Drop The Peanut!


Most of us have heard various stories on methods by which monkeys are trapped. One such story was told by  Robert L. Backman.

“In Africa, the natives have a unique, effective way to capture monkeys. They lop the top off a coconut, remove the meat, and leave a hole in the top of the coconut large enough for the monkey to put his paw in. Then they anchor the coconut to the ground with some peanuts in it. When the natives leave, the monkeys, smelling those delicious peanuts, approach the coconuts, see the peanuts in them, put their paws in to grasp the nuts, and attempt to remove the nuts—but find that the hole is too small for their doubled-up fists. The natives return with gunny sacks and pick up the monkeys—clawing, biting, screaming—but they won’t drop the peanuts to save their lives” (“To the Young Men of the Church”, Oct. 1980)

I recall meeting with a man who wanted to save his marriage, but he was unwilling to let go of bad habits that irritated his wife in order to bring peace and harmony to the home. He wouldn’t “drop the peanut” to save his family. Thus, the family broke apart and the years have shown that it did tremendous damage, not only to the man, but also to his children. Another man wanted to be more a part of the family he so loved and resented being kept out of participation in church ordinances for his children. He blamed the church because he was made to feel unworthy in the eyes of his wife and kids because of his dependence on tobacco. The respect he so desired “went up in smoke”, because he wouldn’t “drop the cigarette”. Still another couldn’t give up his addiction to pornography, even at the peril of losing his job, and family.

I have spoken with and counseled with many individuals who have figuratively “lost their lives” because of their unwillingness to “drop the peanut”. All of us have weaknesses and habits that we love to hold onto. Like the monkey who can’t let go of the peanut to save himself, many of us hold onto things which retard our growth. Sometimes they even serve as a spiritual trap, and will end up costing us, not only things of import in this life, but our eternal salvation

We are better than the monkeys! We should have better judgment when it comes to the value of a peanut. Holding onto personal habits (peanuts) that are not in accordance with gospel principles is not worth the eternal risk.  Let us all examine if there is a “peanut” we need to drop, and if so, let us make a determination to do so. We don’t want to end up selling our souls for peanuts!



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