This is a General Conference Odyssey post.
There are many voices that shout for our attention in the world, but there is only one voice worth listening to.
President N. Eldon Tanner spoke about “Obeying the Right Voice,” causing me to think about the voices I heed. He told story after story of those who listen to the wrong voices. Those voices always end in unhappiness.
For example, he talked about some prison inmates. One inmate, speaking to youth, said, “I’m 45 years old now and I know I’m never going to see the streets again. We’re all dying to get out and you guys are pounding on the doors, saying ‘Let us in.’” Prisons are full of people who listened to the wrong voices but wish now they had listened to the right one.
All of us are born with the Light of Christ. This is a quiet voice that tells us right from wrong. We all know the difference between the two choices. Voices call to us from all directions. Some are cunning, others are distracting. By listening to the Light of Christ within us, we can make choices that bring us happiness.
For Non-Mormons, the Light of Christ is all they have to keep them in the right way. If they ignore it, they can snuff it out completely. Mormons not only have the Light of Christ, at baptism, we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. This is a stronger voice that has great power to influence us for good. But again, we can snuff Him out if we ignore Him.
Our obedience is what makes that voice loud and clear. As we listen and obey more and more, we will receive the gift of the Savior in our lives.
My son has some great insights sometimes and I particularly like this one. As I mentioned, all of us are given the Light of Christ when we come into the world. We innately know the difference between right and wrong. Everything is black and white. Even a child feels when something is not right.
As we grow and gain more knowledge in the way of the world, our view becomes grayer. Intellectualism enters causing us to analyze all the voices, giving them each a fair share of our time. Pride and justification feed on the mind and heart, demanding nourishment. The world coerces us into serving multiple masters, raising our expectations, and lowering our standards. The world grays to make us feel better about our choices. We become obedient to anyone and anything that makes us feel good about ourselves.
But by the end of life, wisdom and experience set in and once again we realize that everything is either white or black, right or wrong, true or false. There are good people all over the world who have lived their lives either wisely or unwisely. But it is only at the end of their lives that they finally recognize their rewards or regrets.
As Pres. Tanner taught, whatever evil we ignore or temptation we sacrifice. Whatever selfish desire we set aside in order to obey the right voice, “He will reward us with success and happiness as we seek first to build his kingdom.”
In a world such as ours, that’s quite a promise.
Listening to the right voice throughout our life will create a life of happiness. The more we are obedient during this lifetime, the more time we can enjoy that happiness. The more we obey quickly, the stronger that right voice will be. The more we turn away from the many confusing voices and focus on the one that faces the Son, the fewer regrets we will feel and the Lord will reward us openly.
And the lad be not with me Marilyn Nielson