Monday, October 20, 2008

3 Nephi 11 Carefully Listen

verse 5

And again the third time (they heard the voice from heaven) and did open their ears to hear it;

Mosiah 5:12

I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts, that ye are not found on the left hand of God, but that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called...

Harold B. Lee told the following: (Revelation and You
By President Harold B. Lee)

Elder John A. Widtsoe of the Council of the Twelve once told of a
discussion he had with a group of stake officers. In the course of the
discussion someone said to him, “Brother Widtsoe, how long has it been since the
Church received a revelation?” Brother Widtsoe rubbed his chin thoughtfully and
said in reply, “Oh, probably since last Thursday.” Brother Widtsoe undoubtedly
referred to the meeting of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve
that is held on each Thursday.
Through the scriptures this
phrase is often repeated: “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matt.
.) All of us are not so blessed to hear all that we ought to

...There, in that place sacred in Him, the Master kneeled down and prayed,
asking the Lord to let this hour pass, and then He said, “Father, glorify thy
name.” The answer came, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
.) There were some people who heard it and said that it had thundered;
there were a few who said an angel of the Lord had spoken to Him. You see, there
were some who had ears to hear, but they didn’t hear.

At the close of Harold B. Lee's talk he lists the different ways we can "hear" the Lord in this phrase:

The thing that all of us should strive for is to so live, keeping the
commandments of the Lord, that He can answer our prayers. If we will live
worthy, then the Lord will guide us—by a personal appearance, or by His actual
voice, or by His voice coming into our mind, or by impressions upon our heart
and our soul. And oh, how grateful we ought to be if the Lord sends us a dream
in which is revealed to us the beauties of the eternity or a warning and
direction for our special comfort. Yes, if we so live, the Lord will guide us
for our salvation and for our benefit.

Russell M. Nelson, Spring Conference 1991 talked about the importance of listening to our spouses:

Husbands and wives, learn to listen, and listen to learn from one another. I was
amused to read of an experience recorded by Elder F. Burton Howard in his
biography of President Marion G. Romney: “His good-humored love for Ida was
manifested in many ways. He delighted in telling of her hearing loss. ‘I once
went to see a doctor about her hearing,’ he would say. ‘He asked me how bad it
was, and I said I didn’t know. He told me to go home and find out. The doctor
instructed me to go into a far room and speak to her. Then I should move nearer
and nearer until she does hear. Following the doctor’s instructions, I spoke to
her from the bedroom while she was in the kitchen—no answer. I moved nearer and
spoke again—no answer. So I went right up to the door of the kitchen and said,
“Ida, can you hear me?” She responded, “What is it, Marion—I’ve answered you
three times.” ’ ”

Even with normal hearing, some couples seem not to
listen to one another. Taking time to talk is essential to keep lines of
communication intact. If marriage is a prime relationship in life, it deserves
prime time! Yet less important appointments are often given priority, leaving
only leftover moments for listening to precious partners.

He goes on to admonish us to listen to the prophet:

“A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you … ; him shall ye hear in
all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. …
“Every soul,
which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” (Acts

President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., said, “We do not lack
a prophet; what we lack is a listening ear.”

He advises to listen to our children:

When our youngest daughter was about four years of age, I came home from
hospital duties quite late one evening. I found my dear wife to be very weary. I
don’t know why. She only had nine children underfoot all day. So I offered to
get our four-year-old ready for bed. I began to give the orders: “Take off your
clothes; hang them up; put on your pajamas; brush your teeth; say your prayers”
and so on, commanding in a manner befitting a tough sergeant in the army.
Suddenly she cocked her head to one side, looked at me with a wistful eye, and
said, “Daddy, do you own me?”
She taught me an important
lesson. I was using coercive methods on this sweet soul. To rule children by
force is the technique of Satan, not of the Savior. No, we don’t own our
children. Our parental privilege is to love them, to lead them, and to let them

Listen to your parents:

Several years ago, I was invited to give an important lecture at a medical
school in New York City. The night before the lecture, Sister Nelson and I were
invited to dinner at the home of our host professor. There he proudly introduced
us to an honor medical student—his beautiful daughter.
weeks later, that professor telephoned me in an obvious state of grief. I asked,
“What is the matter?”
“Remember our daughter whom you met at
our home?”
“Of course,” I replied. “I’ll never forget such a
stunning young lady.”
Then her father sobbed and said, “Last
night she was killed in an automobile accident!” Trying to gain composure, he
continued: “She asked permission to go to a dance with a certain young man. I
didn’t have a good feeling about it. I told her so and asked her not to go. She
asked, ‘Why?’ I simply told her that I was uneasy. She had always been an
obedient daughter, but she said that if I could not give her a good reason to
decline, she wanted to go. And so she did. At the dance, alcoholic beverages
were served. Her escort drank a bit—we don’t know how much. While returning
home, he was driving too fast, missed a turn, and careened through a guardrail
into a reservoir below. They were both submerged and taken to their death.”
As I shared my feeling of sadness, he concluded: “My grief is
made worse because I had the distinct feeling that trouble lay ahead. Why
couldn’t I have been more persuasive?”
This experience will
not have been in vain if others can listen and learn from it. Children, honor
your parents,
even when they cannot give a satisfactory explanation for their feelings.
Please have faith in this scripture, which applies to all age groups: “Hear the
instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.” (Prov. 1:8.)

And of course, Listen to the Lord:

President Spencer W. Kimball said, “It would not hurt us, either, if we
paused at the end of our prayers to do some intense listening—even for a
or two—always praying, as the Savior did, ‘not my will, but thine, be
done.’ (Luke

“Thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the
children of men line upon
line, precept upon precept, here a little and
there a little; and blessed are
those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend
an ear unto my counsel, for they
shall learn wisdom; for unto him that
receiveth I will give more.” (2 Ne.

The example of Rachel Ivins Grant is inspiring to
me. She never complained
about her own deafness. Though most women in their
seventies would be completely
worn out while rearing six growing children of
another mother, she undertook
that task. Rachel’s deafness seemed to save
her from the wear and tear of noise.
Sometimes, when two were arguing,
Rachel would burst out laughing. She said they
had no idea how funny it was
to see their angry faces and hear none of their
Before her son, Heber J. Grant, became the seventh
of the Church, she declared, “Of course the greatest trial I have is
that I
cannot hear, but I have so many blessings I cannot complain, but if we
will live so that we may receive the instructions of God, there is nothing
we are called to pass through but will be for our good.”

The Redeemer loves such faithful souls: “For the eyes of the
Lord are over
the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers.” (1 Pet.
They qualify for this prophetic promise:
they call, I [the Lord] will answer; and while they are yet
speaking, I will
hear” (Isa.

I love how 3 Nephi 11 begins, it begins as I should begin, by listening.

1 comment:

Michal said...

beautiful, christine. well done. i need to think more often about listening for promptings throughout the day--and about listening to my kids. i probably act like i "own them" often.