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

3 comments:

  1. I love it when someone with a little more weight with the people repeats what I have just learned and written down. This is from a devotional given by Sheri Dew in reference to those learning to listen: "[They] immerse themselves regularly in the scriptures, because the scriptures are the textbook for the Lord's language. They also work to be increasingly pure-pure in their heart and thoughts, pure in what they say, watch, read, and listen to. Purity invites the Spirit. And then, pure seekers listen."

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  2. I'm grateful for you witness and testimony. This was a great post for me to read this week. Lately I have felt like a lot of my burdens have been lifted because of the scriptures and the time I have been able to spend in them. I too have been reading a lot more this year, studying them, and I have been gaining peace from their prophetic messages. I know exactly what you mean about pride dissipating and being replaced with a "gazelle intense" desire to follow our Savior. I also like what you said about working to increase our purity. It really takes WORK on our part to transform our thoughts and feelings turning ourselves over to the Lord. It's a lifetime of work that will most certainly carry over into the next life and we need to build up each other along the way to help strengthen and give confidence to those righteous desires. Sometimes it just takes one person's example to boost our intensity level forward towards this work. I pray that I may be that example for someone one day. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you for your comments. I appreciate your witness and insight. It is a lifetime work for sure. It's easy to get tired. I know you'll be blessed as you diligently continue tending to that work. The righteous desires of your heart will be recognized. You probably bless more lives with your example than you know.

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