What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
A few years ago President Hinckley said that women should only wear one pair of earrings.
Many women have disregarded this statement. Some, I assume, have chalked it up to the opinion of an old man, “out of touch” with the latest fashion trends of society. Others think it to be a trivial issue that they don’t need to be concerned with.
President Boyd K. Packer commented a few months later on President Hinckley’s talk:
I know a 17-year-old who, just prior to the prophet’s talk, had pierced her ears a second time. She came home from the fireside, took off the second set of earrings, and simply said to her parents, “If President Hinckley says we should only wear one set of earrings, that’s good enough for me.”
Wearing two pair of earrings may or may not have eternal consequences for this young woman, but her willingness to obey the prophet will. And if she will obey him now, on something relatively simple, how much easier it will be to follow him when greater issues are at stake.
Are we listening, brothers and sisters? Are we hearing the words of the prophet to us as parents, as youth leaders, and as youth? Or are we allowing ourselves, as Naaman did at first, to be blinded by pride and stubbornness, which could prevent us from receiving the blessings that come from following the teachings of God’s prophet?
Today I make you a promise. It’s a simple one, but it is true. If you will listen to the living prophet and the apostles and heed our counsel, you will not go astray.
Take a moment and ask yourself where you stand on this issue. When I read this quote I felt the Spirit testify of its truthfulness. How does somebody who disregards this counsel from the Prophet expect to have the desire or ability to obey him when much harder things are required of us? Does such a person think it’ll be that much easier to obey when we’re called to congregate together in Zion, or something of similarly large proportion? I propose that such a person who disobeys the seemingly “trivial” matters will be like the five virgins without oil in their lamps. They will lack the preparation, obedience, and Spirit that comes from following the Prophet of the Lord.
I hope we all can listen to the Prophet and obey his every word, so that as Pres. Packer says, we may not go astray.