As we begin the third year of President Russell M. Nelson’s ministry as a prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we reflect on the changes and legacy he has already imprinted in the minds of members around the world.
President Nelson always had a desire to learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ. As a young man, he literally forced his parents to live the Word of Wisdom by smashing every alcohol bottle in the house.
Now, he leads a church of over 16 million members as an example of faith, even when the circumstances around aren’t the best. President Nelson’s example and legacy will reverberate long after his ministry ends.
We at Scroll believe in creating and cementing legacies of righteousness, love and faith.
What is the importance of leaving a legacy?
“Wise men have provided a legacy of learning from the past,” according to the remarks of Elder Kenneth Johnson of the Seventy in the April 2018 general conference.
For some, leaving a legacy includes being a champion — reaching the peak of greatness in whatever is important to them. For others, a less desirable legacy imprints itself as a stain upon families, cities or regions.
Creating a legacy begins when one passes wisdom, a lesson or a memory to another. Once a legacy is created, however, it has to cement itself in our lives.
For me, cementing a legacy is remembering the long-term effects or lessons from different individuals in our lives and acting on the teachings or actions we were taught.
We each have people in our lives who we look up to as role models of strength, faith, endurance and kindness, among other qualities. It could be anyone: a pioneer, grandparent, teacher, bishop, sibling or coach. They change your life, whether they know it or not.
In my life, one of the greatest legacies I look up to is my grandpa. He had the best belly laugh, shared his passion of woodworking with his grandchildren and taught me lessons about life that I couldn’t have learned anywhere else. But the greatest legacy he cemented for me was a caring and service-filled heart.
In 2015, on Valentine’s Day, my grandpa was unexpectedly called home. A speaker asked at his funeral who in the audience, which completely filled the chapel and overflowed to the back of the gym, had been touched by an act of kindness from my grandpa, no matter how small. Over three-quarters of the audience stood, having been moved by his kind heart. That is the impact of a legacy; quietly touching lives in profound ways.
Begin your legacy today with small steps — strive towards achieving a goal, render an act of service to someone you see, give advice to a roommate in need and sincerely tell someone important to you that you love them.
Then begin to cement your legacy by continually finding ways to do those small things. As Alma the Younger in the Book of Mormon said, “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.”
Legacies find ways to stand the test of time and generations. What do you want to be remembered for in five, 10 or 15 years from now?