Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Fine Tuning a Listening Ear


The last chapter of 3 Nephi begins with the word hearken. In fact, several times throughout these last chapters of 3 Nephi, the people of our day are given warnings and told to hearken. Throughout the Book of Mormon we are called to attention with such words as hearken, listen, give heed, and behold. When we come across one of these words, it is wise to slow the pace and pay attention. Bishop H. David Burton spoke of hearkening to the word of the Lord in General Conference: "Perhaps the greatest obstacle to our ability to hearken courageously to the word of the Lord involves our egos, vain ambitions, and pride. It seems that the proud find it burdensome to hear and accept the instruction of God. We are told in Proverbs that “pride goeth before destruction” (Prov. 16:18)." 

I have been consistently, almost daily, reading the Book of Mormon for over a year now. I took part of a Relief Society challenge and read the entire Book of Mormon last fall, then I began the book again when I started school in January. I have found Christ through these words. I have found love. I have found an added measure of strength that comes from a higher power. As I read the word of the Lord, I feel pride dissipate and a humble desire to follow and emulate Christ take place of that pride. I feel the fine tuning of my eyes to see, my ears to hear, and my heart to feel. 

If you want to be an instrument in God's hands to rescue and lift others, may I suggest a two step process for developing a listening ear: humbly turn to God by reading the words of scripture given to His prophets both anciently and in our day; then make the sacrament a priority. As you humbly forsake sins, through the partaking of the sacrament, the power of the atonement is given an opening to work within you, teaching, guiding, strengthening you to do all that you have been asked to do. I give you my witness that as you forsake sins and consistently read and hearken to the word of the Lord, Christ will be there right beside you and you will be able to walk and progress in life, even during the times when your path is darkest and you feel the heaviest of burdens upon your shoulders. I have felt this power at work within myself and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn to hearken.

Note: See comment for additional confirming quote. Link to full devotional here