“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ lamented over His chosen people and their lack of understanding and comprehension of the glorious gospel that He had just preached in their land.
“O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones…how is it that ye could have fallen!” Four hundred years after Christ’s sorrowful words were recorded, Mormon uttered a similar, sad monologue looking out over the fallen Nephite nation on the American continent.
Two great teachers…two promised lands…two chosen peoples…two rejections…two special opportunities missed!
In our lives, we have many Christs and Mormons out there trying to help us, who often end up hanging their heads down low when we don’t listen to them. “O Johnny, Johnny…how many times did I tell you to stay away from drugs?” “O Susie, Susie…why did you always have to be drinking?” Our guardian angels are out there watching over us, and yet we often feel that we know better than they do. And besides, “I’ll be right back…after I do this just for a little while.”
That “little while” didn’t come until a quarter of a million Nephites fell at the hands of the bloodthirsty Lamanites at the end of Mormon’s life, wiping out a once righteous and prosperous civilization. During his entire life, his people were at battle with their enemy. Worse still, the people were quick to look away from Christ and to do things their own way. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…” “O ye fair ones…” The wise ones had shown the way, yet the weak ones would not follow or heed their words!
This is quite the same thing that we see in the world today – even in our community. Too often, the lessons learned in the past are ignored while we deal with similar situations in the present. In the future, we should look back on the present and the past, and learn from these experiences, too. In doing so, many times the student becomes the teacher…the prodigy becomes the mentor. Life’s lessons sure could be easier to learn if we would just step back and listen to what has already been said, and observe what has already been done. There have been many bruises taken during my life, and I wish that I could have just learned from the person before me, and suffice his bruises to have been enough for me.
The voices are all around us…“O ye fair ones…” Are we listening?