Monday, November 16, 2015

Selective Hearing, Selective Seeing

In the Sunday morning session of General Conference, President Monson asked us to be an example and a light to the world.

We become examples of the believers by living the gospel of Jesus Christ in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, and in purity. As we do so, our lights will shine for others to see.”
...Let us speak to others with love and respect, ever keeping our language clean and avoiding words or comments that would wound or offend. May we follow the example of the Savior, who spoke with tolerance and kindness throughout His ministry."

Then in the closing address of the Conference, Elder Bednar defended those who serve in the first Quorums of Church leadership, noting that their invaluable experience gained in many years of service are an asset to the Church.

These men have had a sustained season of tutoring by the Lord, whom they represent, serve, and love. They have learned to understand the divine language of the Holy Spirit and the Lord’s patterns for receiving revelation. These ordinary men have undergone a most extraordinary developmental process that has sharpened their vision, informed their insight, engendered love for people from all nations and circumstances, and affirmed the reality of the Restoration.“

May we hear and heed the eternal truths taught by the Lord’s authorized representatives. As we do so, I promise our faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will be fortified, and we will receive spiritual guidance and protection for our specific circumstances and needs.”

In contrast, some apparently only saw the scene at the podium after President Monson delivered his counsel, and was then helped back to his seat by others. This was taken as a sign of weakness to them, rather than a of a group of dedicated men who support and love one another. As the Salt Lake Tribune article noted:

This comes just after the deaths of three apostles — L. Tom Perry, 92, Boyd K. Packer, 90, and Richard G. Scott, 86 — and amid the ailing health of Robert D. Hales and church President Thomas S. Monson, himself "feeling the effects of advancing age," as the church has noted, and who struggled at the end of his sermon Sunday. “He appeared to grow weak as his voice trailed off. He finished his talk and was helped to his seat.”

Apparently, for those to whom such things would have been most important to notice, the words of Elder Bednar and President Monson were wasted.

From his Priesthood Session address on Saturday night, President Monson observed...

The adversary is committed to our failure.He and his hosts are relentless in their efforts to thwart our righteous desires.The choices you make here and now are forever important.We are surrounded by voices that are persuasive, beguiling, belittling, sophisticated, and confusing.These are loud voices.
Turn the volume down and to be influenced instead by that still, small voice which will guide you to safety.
Disregard for the commandments has opened the way for the plagues of our day.Avoid anything that will deprive you of your happiness here in mortality and eternal life in the world to come.
You will likely be on that slippery slope before you even realize that there is no way to stop.
Courage will be required to remain faithful amid increasing pressures and insidious influences that distort the truth, tear down the good and the decent and attempt to substitute the man-made philosophies of the world.
If the commandments had been written by man, then to change them by inclination or legislation or by any other means would be the prerogative of man. The commandments, however, were God-given.
We can set them aside but we cannot change them.

It seems to be a problem for us that someone takes license to be offended, no matter what we say or do.   They are fanatic in their unswerving determination to impose the "man-made philosophies of the world" on all of us.

For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

It would seem that we only see and hear only the messages that we prepared to receive.

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