“Thanking God for the Seagulls in Your Life,” Ensign, July 2019
On Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, a monument commemorates a significant event in Church history. In 1848, crickets attacked the crops planted by the struggling pioneers, but part of the harvest was saved when flocks of seagulls swooped down and devoured the crickets. In honor of this miracle, the Seagull Monument was erected in 1913. It shows two bronze seagulls on top of a granite column. There are also four raised panels that tell the story of the crickets and seagulls to millions of visitors every year.
One day while walking on Temple Square, I paused to read one of those panels, which says, “Erected in grateful remembrance of the mercy of God to the Mormon pioneers.” As I read those words, a question came to my mind: “How do I remember the mercy of God in my life?”
I’ve been the recipient of divine mercy many times. Like the pioneers, I’ve been rescued from situations I couldn’t overcome on my own. Although I’m not planning to build a physical structure, I want to find tangible ways to remember and testify of the mercy of God. In the October 2007 general conference, President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, encouraged us to “find ways to recognize and remember God’s kindness,” and he promised that we “will be blessed as [we] remember what the Lord has done.”1
As I pondered on how I could build a monument to God’s mercy in my own life, I realized that there are several simple things we all can do.
Write it down. Creating a written record (such as a journal, personal history, or family letter) allows us to reflect on inspiring memories when times are hard, strengthening our faith and helping us endure well.
Bear testimony. Sharing our experiences with others—in Church meetings, home evening, or one-on-one conversations—can strengthen those around us and help us remember.
Extend mercy to others. Another powerful way to remember God’s mercy to us is to extend mercy to His children. Through forgiving and serving others, we demonstrate that we’ve allowed God’s mercy to change our lives and make us more like our Savior.
Just as the Seagull Monument on Temple Square testifies to the world about a pioneer miracle, these simple acts can help each of us create a lasting monument to the mercy of God in our lives.