Awareness

An important theme in the Book of Mormon is the importance of awareness. Here are a few examples:

  • At the age of 10, Mormon was selected to be responsible for the plates. the prior caretaker, Ammaron, chose him because he was “a sober child” and “quick to observe” (Mormon 1:2).
  • For Ammaron to identify these characteristics in such a young boy—particularly in a young boy who would eventually lead all of the Nephite armies—indicates that Ammaron was, himself remarkably observant. It was a quality he possessed and a quality he valued.
  • Mormon lamented a lack of awareness among his people, and the resultant missed opportunities: “They did not realize that it was the Lord that had spared them, and granted unto them a chance for repentance” (Mormon 3:3, italics added).
  • He foresaw his words being read and valued by people with a certain level of awareness: “And now behold, this I speak unto their seed, and also to the Gentiles who have care for the house of Israel, that realize and know from whence their blessings come” (Mormon 5:10, italics added).

As I’ve pondered these passages today, I’ve had the following insights:

  1. A sober attitude of heart and mind is necessary to see things as they really are. We must eliminate distractions, including strong emotions, which might cloud our judgment and distort our perception.
  2. Awareness is a choice. We can proactively pay more attention to what’s going on around us.
  3. Our awareness is enhanced when we care about causality. Questions like “Why did that happen?” or “Where did that come from?” can give us insight into our environment and help us interact with it productively.
  4. Awareness is a prerequisite to gratitude. We can’t be grateful for something we haven’t detected.
  5. If our awareness is limited to our physical senses, we may be missing things that can only be discerned spiritually.

Today, I will strive to be more aware of my circumstances. In particular, I will remember that awareness is a choice, that it is enhanced by curiosity, and that it is not limited to what I can detect with my physical senses.

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