by Jared Le Fevre:
I'm 40 years old and am starting to lose it in the memory department. Not in an early Alzheimer-y kind of way. More in the way of: I'm 40, work a lot, have five kids who never stop talking, and there is always someone who needs my time and my brain is too full to absorb/remember it all. Under those circumstances, who can remember everything that happened years ago?
Apparently some folks get disturbed that there are multiple accounts of the first vision, wherein Joseph Smith mentions some details and not others. The Church must have sensed the concern and felt the need to write an essay explaining it.
No problem for me; my memory of significant events is terrible. For example, I have five kids, ages seven to fifteen. I can kind of remember the details of the births of the first three. The last two, I frankly can't remember many of the details at all. They were c-sections—does that count? Did I get to put on scrubs? Cut the cord? See my wife cut open like the Thanksgiving turkey? Hmmm. Could be, but I can't remember all that well. In cleaning out my garage over the weekend, I stumbled upon some pictures of the kids as babies. I can sort of tell which baby was which kid.
When I was a missionary in Pasadena, California in 1994, President Hunter, the prophet, came to the Pasadena stake conference where he had been a former stake president. I remember hearing him speak. Did I as a missionary get to shake his hand? I can't recall. Seems like I remember maybe shaking his hand. You would think I would know for sure, but I don't. I remember him being wheeled in in a wheel chair and remember having a nice feeling as he entered. But I can't recall if I actually got to shake his hand. I remember that I talked about this story as part of my mission homecoming talk, so it was meaningful to me at the time. But, sorry, I just can't remember all the details anymore.
This reminds me of the old Jack Handy Deep Thoughts: "The memories of my family outings are still a source of strength to me. I remember we'd all pile into the car---I forget what kind it was---and drive and drive. I'm not sure where we'd go, but I think there were some trees there. The smell of something was strong in the air as we played whatever sport we played. I remember a bigger, older guy we called "Dad." We'd eat some stuff, or not, and then I think we went home. I guess some things never leave you."
I'm seriously going to start keeping some sort of journal now. How is your memory of important life events and spiritual moments?
Jared Le Fevre is a running hobbyist (Clydesdale division, which is a nice way of saying over 200 pounds, which is a nice way of saying that he weighs too much for his height) and tax and business lawyer, with five awesome kids and a wife. He has started several blogs, but deletes them when he falls behind in posting or thinks they are goofy.
Photograph by Tom Magliery, modified by Scott Heffernan (used with permission).