How to Fill Your Book of Life

From a Church Educational System fireside given on November 1, 1992.


L. Tom Perry
young woman

Photo illustration by John Luke

I come to you with a question about eternal memories you are building in your lives. Are they followed by the comment “I wish I had,” or can you say, “I’m glad I did”?

Reaching back into history, if we could select just one principle that would especially contribute to the “I’m glad I did” memories, what would it be? It would be the principle of obedience.1

We all make daily entries in our book of life. Occasionally we examine the entries we are making. What kind of memories will flood your mind as you examine the pages of your personal entries? How many pages will contain “I wish I had” entries? Will there be entries of procrastination and failure to take advantage of special opportunities? Will you find entries of thoughtlessness in treatment of family, friends, or even strangers? Will there be those of remorse resulting from acts of unrighteousness and disobedience?

Fortunately, each day brings a clean, white page on which to change entries from “I wish I had” to “I’m glad I did” through the process of recognition, remorse, repentance, and restitution. Feelings of depression for past acts or missed opportunities will be outshone by memory banks filled with exhilaration, enthusiasm, and the joy of living.

As you examine the memorabilia you have put into your book of life, will you find the ones prescribed by the Lord in being obedient to His laws? Will there be baptismal certificates, priesthood ordinations for both the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods for the young men and Young Womanhood Recognition certificates for the young women, and, of course, a letter of honorable release from a full-time mission? Will there be current temple recommends, tithing receipts, a marriage performed in the holy temple, and acceptance of priesthood and auxiliary calls?

My counsel to you is to fill up your memory bank and your book of life with as many “I’m glad I did” activities as you possibly can (see Mosiah 2:41).

Find the commitment and discipline to seek after those positive experiences that will lead to liberty and eternal life. It is my witness to you that God lives. It is by conforming our lives to His law that we will find true happiness here and eternal opportunities in the life to come.

Show References

    Note

  1.   1.

    See the accounts of Alma the Younger (Mosiah 27; Alma 29; 36), Adam and Eve (Moses 5:4–11), Samuel and Saul (1 Samuel 15:9–11, 13–14, 20–24), and Nephi (1 Nephi 3–5). See also D&C 130:20–21.