October 27th, 2006

Triviality and the Prophet

earrings

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.

4 Responses to “Triviality and the Prophet”

  1. Latter-day Teancum
    October 28, 2006 at 2:47 pm #

    Amen.

  2. October 30, 2006 at 11:00 pm #

    I may go too far on this one! However, I feel strongly on this issue.

    Well, I have to admit, I often wish religious leaders would stick with “important” issues. Standards of dress are mere preferences. Each generation has this cross to bear. In my day, it was long hair for boys and short skirts for girls. How many earrings or even tatoos a person has no bearing on his or her worth.

    Although i admire and like Mormons, I have often felt they place too much importance on those things. And by making official policy on dress standards, the leaders are putting the emphasis in the wrong place. I think it actually leads to rebellion. If they wish to be followed, they need to have their priorities in place.

    For example, I have an LDS friend who has teenagers. His son had his ears piereced at age 18, and still lives at home. My friend hit the roof, and continually complains about it. I asked him, “does your son use drugs?” “No”, he answered.

    “Does your son shame your family through juvenile crime? Has he moved in a girlfriend? Do you ever not know where he is?”

    He answered “no” to all the questions. I then advised him to get down on his knees and thank the Lord for such a fine boy blessed with good health. Be grateful for the minor annoyance of pierced ears.

  3. October 30, 2006 at 11:06 pm #

    Also, I should let you know how things have changed concerning dress standards in my own church. As a young boy, women wore hats to church, and men wore suits. As children, we were dressed similarly. I never, never, never saw women in pants and/or pant suits. It would have been shocking to see women in pants near the altar, or men in jeans at the lectern.

    As the church underwent changes during the 60s and 70s, the dress became much more relaxed. No comments were ever made as people came to church in the clothes they wore throughout the week. Comments were often made, “do you think Jesus cares what I’m wearing?”

    I suspect he probably is more concerned with the person inside.

  4. Dustin
    November 1, 2006 at 6:04 am #

    Connor, Nice post. It reminds me of a stake conference I attended a few years ago where Elder Monte J. Brough spoke about following the prophet. He stated several areas in which we were not following the prophet as we should. After each statement he would say, “we don’t stone the prophets, we just ignore them.”

    Robert, yes I think Jesus does care what I’m wearing. Yes, I could go to church in a hawaiin shirt and jeans (there is a man in my ward that does). Yes Jesus would still love me. But I think what we wears is a reflection of who we are inside.

    I’ve heard so many inside and outside the church (my own brothers and sisters even) say the same thing you do. To me it is just an excuse to be lazy and selfish. “God loves me so much that it doesn’t matter what I do or wear.” Sounds like a subtle lie that Satan would have us feel.

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