14 Ye have said: It is vain to serve God, and what doth it profit that we have kept his ordinances and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of Hosts?
15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.
16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard; and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.
(3 Nephi 24:14-16)
In this world of delayed consequences, it is easy to lose perspective and to think that the current snapshot of life we see around us is all there is. Do wicked men prosper? Yes they do, temporarily. Do the righteous suffer? Absolutely, in the short run. But when we take the long view and observe how things play out over time, we recognize that we have been richly blessed for our obedience and that we have nothing to complain about, really.
Unfortunately, we have short memories, which is why it’s helpful to write down our experiences. A book of remembrance or a journal can help us see patterns over time that we might not have noticed otherwise and can help us to keep faith in the orderliness of life, in spite of the chaos that sometimes seems to reign on a given day. No wonder in the previous chapter the Savior chided Nephi for failing to record a miraculous event he had witnessed: “How be it that ye have not written this thing?” A written record can help us maintain a sense of gratitude and an appropriate perspective. Today, I will recommit to consistently write the blessings I receive in my journal and will consciously use that activity to align my feelings with the way things really are.