En route to the Promised land, Nephi chastised his brothers for being “past feeling.” They experienced miracles and had conversed with angels of God, and yet continued to find themselves murmuring for what they deemed to be injustices and undue hardships.
I find my own self pondering over this line of scripture continually. I find myself pouring over my own affairs and standing with God and whether if I find, to my weakness, a state of “past feeling” toward the Spirit.
I can’t comprehend the magnitude of the blessings and experiences lost due to not heeding spiritual promptings. In the final judgment, we will know of a surety the many that went without the aid of our help because of the hardness of our hearts. How heartbreaking will it be to know the many sufferings and pains that could have been adverted in this life if we were only closer to God and heeded His counsel?
At the age of four, I witnessed a young girl excitedly running outside to greet her father coming home, only for her to slip in the road because of the boots she was wearing. Her father, not paying attention and listening to his music on full blast, accidentally ran over his daughter’s leg. He was unable to hear her screams, possibly thinking he had hit a tree branch or a speed bump. It was a very tragic incident that could have been avoided entirely if he was watching and listening.
I recount this story as I see many of us are going through life like this father – we have the music on full blast, or a movie, or a video game – completely unaware of what’s going on around us and unable to hear the direction of the Spirit calling to us.
Over four months have passed since the 2019 Easter General Conference, and I ask, how quickly did we move on with our lives with no change? How fast were we to ignore and forget the prophet’s instruction to repent and change the nature of our lives just so that we could indulge the next Game of Thrones episode or the sports contest after church? We are the captains of our own salvation and will be accountable to the truths for which we hold and have been taught.
For 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. Yea, even the very God of Israel do men trample under their feet; I say, trample under their feet but I would speak in other words—they set him at naught, and hearken not to the voice of his counsels.1 Nephi 19:7
In our day, the world is filled with more distractions than we’ve ever confronted at any other time, it seems. Distractions, by definition, draw us away from what matters most. It is only during times of natural disasters or great tragedies that people turn back to God and attendance of church rises. When we are comfortable and rich with blessings, we are apt to forget from whom those blessings flow. We can’t expect our bodies to be strong without exercise, and the same applies to our spirit.
In hearing the pleadings of our beloved prophet, Russell M Nelson, may we spiritually awaken to the Spirit and not find ourselves like Laman and Lemuel — having spiritual giants in their lives, but were past feeling to the promptings of the Spirit.
O that ye would awake; awake from a deep sleep, yea, even from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound, which are the chains which bind the children of men, that they are carried away captive down to the eternal gulf of misery and woe.
Awake! and arise from the dust, and hear the words of a trembling parent…2 Nephi 1:13-14
We are to be constantly engaged in the work of the Lord. We need to read the scriptures daily and pray constantly for good purpose, that we may always be anchored to the Spirit. When the direction comes, may we not be passed feeling and miss on an eternal experience where we lose an opportunity for growth for ourselves or someone we love.
“An Humble and a Contrite Heart” – President Gordon B. Hinckley, October 2000
“Put Off the Natural Man, and Come Off Conqueror” – Elder Neal A. Maxwell, October 1990
“Great Experiences” – Elder Sterling W. Sill, June 1971 Ensign
You can follow Bo on Twitter @VitaminPilled.