In 1946, the young researcher Arthur Hasler was hiking along a mountain stream near his boyhood home when he had an experience that led to an important discovery about how fish find their way back to their birth streams.
Hiking up a mountain, yet out of sight of his favorite childhood waterfall, Hasler was suddenly brought back to a forgotten memory. He said, “As a cool breeze, bearing the fragrance of mosses and columbine, swept around the rocky abutment, the details of this waterfall and its setting on the face of the mountain suddenly leapt into my mind’s eye.”1
These smells rekindled his childhood memories and reminded him of home.
If smells could trigger such memories for him, he reasoned that perhaps smells could be as evocative for salmon who, after years of being in the open ocean, return to the exact stream of their birth to spawn.
Based on this experience, Hasler, together with other researchers, went on to demonstrate that salmon remember the very scents that would help them navigate thousands of miles to find their way back home from the sea.
This account caused me to think that one of the most important things we can do in this life is to recognize and remember the pathway back to our Heavenly Father and faithfully and joyfully persevere throughout the journey.
I thought of four reminders that, when used and applied consistently in our lives, can rekindle feelings of our heavenly home.
We have a divine heritage. Knowing that we are children of God and that He wants us to return to His presence is one of the first steps on the journey back to our heavenly home.
Remind yourself of this heritage. Make time regularly to boost your spiritual immune system by remembering the blessings you have received from the Lord. Trust the guides you have been given from Him, rather than turning solely to the world to measure your personal worth and find your way.
Recently I visited a loved one after she had been in the hospital. She told me with emotion that while she was lying in the hospital bed, all she desired was for someone to sing to her the song “I Am a Child of God.” That thought alone, she said, gave her the peace she needed in that hour of affliction.
Knowing who you are changes what you feel and what you do.
Understanding who you truly are better prepares you to recognize and remember your way back to your heavenly home and yearn to be there.
Strength comes to us when we remain righteous, true, and faithful to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, even when others overwhelmingly disregard the commandments and principles of salvation.2
In the Book of Mormon, Helaman taught his sons to remember that they must build their foundations on Jesus Christ in order to have the strength to withstand the temptations of the adversary. Satan’s mighty winds and storms are beating upon us, but they will have no power to drag us down if we put our trust in the safest place—in our Redeemer.3
I know from personal experience that as we choose to hear His voice and follow Him, we will receive His help. We will obtain a wider perspective of our circumstances and a deeper understanding of the purpose of life. We will feel the spiritual stirrings that will guide us to our heavenly home.
We live in a time when with a single touch or voice command, we can begin searching for answers on almost any topic in the immensity of data stored and organized in a vast and complex network of computers.
On the other hand, we have the simplicity of the invitation to begin seeking answers from heaven. “Pray always, and I will pour out my Spirit upon you.” Then the Lord promises, “And great shall be your blessing—yea, even more than if you should obtain treasures of earth.”4
God is fully aware of each one of us and ready to listen to our prayers. When we remember to pray, we find His sustaining love, and the more we pray to our Father in Heaven in Christ’s name, the more we bring the Savior into our life and the better we will recognize the path He has marked to our heavenly home.
As we strive to follow Jesus Christ by serving and showing kindness to others, we make the world a better place.
Our actions can significantly bless the lives of those around us and our own lives as well. Loving service adds meaning to the lives of both the giver and the receiver.
Do not underestimate the potential you have to influence others for good, both by the service of your actions and by the service of your example.
Loving service to others guides us along the path to our heavenly home—the path of becoming like our Savior.
In 1975, as a result of a civil war, Arnaldo and Eugenia Teles Grilo and their children had to leave behind their home and all that they had built through decades of hard work. Back in their native country of Portugal, Brother and Sister Teles Grilo faced the challenge of starting all over again. But years later, after joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they said, “We lost everything we had, but it was a good thing because it compelled us to consider the importance of eternal blessings.”5
They lost their earthly home, but they found the way back to their heavenly home.
Whatever you must leave behind to follow the path to your heavenly home will one day seem like no sacrifice at all.
We have Jesus Christ’s perfect example to follow, and the journey toward our eternal home is possible only because of His teachings, His life, and His atoning sacrifice—including His death and glorious Resurrection.
I invite you to experience the joy of remembering that we are children of God and that He so loved the world that He has sent His Son6 to show us the path. I invite you to remember to be faithful, to turn your life to the Savior and build your foundation on Him. Remember to be prayerful in your journey and serve others along the way.
Dear brothers and sisters, on this Easter Sunday, I bear testimony that Jesus Christ is the Redeemer and Savior of the world. He is the one who can usher us to the table of a joyful life and guide us in our journey. May we remember and follow Him home. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.