Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Discernment



In the scriptures body parts often have symbolic meaning which helps us expand our understanding. One that sticks out to me is the nose. It’s a body part symbolic of discernment. 

We use our noses to smell the world around us and interpret what we smell, it adds to our overall experience of what to consume and what qualities things have. Dogs are known for having a good sense of smell.  They find hidden mischief with their keen sense where we may not look. The legend goes: "Dogs can sense fear". They are also known to be able to detect various diseases, bombs, drugs, and in many cases people who intend to cause others harm. 

 Humans in different ways use our smell to measure if our food is bad, IE the half empty almost expired milk jug, or we use it to simply enjoy and heighten our experience, or maybe even use it to prevent us from consuming something that has gone bad and will be harmful to our body. Since physical things testify of spiritual things I find the idea of discerning and the nose very fascinating.

Connected to this is the idea that truth tastes good, I've found it fills me in a similar way that a good food does. Alma in Chapter 32 of the Book of Mormon talks about planting a seed. This seed if treated properly becomes a baby tree of life and then matures to become a full tree complete with fruit that is precious above all. He talks about this process in terms of light, enlightenment, and truth, and how it “tastes” good, he uses words like "delicious" which also relate to taste. Nephi (1 Ne. 8: 11, 28) as well as Mormon (Morm. 1: 15) say similar things.

As we know taste is closely tied to smell. Have you ever been sick, lost your sense of smell with a stuffy nose or whatever and food just didn’t taste at all? Anyone had that experience? So we’ve all experienced a decrease in taste when our nose isn’t working right. Smell is a way to discern as well as taste. Well getting to the point, I think the good taste to truth has an important element of smell. Which means things that are not true, things there a false, have falsehoods in them or are slightly or very misleading can be detected by discernment. To discern something would be to sniff out something dead because that is where false things tend to lead, they end up dead. It's to detect the wolf in sheep's clothing. Wherever such a thing might occur. Christ in both the book of Mormon as well as the New Testament informs us that such a test is going to face all of us. (3 Ne. 14: 15, Matt. 7: 15) False or mingled teachings wherever they are found don’t save. So discernment is important as ever in everything we take in from any source.

1 comment:

  1. ewwwww neat! :) hehe. Get it?
    Goo post! I like your insights. I'm pretty brainless for this sort of thing. I just like to cuddle and eat chex mix ;)

    LOVE YOU!!!

    ReplyDelete