A Single Question

4 min read

I thought I would share something. It’s a single question. Every day I think of one thing over and over. It’s in my thoughts all the time. Every time it spins out into other topics that lead me to ponder over other ideas. It has helped to shape my life. It helps me to reflect on what is important in this life; how to be a better: father, husband, neighbor, follower of Jesus Christ, and member of my Church.

It humbles me, I hope enough, to allow the Sprit (Holy Ghost) into my life so that I can be taught to be a better person. It helps me to let go of the things of the world, and all the conflict and strife that would otherwise upset me. It helps me to see that I am not a victim of my circumstance, but a wonderfully blessed individual with great opportunities for growth, and service.

It helps me to see the astounding mercy of my Father in Heaven, and His eternal love for me. It’s a question that shapes my life, and over the years it hasn’t changed…just my answers have become more profound. So, what is this one question that could have such a profound effect on my life? That one question is… “When I am gone how do I wish to be remembered?”

The question could be a source of either great pride or humility. It all depends on how you answer the it. My answers have been similar each day; however, it shifts a little. Over time my answers have developed into a deeper yearning of an understanding of how to be like Christ.

My thought is that my last day could be today, tomorrow, or (hopefully) when I’m very old and ready to cross over once my mortal chores are done. Most of us do not know when we will pass away leaving mortality behind. So, how do I wish to be remembered?

I picture myself not as I am, but what I want to become. I want to be humble, meek, and teachable. I’m tired of fighting my pride. I find it a relentless pursuit of remorse and repentance, but it’s worth it because I wish to be submissive to the Spirits promptings. I want to be a loving, caring, and charitable person. Being slow to anger would be wonderful, but I want to be one that never even raises a thought in ire, and always gives people the “benefit of a doubt”. To view all people with empathetic eyes, and understand what it is that I can do to help lift their burdens, and recognize their truly resplendent potential.

Most of all, if I had to pick, there are three things that I hope I can accomplish before I leave this mortal life. To be a benevolent servant to God, a loving husband to my wife, and a loving father to my children. If I can accomplish at least these three things I will consider myself most blessed, the most accomplished, and richest man ever born.

I hope that this doesn’t come across as prideful desires, but rather an honest yearning to do better. My hope is that perhaps it can help others in discovering what is truly important in their lives.

Do you wish to be remembered as one that always went the extra mile at work, working long hours, devoting all available time to work, and perhaps having money to spare, or do you wish to be remembered as the loving parent that always made the effort to be at his children’s activities, was never rich material perhaps, but always brought a loving tear to those that remember you?

Do you wish to be remembered as one that always had to speak his or her mind no mattered who it upset. To be right or vindicated was most important, or do you wish to be remembered as the one that took the time to understand others’ points of view even when those views opposed your own, and others respected you because you respected there views?

Do you wish to be remembered as the one that never had the “time” to do anything with anyone at any time because you were too busy doing “everything”, or do you wish to be remembered as the one that gave up time even though you didn’t have any more to give but instead elected to sacrifice personal time for others?

I honestly believe that the vast majority of people really do want to be remembered for good, but it’s easy to get lost in the winds of the storm of life, and being blown around with whatever the current gust of public opinion is. To help weigh an anchor, and to bring stability in the seemingly vast turbulent seas of distractions, I give to you my question. It doesn’t matter what religion you are, or even if you are religious. It’s a seemingly harmless question, but can have a profound effect upon your life if you think upon it, answer it honestly, and then figure out how to act to answer it.

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