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Remembrance and gratitude bring remission of sins

Remembering and being grateful for the "touch of God's hand in your life" can lead to a remission of sins, explained Bishop Henry B. Eyring.

In his Saturday morning address, Bishop Eyring, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, talked about the problem of not remembering.". . . We so easily forget that we came into life with nothing," he observed. "Whatever we get soon seems our natural right, not a gift. And we forget the giver. Then, our gaze shifts from what we have been given to what we don't have."

Bishop Eyring explained that King Benjamin taught his people about remembering. "He taught. . .we are all dust, to which God has given life and then sustained it. He described a fact which is true for every human being: Unforgiven sin will bring us unending torment. And he described the gift we all have been offered: Those whose faith in Jesus Christ leads them to repentance and forgiveness will live in never-ending happiness.

"King Benjamin's teaching had a miraculous effect," Bishop Eyring explained. "Gratitude for what they had led to faith unto repentance. That led to forgiveness. That produced gratitude. And then, King Benjamin taught that if we can remember and so remain grateful, we will retain a remission of our sins, through all the losses and the gains of life."

Bishop Eyring asked his listeners how they could always remember the goodness of God, thus retaining a remission of sins. "The Holy Ghost," he explained, "brings back memories of what God has taught us. You could have an experience with the gift of the Holy Ghost today," Bishop Eyring continued. "You could begin a private prayer with thanks. You could start to count your blessings, and then pause for a moment. If you exercise faith, and with the gift of the Holy Ghost, you will find that memories of other blessings will flood into your mind. If you begin to express gratitude for each of them, your prayer may take a little longer than usual. Remembrance will come. And so will gratitude."

Members can do the same thing as they make entries in their journals, Bishop Eyring counseled. "You could ask yourself, `How did God bless me today?' If you do that long enough and with faith, you will find yourself remembering blessings. And sometimes, you will have gifts brought to your mind which you failed to notice during the day, but which you will then know were a touch of God's hand in your life.

" We should be thankful and express appreciation for all favors received,' " he said, quoting the late President Marion G. Romney. "The chief objects of our gratitude, however, should be, and are, God, our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer.'

"Remembrance," explained Bishop Eyring, "is the seed of gratitude which is the seed of generosity. Gratitude for the remission of sins is the seed of charity, the pure love of Christ."

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