Neglectful but not Disobedient

Oprah’s coming to SC in December to campaign for Obama. Did you know that? Yep, it’s true, and apparently there are a lot of people who are in a dither about it. Can Oprah, one of the most influential  women in the world, convince undecided South Carolinians to vote for her friend, a man who reportedly won’t pledge allegiance to the American flag? Oh, and there’s more news. The State’s editorial board isn’t too happy about the Supreme Court modifying the Bar exam AFTER the fact, thus allowing 20 people who had failed to pass. Then there’s the wife of former Governor McNair, Josephine, who died a mere eight days after her husband. According to the newspaper, she was quite a gracious and beloved First Lady.

Why am I filling you in on the news that I learned yesterday? Because I think you might be in the same boat that I am, neglectful but not disobedient. Shortly after reading the newspaper, skimming a magazine, and checking out the latest on MSN.com, I picked up the November Ensign, a church publication, and read a great conference talk by Elder Keith K. Hilbig. Based on Paul’s admonition to “Quench not the Spirit,” Elder Hilbig’s address said that anything that diverts us from the straight and narrow path can dull our sensitivity to the promptings of the Spirit.

“Yes, yes, I know that already,” I thought, but then I came across a question that stopped me in my tracks: “Do I read newspaper religiously but find it difficult to read scriptures daily?” I DO read something from the scriptures daily, but to be perfectly honest, I spend more time reading other things.  I’m going to change that because I believe Elder Hilbig’s promise that, “Whatever level of spiritual development each of us may presently have, there always exists a higher level within our reach.” I want to reach that higher level, don’t you?

Elder Hilbig closes his presentation with a reminder to “quench not the Spirit through disobedience or neglect.” I’ve been neglectful but not disobedient. By that I mean that I don’t lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, or murder. I try to love my neighbor as myself, do good deeds now and then, and give a full day’s work for a full day’s pay. But do I read and ponder the scriptures as much as I do other materials? No, I’ve been neglectful.

Author: jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer

11 thoughts on “Neglectful but not Disobedient”

  1. I’ve often been that way, and I find it helpful to put the Ensign and other church magazines in a place where I know I’ll read them (uh… that would be the bathroom).

    I had a thought during a talk I gave last Sunday about how we should approach our priorities and lives that may apply to what you said. The basic idea was that if there are activities here on Earth that make us unworthy of the blessings of the gospel here, they will also make us unworthy of the blessings of the gospel in the hereafter. To put it in other words: Habits today make me of tomorrow.

    As Alma said, we won’t resurrect from evil to good or from good to evil. We will be the same then as we are now.

  2. That’s so true, and yet some people just don’t get it. They think here is one thing and there is another and that this life has nothing (or little) to do with the next. Or then, maybe they could be holding out until the “end” and hoping that the so-called “death bed confession” will ensure their eternal happiness. You know, it’s funny because even as I’m writing this, I realize that I sometimes get caught up in the here and now and the busy bustle of daily life and forget (though not for long) my eternal destination.

  3. I made a promise to Heavenly Father when I was fourteen that I would read at least a chapter of scripture every day. It has been such a good thing for me… It was a serious promise, a vow in a sense, and it’s been the reason why I read scriptures every night to this day. What would I do with out it? Go crazy, probably, wondering why HF created things like anorexia and marijuana and cocaine and pop culture (which i guess you can argue HE didn’t create, lol)… it’s a good balance, the scriptures against the news. Not disobedient, no. We all do our best.

  4. Thanks for posting a comment, especially such a great one. It’s comforting to remember that a 14 year old can have such depth and commitment to make and keep such a serious vow. Even though you’re a lot younger than I, you’re serving as a great example. In fact, I just read Chapter Five of 1 Thessalonians at lds.org, mainly because of your example. It’s a great chapter, especially towards the end.

  5. ha ha. Thanks. To tell you the truth, I think I’m kind of disobedient (not even neglectful, but really disobedient) by nature. I have to quash that side of me a lot, and I think that the fourteen-year-old me knew that. I don’t tell a lot of people about that, and here I am writing it on a blog, lol.

    Just to let you know, 2 nephi chapter 22 is a GREAT chapter of scirpture… and it’s only a few verses long. I read it on those late, late nights where Iknow I’m going to barely keep my eyes open. Another series of short chapters– the end of Moroni. Also psalms and proverbs, of course. I try not to cheat too much, but you can see that neglect can still creep in. 🙂

  6. Naturally, I had to check out 2 Nephi, Chapter 22, and you’re so right. It’s short and pithy and beautiful, especially the fifth verse. In fact, I think I’ll put it here for others to read and enjoy: “Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things; this is known in all the earth.” It sort of reminds me of some verses in Psalms.

    It’s kind of interesting to see what others’ favorite scriptures are. I’ve started going to a Book of Mormon class on Wednesday night that’s taught by the missionaries, and right now we’re in the 46th and 47th chapters of Alma. There’s so much bloodshed and fighting and deceitfulness and cunning going on, and the missionaries and other men in the class LOVE IT. The gals just want to move on to something else.

    Hmmm. I might be disobedient too, but I’m working on it. Don’t you think we all have our little areas that we need to improve in?

  7. Hi, Jayne! As always, a great reminder. Isn’t that what it means in Matthew 18 that what we bind on earth is bound in heaven and what we loose on earth is loosed in heaven?

    As you know, I love to read scripture and am ever-learning. As nosurfgirl said, what would I do without it? Go crazy, indeed!

    Did you hear about the mother who stabbed her 2 children in tha bathroom of the convenience store? That’s the demons I believe have been loosed upon us and if we dwell too much on those things w/out gaining strnegth from God’s Word, it’s discouraging. Too much depravity everywhere!

    I read an article about “following the bean” amd it expressed exactly what you’re saying here…careful not to get too caught up in the “news of the day”, especially w/out our foundation.

    Thanks for the encouragement with others who are trying to do what’s right, also!
    In His Love.

  8. Odale, It’s always uplifting to read one of your posts. I sincerely don’t know what we’d do without the scriptures. Well, I guess we’d get by, but I think we’d always know there was something missing but not quite know what. Someone remarked at church today that when we want to talk to God, we can pray, and when we want Him to talk to us, we can read the scriptures.

    No, I didn’t read about the terrible incident that you mentioned. Is it on your blog? I’m going there next. And where can I read about “following the bean?”

  9. Sorry it’s taking me so long to get around these days…I seem to have fallen in a babysitter mode… My twin grandnieces were here and I just cannot believe how sweet they are and how soft I’ve become! lol Then there’s a young lady whose husband deserted the military and has had all kinds of problems, lack of a babysitter being one of them. They have two little ones and she’s pregnant. One of the hindrances of working at home; people think I can “stop & go” at my leisure.
    Anyway, you’ve probably heard by now about the mother in Augusta who stabbed her 2 children. Obviously, she was having problems but I seriously doubt if I blog about it b/c I am not as sympathetic as the hype is eliciting. It had to be planned: she walked to the store with a steak knife, asked the lady who was familiar w/ her to use the restroom (which was not a public RR). It was stated that she probably would have taken her own life had the investigators not arrived when they did but 10 mins had already passed before they were called. The story has changed in some ways since the immediate reports…Regardless, two babies are dead. Notice how frequently this sort of thing is happening? As you said, Jayne, we will know something is missing and may not know what, but it’s so sad that so many miss out… Here’s a link to the Augusta Chronicle search page on that story: http://search.augusta.com/index.php?engine=Fast&q=mother+stabbed+children&x=5&y=3

    I’ll post that “following the bean” article for you with the one about Rick Warren…the reason he has so captured my attention is that my church has allowed his book to hijack Bible Study rather than studying the Bible (???) and three of us have tried to discuss other issues (the other couple have teenagers getting ready to begin college in January) in a context of the church’s role and we have blatantly been told we are to stick to the book. Following a book script at Bible Study…??? The last time I went, one of the teenagers had been bumped from leading study b/c one of the “leaders” wanted to bring out some points in that chapter. Agenda… It was a sermon and I didn’t dare answer questions b/c I did not have a dictionary and all answers others tried to give were wrong w/out one. One of my sisters and I have joked about me leaving my Bible at home and just taking RW’s book and a dictionary! 😉 Hope you get my drift on all of that. I have read since that RW’s own church has lost members b/c of the same attitude. (stick strictly to his teachings). In my experience, biblical teachings are more uplifting than any other writings.
    Boy, when I get around to answering…!!! 😉
    Have a blessed day, my dear Jayne!

  10. I have heard about this tragic incident but have not read the article. I couldn’t get it to come up when I clicked the link but will do a google search later (after I finish my blogging). I’m limiting myself to 25-30 minutes because I have so many other things to do…miles to go before I sleep. After I read it, then I’ll comment more. For now, I just have to ask, “Has the world gone mad?”

    I don’t have Warren’s book right in front of me, but I recall reading it faithfully about three years ago. It was easy to read and fit it nicely with my mindset (whatever that means). However, that was also the time when I was writing my book, and so I was interested in his scripture references, and I noticed that his verses had different words than mine. I use the King James version. So anyway, although I like his basic premise, I felt like he was taking a lot of liberties with the Bible.

    Am I reading you right in that the Bible study class you’re attending relies on Warren’s book more than the Bible itself?

  11. Thanks for your comments on Pres. Hilbig’s talk. I am preparing a talk based on his talk. I searched his name and here you are. I am grateful for your comments and how you see the same talk.

    Lorraine Gilmer
    Ranchos Ward, Apple Valley Stake
    Apple Valley, CA

    Lorraine, I'm glad you found something you could use. One of the many, many wonderful things about the amazing talks we hear (and read) is how we can use them in our daily lives as reminders to be better people.

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