A Light Thing

Overemphasizing trivial things can create unnecessary anxiety. But trivializing things that really are important can be much more dangerous.

After the First Vision, Joseph Smith was surprised when a religious leader treated his experience “not only lightly, but with great contempt” (Joseph Smith—History 1:21). Joseph knew better than to deny or deemphasize his experience. He knew that, if he were to do so, he would offend God.

The prophet Nephi lamented that “the things which some men esteem to be of great worth, both to the body and soul, others set at naught and trample under their feet” (1 Nephi 19:7). He worried that, because of his inadequacies, people would discount his words and “esteem them as things of naught” (2 Nephi 33:2).

In September 1832, the Lord told church members that their minds had been darkened because they had “treated lightly the things [they had] received,” including the Book of Mormon (Doctrine and Covenants 84:54). Six months later, He gave a similar warning to the church:

All they who receive the oracles of God, let them beware how they hold them lest they are accounted as a light thing, and are brought under condemnation thereby, and stumble and fall when the storms descend, and the winds blow, and the rains descend, and beat upon their house.

Doctrine and Covenants 90:5

An oracle in this context is a message delivered by a prophet. Treating those messages carelessly places us on an unstable foundation. Taking them seriously and acting on them brings safety.

Today, I will prioritize the messages we have received from prophets, particularly guidance from living prophets. I will remember that God will hold us accountable for our responsiveness to the messages we receive from Him.

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