Stop thinking to start remembering

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Sitting in sacrament meeting, smothered by two snuggly porcelain dolls and one wiggly wrecking ball, I attempt to focus on the sacrament ordinance. I try not to let my brain settle on little arms that flail instead of fold, or the feet colliding with the pew ahead; I even dismiss the sick person behind me who catapults sneeze residue onto my neck {eew!}. I try to put mental blinders on and think about … about … something spiritual. Anything spiritual.

Earlier that week during a car ride to somewhere Avery asked, “Mom, how do you stop thinking?” It made me giggle at first, but that’s a power I’d like to summon at the moment. When Avery asked the question, I didn’t go into a detailed medical discourse comparing voluntary and involuntary nerves and muscles. Maybe I should have taught how it’s impossible for eyes to withhold observations and reports to the brain– and that goes for what ears hear, noses smell and tongues taste too.  I didn’t go into how the brain continues to organize the incessant incoming messages … probably because my mind was already distracted by the next alert in my head.

Suddenly a few words from the sacrament prayer override my ceaseless, spinning thoughts:
Always remember Him.
I note that it doesn’t say to always think about Him … hmmm … always remember Him.

My Nana (great-grandma) is someone I remember often. She passed away seven years ago, this very weekend. When I remember Nana, I picture the way her eyes sparkled and her teeth grit sideways when she was feeling playfully testy. I smell her lotion and feel her wrinkled hand pat my shoulder. Nana loved me and I loved her. When I was six, we played rounds and rounds of Go Fish – and she let me stack the cards to my advantage. When I was 12, my brother and I caught a horny toad near her house and she let us keep it in a cardboard box on her front porch – we fed it the biggest walking stick I’ve ever seen. When I was 18, she took me to see some LDS sites in St. George, UT, even though she wasn’t interested in the Church. We were pen pals in my youth, and by college I’d cheerfully drive hours to spend Spring Break or Thanksgiving with her.

Nana adored hummingbirds; and now that she’s passed on, I can’t help but think of her when I see a hummingbird hover. And if I ever make eye contact with the flighty miniature bird, it’s like I’m looking right into her eyes again. I often pause to wonder what she’d think of a certain situation – like how dirty the top of my refrigerator is, or the laughter of my little ones filling the living room. Sometimes I can hear her voice in my head, or guess what she’d say in that moment. And on more than one occasion, I’ve felt her near – comforting me when I needed it most or encouraging me to take the next step.

Maybe the way I remember my sweet Nana is a symbol of how I can better remember my Savior. I can picture Him in my mind and imagine what it would feel like to be in His presence again. I can reflect on the memories I have of Him – those made by getting to know Him when reading the scriptures and studying His life. I can see small things, moments and symbols on earth that remind me of Him and His ways. I can pause to wonder what He’d think of a certain situation, and listen for His voice in my head. And above all, I can feel him near – comforting me when I need it most and encouraging me to take the next step in my mortal journey. Yes, I think remembering deceased loved ones is a similitude of how to better remember my Savior.

So, perhaps the key isn’t necessarily to stop thinking entirely {which is fantastic, since it’s impossible!}

… the key is to focus my brain’s efforts on remembering.
Remember Him.


I’d love to hear how you keep your thoughts trained and focused on “remembering Him.” Many have covenanted to do so … and the never-ending covenant takes never-ending efforts. What helps you remember Him daily?

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Showing 4 comments
  • Jamie

    I really love this post. I’m so glad I found your blog. Thank you for inviting me here! I especially love what you said about remembering our Savior and the memories we have with Him. This is profound and something I’ve never consciously thought of doing. But I will now. Thank you so much!!

  • Jasmine

    This is beautiful. What an inspiring blog. I look forward to reading more. Thank you for sharing your insights!

    • JesPoe

      Thank you, Jasmine! 🙂 I’m glad the Spirit touched your heart … may it abide with you constantly!

  • Aly Dosdall

    Jessica, what a beautiful website and blog! I love your insights and beautiful photography. Thanks for sharing goodness. Best wishes on your upcoming book.

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