We learn something important about Living in Truth from the prophet Lehi. When explaining the marvelous vision he had of the Tree of Life to his son Nephi he explains that the great and spacious building he saw had no foundation. Inside it were people dressed in very fine apparel, the rich and famous of the world who know not God, and they were laughing and scoffing at the people making their way to the Tree of Life. In addition, there were many great-and-spacious-building-wanta-bes trying desperately to get inside the great and spacious building. Many of these wanta-bes drowned in the fountain of muddy waters and others got lost as they wandered in strange roads. But as many who made it to the building, as soon as they were inside they began to point the finger of scorn at Lehi and the others who were partaking of the fruit of the Tree.
But Lehi and Nephi heeded them not (1 Nephi 8:33). Those three little words are worth gold. So much of the Unnecessary Pain we suffer could be avoided if we just refused to heed the words of others.
Yesterday a woman shared with me something that illustrates why we should consider what words we heed and which we don’t. She is very pregnant and through her shirt you can see a bump where her navel is. A friend of hers had remarked to her that when she was pregnant she put a band-aid over her navel so it wouldn’t show. Without thinking, the pregnant woman laughed and replied, “Oh, I’m not that vain.”
As soon as she said it she felt bad as she realized that the insinuation was that her friend was vain and that’s not what she meant or intended. All she’d meant by the comment was that she didn’t worry about things like that or that the bump under her shirt didn’t bother her. But it came out wrong, and she hoped the other woman hadn’t taken offense at the comment.
We all encounter situations like this daily. Either we are the one saying the things that come out wrong or the one hearing them, but the point is that if we don’t take offense or beat ourselves up over what we’ve said—if we don’t heed the words whether they are intended to hurt or not—we can learn from the situation and then move on with life without the Unnecessary Pain.