Saturday, February 1, 2014

Abusing Credulity

After the dramatic sign of Christ’s birth was given to the inhabitants of the Americas and people were converted and many other signs were given, we see that Satan began to try to destroy belief.
And it came to pass that from this time forth there began to be lyings sent forth among the people, by Satan, to harden their hearts, to the intent that they might not believe in those signs and wonders which they had seen… (3 Nephi 1:22)
I imagine these lyings may have been something along the lines of some jokesters making up dramatic stories of miracles and then, when people were all amazed and rejoicing, they said something like, “Just Kidding!”  Perhaps they were trying to make the high incidence of miracles and wonders into a joke.   But the effect of that is when people have been fooled, they feel embarrassed and gullible and they don’t want to be fooled again, so they learn to be suspicious. 

One of the saddest things is to say something true and have a child ask, “Is that really true or are you just joking?”  It means that someone has already abused their easiness to believe.

I think this story shows us as we are trying to nurture our own willingness to believe that we need to be careful to avoid abusing the trust of our spouses, children, or associates, which will make it difficult for them to believe us.  (This is one of the reasons why I don’t like April Fools Jokes..)