Monday, August 17, 2015

Mormon 7:1 -- On Ancient Advice

"And now, behold, I would speak somewhat unto the remnant of this people who are spared, if it so be that God may give unto them my words, that they may know of the things of their fathers; yea, I speak unto you, ye remnant of the house of Israel; and these are the words which I speak:"
Mormon 7:1

In this chapter Mormon is speaking through time to people many hundreds of years in the future.  He knows they will exist because he trusts God, and he trusts God to give them his message.  On our side, it is someone speaking to us from the distant past, offering advice.  Sometimes we dismiss advice from the past without even considering it, because we think that we're living in a new world, and that we'll never have the same problems that our ancestors or even our parents did.  We think that *we* will be better than that.  We dismiss the advice of our grandparents or other older people for similar reasons.  We often think that they are outdated, and they have nothing to offer us.  This is an age of new, and we don't need to think about obsolete technology or ideas.
The problem with this thinking is that it is largely wrong.  True, perhaps we take to the internet faster than our forebears, but technology doesn't change the core of the gospel.  It doesn't change the fact that we are all still going to have interpersonal challenges, that we are all going to face seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and it certainly doesn't change God, who knows the end from the beginning, no matter which year you start from.  Youthful exuberance and hope for the future is awesome, but sometimes we allow ourselves to forget that experience does matter... that people that are older than we are probably have experienced things that we haven't, and have good advice to share with us.  Especially prophets. :)  And our parents, who raised us, and know us pretty well, despite what we might think.  Our teachers are worthy of respect for taking the time to share their experiences with us, and help us improve.
Today, let's thoughtfully consider the advice of others, whether young or old.  Let's remember that everyone we meet may have something to teach us... even reading their words hundreds of years later.  It doesn't mean that we have to take everyone's advice or that everyone older than we are gets to automatically boss us around, but as we are learning to follow the commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:39), let's remember that we would like people to listen to us and take our ideas seriously.  Let's offer that same respect to others.  Especially prophets. :)

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