Monday, February 25, 2013

A Little Late

The year was 1997. I can't really tell you much of what was going on in the world; it was the first year of my mission and I was a good missionary then. (I can tell you anything you need to know about 1998, though.) I was serving in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and the bishop's wife was the seminary teacher. She asked me to memorize 2 Nephi 4:16-35 to recite to the class about six weeks later. She said, "I think it would have more power if they heard someone really say it instead of just read it." I told her that wouldn't be a problem. She said, "Are you sure? It's long, and it's only a few weeks away." I swore it would give me no trouble at all.

So confident was I that it would be easy, that I spent the first several weeks taking no action at all. Then, with about a week to go, I looked at the scripture and saw that she wasn't lying: it was long. So I began...hoping I'd get transferred that week. Which I did. The day I got the call I called up the bishop's wife and told her I was so sorry, that I was totally ready, but I was being transferred. I believe she said, "If you would like to come recite it tomorrow morning, we can hear it a little early." Unfortunately, I would be unavailable tomorrow morning.

For nearly 16 years now, I've thought, "I'm supposed to have that scripture memorized." And it had been on my plan of things to do. (I'm like a Communist; I've got all kinds of 16-year plans. Like learning Spanish and the piano.) In his October 2011 General Conference address, Elder Richard G. Scott recommended scripture memorization. "Great power can come from memorizing scriptures," he said. "To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship. It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change."

So for 2013 I've set a goal of memorizing 12 scriptural passages, and in January I started with 2 Nephi 4:16-35.

Like my effort in 1997, I spent the first several weeks not doing it. As a result, I didn't finish my January scripture until the middle of February. But I did finish it. (You'll have to take my word for it; the only way to prove it would be to post a video of me reciting it, and that seems a little weird.)

I'm back on track now, having finished February's scripture (Jacob 4:4-11), and tomorrow I'm even going to start March's scripture (D&C 121:34-46) early. That doesn't sound like me at all.

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