Hearken

When King Benjamin called his people together near the end of his life, he began his sermon by urging them to listen carefully to what he had to say:

I have not commanded you to come up hither to trifle with the words which I shall speak,
but that you should hearken unto me,
and open your ears that ye may hear,
and your hearts that ye may understand,
and your minds that the mysteries of God may be unfolded to your view.
(Mosiah 2:9)

Hearken means to listen intently. It implies effort on the part of the listener, and intent to follow what is heard. (See the definition of “hearken” in Websters Dictionary 1828.)

Moses promised the ancient Israelites that hearkening to the word of the Lord would bring great blessings:

And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.
(Deuteronomy 28:1-2)

The angel who showed the prophet Nephi our day in a vision made a number of conditional promises about us, depending on our willingness to hearken:

And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks—
And harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father; yea, they shall be numbered among the house of Israel; and they shall be a blessed people upon the promised land forever; they shall be no more brought down into captivity; and the house of Israel shall no more be confounded.
(1 Nephi 14:1-2)

Similarly, this past Sunday, President Russell M. Nelson also promised us specific blessings if we will choose to hearken to the Savior:

What will happen as you more intentionally hear, hearken and heed what the Savior has said, and what He is saying now through His prophets? I promise you that you will be blessed with additional power to deal with temptation, struggles and weakness. I promise miracles in your marriage, family relationships and daily work. And I promise that your capacity to feel joy will increase, even if turbulence increases in your life.
(“Hear Him,” General Conference, April 2020)

Today, I will hearken to the words of the Savior. I will make the effort to hear His voice and to follow what He asks me to do, knowing that His blessings will follow.

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