2 But behold, there are many that harden their hearts against the Holy Spirit, that it hath no place in them; wherefore, they cast many things away which are written and esteem them as things of naught.
In statistics, when you are evaluating the truth or falsehood of a statement, you can make two types of error
- Rejecting a statement that is true is called a type I error.
- Accepting a statement that is false is called a type II error.
As Nephi points out in the verse above, when we harden our hearts and fail to receive the Holy Spirit, we become susceptible to type I errors, rejecting things which are actually true.
We are generally more worried about committing type II errors than type I errors. The consequences are often more visible. For example, if you fail to hire someone who would have made an exceptional contribution to your company, you may never detect your mistake, but if you hire someone who is disastrous for your company, you (and everyone around you) will likely be painfully aware of your misstep. Because of this, we may err on the side of rejecting things that may have been good to avoid the embarrassment of championing a cause which turns out to be misguided.
But when Mormon talks about making wise decisions, he, like Nephi, emphasizes type I errors:
Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ (Moroni 7:19).
Today, I will seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost so that I can make wise decisions. I will remember that it is important both to reject falsehood and to accept and embrace truth.