finger-924109_640I learned this valuable lesson from my business mentor, Dean Graziosi. I was frustrated at my lack of progress in growing my business. When I shared this with him, he counseled me:

“You’ve gotten this far by saying Yes. Yes to new contacts, new opportunities, new ideas and strategies. Now you are at the point where saying No is more valuable than saying Yes. You need to focus your efforts. That means saying No to opportunities that do not further your goals. It means turning down invitations you don’t really want to accept. It requires you to develop the ability to stay clear about what you want and the courage to say No to people who would derail you, even unwittingly. Some people may feel slighted by your refusal to join in their projects and agendas, but in the end, they will respect your strength and clarity.”

This has been a hard lesson for me, because I believe that saying Yes! to life is the best way to create a joyful life. I still believe that. But that doesn’t mean I need to say Yes to every tantalizing  idea or activity that comes along. I am naturally curious and want to experience every good thing. But there are good things, and there are better things, and there are best things, as Dallin Oaks taught. In LDS church culture, we are pressured to say Yes to everything asked of us, and further pressured to do many good things of our own will and initiative. There is great value in this, as it builds our willingness and our talents. But at a certain point, No becomes even more valuable. With time and practice, we learn what works best for us in keeping our mind and heart focused on the Lord. And that varies from person to person. Some need lots of solitude and contemplative sorts of practices. Others need lots of sociality and service projects.

Learning what we want, and what we need to get what we want is a prime purpose of life, perhaps THE prime purpose. Shedding our “need” for the good opinion of others, trusting our own spirits to know how to choose what to say Yes to, what to say No to is a Big Task. Those who learn the lesson well are generally regarded as heretical, rebellious or even blasphemous. Know anyone like that?

Jesus said No, not to the Law, but to ridiculous interpretations of the law. He said No to the cultural views of women in his time. He said No to worrying about his day-to-day sustenance. He said No to cruelty, to exclusion, to hypocrisy, to Babylon. What did He say Yes to? He said Yes to God, and only to God. And what did that get Him? Misunderstanding, mistreatment, misjudgment. Ignomy. Death.

I think it’s our fear of those same results — misunderstanding, mistreatment, ignomy — that keep us from taking a clear and firm stand for God, no matter what. I’ve certainly not been that brave. But I want to be. Abraham Maslow said that fully actualized people have two traits in common: 1) they live independent of the opinion of others, and 2) they are not attached to results. Imagine the freedom of that!

To tell you the truth, this essay didn’t end up where I thought it would. But maybe that’s part of the power of No — and Yes. I said No to  strict outlines, Yes to unknown possibility. If I applied that to my spiritual life, what unknown possibility might manifest? How do I know if I’m ready to properly judge between ridiculous interpretations of the law and the Law itself? How do I more deeply trust my own spirit to recognize Truth, no matter what “truth” is presented to me? How do I grow the courage to live without regard of others’ opinions of me? How do I detach from results, and simply trust God to fulfill my divine desires? When do I say No? And when Yes?

How does No and Yes show up in your life?

17 Comments

  1. Darwin

    March 16, 2016

    *laughs* This has been my lot in life since I joined the church…misunderstanding, mistreatment, ignominy.

    New Bishop (who was a “boss” at his work) in ward council: “Elders Quorum – you do this; Relief Society – you do this; Sunday School – you do this; Primary – you do this; Single Adults – don’t bother me with anything. Ever.”

    Everybody nods quietly.

    Me: Sorry. Not how that works. Let’s go over the manual.

    Different ward: The Bishopric states that ONLY members of the bishopric and the Elders Quorum Presidency can give blessings because they are probably the only ones that know how.

    Everybody nods quietly.

    Me: Sorry. Not how that works.

    Quote: “Some aspects pf the priesthood are NOT related to position or title. Authority to administer a priesthood blessing, for example, is dependent only upon ordination and worthiness. The Lord would not withhold blessings from any of His children for want of one with a particular calling. Every elder in the Church holds the same priesthood as the President of the Church.” [Elder Russel M. Nelson C.R. April 1993 p.38]

    A stake president in ward conference states that people should not pray about accepting callings, they should just accept them. If you are called as ward organist, and you don’t play the organ…learn.

    Everybody nods quietly.

    Me: Sorry. Not how that works.

    After he tried to make me look like an idiot for disagreeing and getting everyone in the room to denounce me…The Area Authorities actually had to get involved to explain it to him. After I informed them of the problem.

    They assured me that they didn’t think that he was DELIBERATELY trying to mislead anybody…he was just mistaken. And they also assured me that they would have a talk with him.

    A bishop comes to me and tells me that we should not waste time opposing the building of a casino in our area, but instead pray that they use the money for good purposes.

    Me: Sorry. Not how that works. And…are you on drugs?

    Not long after, he receives a letter from the First Presidency to all bishops and stake presidents saying proposed casino projects in your area need to be opposed.

    And of course, the bishop in question said: “Darwin! You were right and I was wrong! I apologize!”

    *laughing* Okay…I can’t even TYPE that with a straight face, because it didn’t happen.

    What results DID I consistently get locally? Misunderstanding, mistreatment, ignominy .

    Paraphrasing Bruce Lee: “Discard all thoughts of reward, all hopes of praise and fears of blame, all awareness of one’s bodily self…And…let the spirit out as it will.”

    The abuse will come. Do what is right anyway.

    Brigham Young said: ” “I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are being led by him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give their leaders if they know for themselves by the revelations of Jesus Christ that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know by the whisperings of the Spirit of God to themselves whether their leaders are walking in the way the Lord dictates or not.” (Harold B. Lee, quoting Brigham Young, in Conference Report, October 1950, p. 130.)

    • Sunny

      March 17, 2016

      Darwin-I feel your pain because it’s my pain too! I’m reminded of the accepted, prevailing attitude that women weren’t to give the opening (or was it the closing?) prayer in Sacrament meeting, or be a concluding speaker there either. I remember well the ward correlation meeting where our bishop told us that Pres. Hinckley wondered where these “rules” actually came from and who started them!! I think the Church has a tough job in keeping us all on the same page, without some of us repeating rules that we heard somewhere, sometime. I felt the need to teach my children that, if something doesn’t feel right, to trust their instincts and don’t do it, regardless of who asks you.

      My husband was raised in the church, while I’m a convert-a convert that originally believed that everybody did everything the church taught. Imagine my surprise to find out that not everyone paid tithing, for example. I was quite naïve to say the least. And that effort to always do the right thing has left me more isolated than involved, as I used to fear that others would find out I wasn’t as spiritual as I should be, or was pretending to be.. Oddly enough, my very-involved husband doesn’t let things bother him much-he just does what he wants to do and always has! I’ve decided to adopt that approach as well, within reason. It took me a while to realize that bishops, etc, are human and far from perfect, and might say or do the wrong thing, and often don’t have all the answers. I’ve had my feelings hurt on more than one occasion by people I thought should have known better, and then I remember that, while they might hold important callings, they’re still just regular people who head off to work most days instead of living the life of a paid minister in another denomination, trained in a seminary, and preparing his/her weekly sermon.

      I’ve read several of your posts, and it’s obvious you are extremely bright and well-versed in the gospel. Some posts left me incredibly sad, esp. regarding your ex-wife, but I was impressed with your insight into that “situation” as well. I sense that, you too, are striving to do what is right, and I believe that alone puts you so much farther ahead of those that have tried to disgrace or mistreat you. Hang tough, Darwin-the church needs you! My very best to you.

      • Darwin

        March 17, 2016

        Sunny!

        Thank-you!

        …My words are inadequate…

        Perhaps a parade in your honor would be more fitting? With balloons. And fireworks? Confetti?

        I hope that you and your husband can feel my support right back at you!

        And also thank-you for the whole calling me “obviously extremely bright and well-versed in the gospel.”

        I could use that on my dating profile.

        …If I had one…

        Sunny – the Church needs you as well! My very best to you and yours also.

        • Sunny

          March 17, 2016

          Darwin: You are welcome! I read with interest Doodlebug’s comments and your response as well. I feel the problem comes when we fallible humans begin to think that we are INfallible-a know-it-all, if you will. When I was teaching school, I learned so much from the students (4th thru 7th grades)-a great study in human behavior. I think one of the best lessons I learned was the ability of the kids to forgive mistakes I may have made (accidentally calling out the innocent child, etc), if I simply apologized for the error. All was forgiven and we moved on. Then there were the teachers that refused to back down, even when they knew they were wrong. Those were literally hated by some of the students. Likewise, I didn’t find those teachers very pleasant either.
          How can we learn if we’re stubborn and refuse to admit that we are wrong or even consider a different opinion? Soon others will avoid us simply because of our superior attitude. There’s a big difference in being a confident leader and being a confident, HUMBLE leader.

          I have always wanted to be teachable for a rather selfish reason- I don’t want to suffer the consequences of having to learn the hard way, especially if those consequences might be coming from the Almighty!!
          I hope these rather rambling remarks indicate my support for your position…and Doodlebug’s too, for the most part. I totally understand that none of us is perfect; it’s important that some leaders realize that too.

          • Darwin

            March 17, 2016

            Sunny Hi!

            Nope! You were not rambling.

            And yes, you provided excellent examples of proper humble leadership.

            And yes, I did understand what Doodlebug was saying (still think that’s a cool internet name!) and how you were being supportive of him.

            Under regular normal circumstances, ordinary fallible people placed in positions of leadership making honest mistakes.

            But if they are looking at it as a self-indulgent, ego-feeding power-trip of preening privilege…and that is what they see as the club they want to get into…then they are looking at it wrong.

            Sunny…you mentioned reading some of my other comments, so you noted the one where I said that a racist bishop refused to send in papers so I could serve a mission, and the bishopric that sent my records out of the ward.

            It’s not paranoia when people ARE out to get you…*grins*

            This is not normal, everyday loving people trying to serve God who “made a mistake”.
            A mistake is something I often make when typing.

            What THEY were doing was downright hostile. Outright rebellion. Not serving God.

            And we have to be able to deal with these kinds of people as well.

            Around the same time I worked as a lumberjack a man had to fight off ONE wolf. I wound up having to fight off the whole wolf pack.

            I’ve never been in a fair fight in my life.

            When I’m bullied, it’s either always more than one, or one with weapons and me empty handed.

            As tempting as it may be to leave my enemies in total despair and ruin…well…as Lao-tse once said: “A skillful warrior strikes a decisive blow and stops. He does not continue his attack to assert his mastery. He will strike the blow, but be on his guard against being vain or arrogant over his success. He strikes it as a matter of necessity, but not from a wish of mastery.”

            Like I mentioned to Doodlebug:

            Doctrine and Covenants 121:

            36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.

            37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

            As you see Doodlebug, I myself didn’t place myself “outside the sphere of their authority”…

            They did it to themselves.

            I did…and continue to do my part.

            As for the rest… God will handle it.

            • Sunny

              March 27, 2016

              Hi Darwin! Been away from my computer with a very elderly and very ill mother in the hospital, so I’m just reading your post. It made me wonder if those people who have committed the most egregious offenses, and there sounds like there have been some doozies, may one day recognize/remember their mistakes (probably unlikely), and repent. I sure hope they understand that they will need to come to you and ask for your forgiveness of them, even if you are thousands of miles away-maybe you would consider a phone call; not sure if that counts! 🙂 I don’t really think that Sacramental statement, “If I have offended anyone here….etc.,” really counts in this case, do you? Kudos to you for staying in the Church! Anyway, you definitely have the best attitude: “As for the rest…God will handle it.” I’m counting on that being the case. Hope you had a happy Easter!

              • Darwin

                March 27, 2016

                Hi Sunny!

                First I want you to know that I will add my prayers of faith to yours for your ill mother.

                This past September/October in quick succession, my Dad had a stroke and my brother-in-law had a heart attack. I was zipping back and forth between two care facilities and I am now blessed to help look after my Dad (Mom can’t do it alone.) So I understand (a bit) what you have been going through.

                Thank you for you kind and supportive words again!

                A couple of things I have been re-reading today:

                “The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing andgratitude.”

                Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1917–2008), “Come What May, and Love It,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 28.

                And…

                “Faith to Forgive Grievous Harms: Accepting the Atonement as Restitution.” by James R. Rasband – who was dean of the BYU Law School when this devotional address was given on 23 October 2012.

                “Forgiveness requires us to consider the other side of the Atonement—a side that we don’t think about as often but that is equally critical. That side is the Atonement’s power to satisfy our demands of justice against others, to fulfill our rights to restitution and being made whole. We often don’t quite see how the Atonement satisfies our own demands for justice. Yet it does so. It heals us not only from the guilt we suffer when we sin, but it also heals us from the sins and hurts of others.

                It is critical to understand that forgiving others is not just a practical virtue. It is a profound act of faith in the Atonement and the promise that the Savior’s sacrifice repays not just our debts to others but also the debts of others to us.

                In our live-and-let-live society, we may believe that being forgiving is just etiquette and good manners. It is not. We may think that forgiveness requires us to let mercy rob justice. It does not. Forgiveness does not require us to give up our right to restitution. It simply requires that we look to a different source. The non-judgmental worldly phrases “don’t worry about it” and “it’s no big deal” are not illustrations of the doctrine of forgiveness. On the contrary, when a person sins against us, it can be a very big deal.10The point is that the Atonement is very big compensation that can take care of very big harms. Forgiveness doesn’t mean minimizing the sin; it means maximizing our faith in the Atonement.

                My greatest concern is that if we wrongly believe forgiveness requires us to minimize the harms we suffer, this mistaken belief will be a barrier to developing a forgiving heart. It is okay to recognize how grave a sin is and to demand our right to justice—if our recognition triggers gratitude for the Atonement. Indeed, the greater the sin against us—the greater the harm we suffer—the more we should value the Atonement.”

                VERY apropos for today, I feel!

                Hope you had a wonderful and happy Easter as well!

  2. Sara

    March 16, 2016

    Ah. Good advice and timely for me personally too. This is so hard.

  3. Kellie aka Selwyn

    March 16, 2016

    It’s rarely an uncomplicated yes or no, there are always subsequent ramifications or therefores. That being said, being certain in my yes or no helps me weather the fall out or complications that come with my decision. Weather the fall out, not be impervious to it, which is still a trait I’m learning. Yes to your post!

  4. Jamminman

    March 16, 2016

    I think it’s telling that your examples of where the Savior said no were not things asked of him, but where he observed a need an made effort (and I’m pretty sure some of them came from a different source, cause I’ve read the scriptures many times and some of those just aren’t there). When He was asked to do something. the biggest sacrifice of all, he said yes. I’m pretty sure it was pretty stressful to Him.
    And of course, Abraham could have said no, but I don’t think we’d be reading about him if he did.
    There’s a focus in the article that concerns me – that of me. What’s good for me? I don’t see anywhere a discussion about what’s good for my fellow man.
    There is a culture growing of picking and choosing the Gospel principles we like. We talk about love, and caring all the time, until it requires something of us.
    When we outright turn down a calling in the Church, we are choosing to miss out on blessings, opportunities to grow, and maybe, fulfill some purpose that may have been set aside for our good, or someone needs us specifically, but we make the Lord find another way. It seems that we are counseling the Lord “I know better for me.”
    Instead, maybe the answer is a willingness, and keeping leadership informed of what we see as roadblocks. Maybe we have small children and no way to get a babysitter? There may be a person who needs the opportunity to babysit and perform service. Maybe we don’t know how to play organ – but someone could be available to give lessons. My job’s too busy to be a Scoutmaster, but maybe my daughter’s future husband needs me at that time in his life.
    Maybe, we should spend less effort focusing on how hard we have it. Often, the focus is harder than the reality.

    • Darwin

      March 16, 2016

      There seems to be some confusion I would like to clarify.

      Quoting you: “Maybe we don’t know how to play organ – but someone could be available to give lessons. ”

      This is obviously in repsonse to my comment: ” A stake president in ward conference states that people should not pray about accepting callings, they should just accept them. If you are called as ward organist, and you don’t play the organ…learn.

      Everybody nods quietly.

      Me: Sorry. Not how that works.

      After he tried to make me look like an idiot for disagreeing and getting everyone in the room to denounce me…The Area Authorities actually had to get involved to explain it to him. After I informed them of the problem.

      They assured me that they didn’t think that he was DELIBERATELY trying to mislead anybody…he was just mistaken. And they also assured me that they would have a talk with him.”

      So apparently< I did not make it clear that in saying what he said, the stake president WAS NOT following God.

      This is the letter the are authorities send to me in more detail:

      "We have been asked by the First Presidency to respond to your letter in which you express concern regarding counsel you received from President ****** that you should not pray about accepting callings. Prayer is a vital part of the life of each child of our Heavenly Father. Through his prophets, ancient and modern, we are counseled to pray constantly with the assurance that He hears and answers our prayers. Prayer is a very personal act and each individual should determine for himself or herself when and what to pray for."

      Remember: This is in RESPONSE to the stake president saying that we should not pray about accepting callings.

      He was wrong.

      Scriptural evidence ALSO supports this.

      1 Nephi 32:9

      "But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul."

      The stake president doe not overrule God. And he was teaching false doctrine.

      Doctrine and Covenants Section 50:

      6 But wo unto them that are deceivers and hypocrites, for, thus saith the Lord, I will bring them to judgment.

      7 Behold, verily I say unto you, there are hypocrites among you, who have deceived some, which has given the adversary power; but behold such shall be reclaimed;

      8 But the hypocrites shall be detected and shall be cut off, either in life or in death, even as I will; and wo unto them who are cut off from my church, for the same are overcome of the world.

      9 Wherefore, let every man beware lest he do that which is not in truth and righteousness before me.

      Further:

      13 Wherefore, I the Lord ask you this question—unto what were ye ordained?

      14 To preach my gospel by the Spirit, even the Comforter which was sent forth to teach THE TRUTH.

      And also:

      17 Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?

      18 And if it be by some other way it is not of God.

      The issue was the stake president teaching that we should not pray about callings. Which is NOT the truth. It is in fact a lie.

      And not of God.

      And as such, such statements not only can be rejected, but need to be rejected.

  5. Doodlebug

    March 17, 2016

    Absolutely nothing wrong with challenging the ridiculous! Of course, being empowered to say no also means that we need to be able to accept being told no as well. There is a fine balance between leaning not on our own understanding and using our God given intelligence too. The Lord says “let us reason together” but there does come a point when we may be asked to do something that makes little sense at the time and we do do it anyway. (Prayer – definitely being part of that)
    Must say the examples given by Darwin are great examples of false doctrine creeping in that needs regulating – just as in the Book of Mormon, the church was regulated by visiting high priests and corrected when errors were introduced. To reiterate, false doctrine and foolish church customs should and must be challenged in a respectful manner and if necessary escalated as Darwin did but it needs remembering that while doing so it can be hard not to see yourself as outside the jurisdiction/ authority of these fallible brethren – who no doubt have their flaws but must have some goods points or they would not have been called – but because of these few flaws and misunderstandings, we may consider ourselves outside the sphere of their authority as Bishop or Stake President or Relief Society President or whatever – this is also false! We may even consider ourselves better than or more qualified than them to have that position and maybe we are but the Lord doesn’t always call the most qualified! He can correct them if they are wrong – over time – and the onus is on us to react well to their flaws in the meantime just as they try (or not) to for us too. If the Lord required only perfect people to serve in his church – no one would be there! I wouldn’t. Am agreeing mainly – just saying be careful that we are as easy to be teachable and receive instruction as we are to give it! And yes saying no is ok too if done properly!

    • AC

      March 17, 2016

      Amen, Doodlebug

    • Darwin

      March 17, 2016

      Doodlebug…(that’s cool “handle” by the way!)

      You are very right…the Lord doesn’t always call the most qualified or the most capable.

      Whenever I get a calling, it’s because I have something to learn.

      But the learning is indeed the thing.

      In the example where the bishopric declared that no one except the bishopric and the elders quorum presidency could give blessings?

      And I showed the bishop this quote…

      Quote: “Some aspects pf the priesthood are NOT related to position or title. Authority to administer a priesthood blessing, for example, is dependent only upon ordination and worthiness. The Lord would not withhold blessings from any of His children for want of one with a particular calling. Every elder in the Church holds the same priesthood as the President of the Church.” [Elder Russel M. Nelson C.R. April 1993 p.38]

      “THAT’S NOT how we do things around here!” was the bishops response.

      Me: “So around here you don’t listen to apostles or obey God? Good to know.”

      I also know that the Lord doesn’t withhold present blessings…like a calling or an opportunity to serve…for FUTURE bad behavior…but when that bad behavior does come…

      Doctrine and Covenants 121:

      36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.

      37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

      As you see Doodlebug, I myself didn’t place myself “outside the sphere of their authority”…

      They did it to themselves.

  6. Debra

    March 17, 2016

    have you read “essentialism” by greg mckeown? the first half of this essay is what he focuses on throughout his book. i’m guessing that your mentor is familiar with the book as well.

    • Lisa

      March 28, 2016

      Yes. I read it just this winter and found it full of helpful ideas. Thanks for noting the connection.

  7. Darwin

    March 18, 2016

    “Yes, within the Church today there are tares among the wheat and wolves within the flock. As President Clark stated, “The ravening wolves are amongst us, from our own membership, and they, more than any others, are clothed in sheep’s clothing because they wear the habiliments of the priesthood…we should be careful of them.” (C.R. April 1949, p.163)

    “The wolves amongst our flock are more numerous and devious today than when President Clark made that statement…

    “Not only are there apostates within our midst, but there are also apostate doctrines that are sometimes taught in our classes and from our pulpits and that appear in our publications. And these apostate precepts of man cause our people to stumble…
    (Ezra Taft Benson C.R. Apr. 1969 p.11)

    Paul gave these charges to the elders of Israel. He said:

    “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God. …

    “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

    “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:28–30.)

    “There are some as wolves among us. By that, I mean some who profess membership in this church who are not sparing the flock. And among our own membership, men are arising speaking perverse things. Now perverse means diverting from the right or correct, and being obstinate in the wrong, willfully, in order to draw the weak and unwary members of the Church away after them.” (Admonitions for the Priesthood of God President Harold B. Lee Oct. 1972)

    In the October general conference of 1965, Elder Harold B. Lee spoke of the test that would come, and in his remarks he cited the words of President Heber C. Kimball, who said:

    We think we are secure here in the chambers of the everlasting hills. . . , but I want to say to you, . . . the time is coming when we will be mixed up in these now peaceful valleys to that extent that it will be difficult to tell the face of a Saint from the face of an enemy to the people of God. Then, brethren, look out for the great sieve, for there will be a great sifting time, and many will fall; for I say unto you there is a test, a TEST, a TEST coming, and who will be able to stand? [Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1967), p. 446]

    For what shepherd is there among you having many sheep doth not watch over them, that the wolves enter not and devour his flock? And behold, if a wolf enter his flock doth he not drive him out? Yea, and at the last, if he can, he will destroy him.

    And now I say unto you that the good shepherd doth call after you; . . . and he commandeth you that ye suffer no ravenous wolf to enter among you, that ye may not be destroyed. [Alma 5: 59–60]

    President Ezra Taft Benson stated:

    “It was essentially the sin of pride that kept us from establishing Zion in the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith. It was the same sin of pride that brought consecration to an end among the Nephites. …

    “Pride is the great stumbling block to Zion.” “Beware of Pride,” Ensign, May 1989, 7.

    “. . . they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men” (2 Ne. 28:14).

    These are VERY important things to say “NO” to.

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