I Gave You A Prophet!


Over 40 years ago, I was teaching Seminary as a volunteer at a major university. Class started at 7am each day, and the class consisted of twenty-five to thirty juniors and seniors. At age 26 I was full of energy and vitality and I did my best to keep the attention of groggy teenagers who wanted to be somewhere else other than in a religion class.  Sometimes I felt that I was putting on a one hour, one-man show. On one occasion I recall being out of ideals so I located a video-tape of  Spencer W. Kimball, who was serving as the president of the church,  and showed it to the class. I stood in the back of the class as the tape showed a General Conference talk of his.

It was apparent that he couldn’t hold their attention as within minutes, the students were either talking or sleeping. I let the tape run its full 15 to 20 minutes, all the while observing what was going on, but never saying a word. After the tape ended, I turned off the recorder and asked the class what they had learned. No one raised their hand, which was no surprise to me, they were teenagers after all. I then said:

“If I had put on a 30-minute TV show of any kind or showed you part of a professional sports event, you would have watched with great interest. Instead, I gave you a Prophet,  and you paid no attention and gave no heed to his words.” Perhaps I was a bit harsh, because I had to question if I was any different that my students.

I think I learned the most from that morning’s lesson. It is so easy to pass judgment on people in history. Whether they be from the scriptures or secular history. We say to ourselves that we wouldn’t be like them. We wouldn’t have rejected Christ. We wouldn’t have stoned the prophets! We wouldn’t have done this, we wouldn’t have done that. But sometimes, we have a moment of lucid enlightenment that tells us that we might not be as noble as we think.

Do we invite fictional entertaining characters created by man into our homes so often that they crowd out the words and messages of the Lord’s servants? May we also take time to entertain men and women of God in our homes via the great technology inspired by our Heavenly Father.

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