)

We need to remember our blessings and how much we truly have. Remember the key principles of personal finance:

Principle 1: Ownership: Everything we have or ever will have belongs to the Lord. Since the Lord created all things, all things belong to Him. He shares these things with us as gifts. Nothing we have or ever will have is truly ours. Our blessings are on loan from our Father in Heaven. As beneficiaries of his generosity, we should feel no pride for the things we have, who we have become, or who we will become. Rather, these blessings should encourage us to be more obedient to God’s commandments as we realize these blessings are gifts from a loving Father in Heaven.

Principle 2: Stewardship: We are stewards over all that the Lord has shared or will share with us. The Lord stated the following through the prophet Joseph Smith:

It is expedient that I, the Lord, should make every man accountable, as a steward over earthly blessings, which I have made and prepared for my creatures. (D&C 104:13)

For it is required of the Lord, at the hand of every steward, to render an account of his stewardship, both in time and in eternity. (D&C 72:3)

The material blessings we are given in life should not be seen just as blessings, but as a responsibility as well. At some point in the future, we will all have to give an account of our stewardships to a loving Father and Son. As wise stewards, it is our responsibility to learn everything we can about our stewardships.

Principle 3: Agency: We were given our agency by our Father in Heaven. President Marion G. Romney said the following:

Agency means the freedom and power to choose and act. Next to life itself, it is man’s most precious inheritance. (Ensign, May 1976, 120)

The gift of agency is so important that a war was fought in heaven because Satan sought “to destroy the agency of man” (Moses 4:3). We should do everything in our power to thank a loving Father and Son for this wonderful right to choose—we should then use our agency as wisely as we can.

Principle 4: Accountability: We have been blessed with the gift of choice, but we will be held accountable for our choices. The Lord gave the following counsel to the prophet Joseph Smith:

Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness. For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward. (D&C 58: 27–28)

We have been given the blessings of stewardship and agency, and it is up to us to choose wisely to “bring to pass much righteousness.” The first three principles are God’s gift to us. The fourth principle is our gift to God. We can, through the wise use of choice, show our Heavenly Father how much we love Him. We show Him that we love Him by making correct choices, obeying His commandments, and striving to become more like His son. Elder Neal A. Maxwell made the following comment on what is really ours:

The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we give to God, however nice that may be of us, are actually things He has already given us, and He has loaned them to us. But when be begin to submit ourselves by letting our wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him. And that hard doctrine lies at the center of discipleship. There is a part of us that is ultimately sovereign, the mind and the heart, where we really do decide which way to go and what to do. And when we submit to His will, then we’ve really given Him the one final thing He asks of us. (Neal A. Maxwell, “Insights from My Life,” Ensign, Aug. 2000, 7, emphasis added).

Decide to remember the Lord’s blessing in your life, decide to always remember Him, and decide to give Him the only thing that is truly ours to give.


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