Saturday, September 2, 2017

Elder David B. Haight on avoiding the spiritual crevasses of our time

Elder David B. Haight (born Sept 2, 1906, died 2004 July 31, 2004) was sustained as a member of the Quorum of Twelve in 1976. He passed away at age 97, four days after attending the funeral of his colleague Neal A. Maxwell.  He was the oldest person to have served as an apostle in this dispensation.
"When Satan was cast down to earth with his innumerable hosts, he became 'the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive..., even as many as would not hearken unto my voice' (Moses 4:4).
"One of Satan’s methods is to distract and entice us so that we will take our eyes off the dangerous crevasses. He has succeeded to such an extent that many no longer recognize sin as sin. Movies, television, and magazines have glorified sin into what they think is an acceptable life-style: '[fornication], adultery, incest, ... serial marriages, drug abuse, violence and double-dealing of every imaginable variety, [that is] often portrayed as [normal] behavior; where people who do good are not...  rewarded and those who do evil are not punished.' So stated a Los Angeles Times writer (see Salt Lake Tribune, 9 Aug. 1986, p. C7).
"Assuredly we live in a time spoken of by Isaiah when men 'call evil good, and good evil' (Isa. 5:20).
"If any of you are walking in ice fields near open crevasses, do you see the warning signs? 'Danger—don’t go near the edge'? Don’t trifle with evil. You will lose. We pray that you will not display the somewhat arrogant attitude of some who say, 'I can handle it!' or 'Everyone else does it!' ...
"To help each of us avoid the pitfalls and crevasses in life, the Lord has provided the lifeline of the precious truths in the scriptures, which, if held on to, will allow us to escape both physical and spiritual danger."
- David B. Haight, "Spiritual Crevasses," General Conference, October 1986; see also Ensign Nov 1986 p. 36
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

In this talk, Elder Haight discusses the danger of crevasses to those who hike across glaciers. He tells the story of an 11-year-old LDS boy who fell into one in Canada, and was rescued in a dramatic fashion. Having hiked in similar conditions myself earlier this year (on Mt. Rainier in Washington), I am especially sensitive to the dangers that these obstacles can present. Sometimes they are hidden from view; other times they are visible but don't look especially threatening and invite casualness.

Elder Haight likens the physical danger of glacier crevasses to the spiritual traps we can encounter in life, and warns us in particular of the risk of downplaying the danger, or becoming casual or over-confident about our abilities to bypass them:

The spiritual traps and dangers in our world are all around us. How important to be vigilant and watchful, and never over-confident! In particular, we should watch for warning signs, head the advice of others who know, and cling to the scriptures as a source of preparation and readiness.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

1 comment:

// Customization to close archive widget on first view - DK 3/15