Yesterday I taught Lesson 23 “Seek Learning, Even by Study and Also by Faith” in my ward’s gospel doctrine class. This is a new calling for me and only my second week teaching so it was a little shaky in places, but overall went well. It helped that it’s a topic that falls within my (rather extensive) stable of hobbyhorses. I ended the class with the following (possibly erroneous) claim:
We only take three (positive) things with us to the next life:
- The Christ-like attributes we have developed
- The relationships we have forged
- The knowledge/wisdom we have gained
I’m wondering now what that means for our creative work. Certainly, in whatever ways our creative work feed into (or detract from) the list above, it has an impact on the next life. But what about the work itself? What, especially, if it’s writing, which can transcend the limitations of the temporal and physical confinement of our mortal existence? I mean: all the stories are somewhere in our heads (with other versions in the heads of our readers).
We are told in Alma 5 that if we don’t repent, we will at the final judgement have “a perfect remembrance of all [our] wickedness”. If that’s possible, is it also possible that we will be able to access the memory of all of our stories?
I’m not actually looking for an answer. I don’t think it’s something we can know. But I suspect that we take our stories with us into the next life. And I’m wondering what that means for the work we do here and now.