Thursday, February 26, 2015

2 Nephi 9:28-29 -- On Vanity and Collaboration with Deity

"O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.
But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God."
2 Nephi 9:28-29

I like how the second verse is kind of thrown in kind of as an afterthought.  Education and learning *can* be good, if.  ... And as much as I know God loves education, intelligence, light, and truth (D&C 93:36), and as much as I personally love the idea of learning and growing and becoming, Jacob makes an excellent point here.  We are vain, and frail, and foolish.  We so easily slip into pride and think that we are cool and we know better than other people, and better than God.  *Neither* of which are true.  Even when we have expertise in a subject, there are other people around who do also, and who know the context better.  We consistently overestimate our own competence, which often results in blocking other people out and pushing for our own way, even if it is the wrong way.  Working together and listening to each other is better than bullying, and will result in better solutions.  And really, even though God created us and deserves so much more, he only asks for that same respect and consideration that we should be giving to everyone around us:  that we include him and listen to him as we work through problems.  Like any parent, he knows we need him, but he is also trying to teach us to be ourselves, and to learn to make good choices.  And he knows that if we learn to trust him more, he can help us more too.
Today, let's hearken unto the counsels of God.  He *can* add to the discussion, as resistant as we are to listen.  If we give him a chance, he can make our lives better than they ever could have been without him.  And our learning and expertise will do us some good too, if we don't let it go to our heads. :)  Let's go out there and try to be humble today.  Let's listen, and learn, and collaborate... *especially* with God.

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