Our Lines of Communication

In Apostle Spencer W. Kimball's talk for the Thursday morning session of the April, 1972 LDS General Conference, he told a story of telephone poles that had been burned when someone threw their cigarette butt into the dry grass surrounding the poles:

Nearly all the poles for a distance were scorched or burned. Some had been burned off the first few feet from the ground and were hanging by the top part in the air from the wires they were intended to support. Dangling in the air, these sagging wires had let the poles touch the ground as they were swinging in the wind, each time creating static on the line.
The poles had been set to hold up the lines, but here they were sagging.

Many a time during the three years that I was in charge of the work in South America, I tried to get long-distance calls through to these distant places. When the connection was made, almost invariably there would be static, and the words were cut in two and grating sounds were heard. In my mind’s eye I could see the telephone line on the Salta Road swaying in the breeze, hitting the ground and occasionally breaking connection.

I thought that telephone lines and telephone poles are a little like people. They are built for one purpose and sometimes serve another. They are designed to be firm and stout and to give support; but in many cases they are leaning and swaying and sagging until communications are greatly impaired, if not actually cut off.
It is rather easy to become like those broken telephone poles, failing to do our part to sustain the lines of communication with God. Lives become hectic, work becomes demanding, and we become physically and mentally exhausted. The communication with God that should bring us joy can seem instead like just another burden laid upon us--another responsibility that we must take upon our weary shoulders. We begin to look for ways to escape our burdens. Then, as our communication with God begins to fail, it becomes easy for us to dismiss former feelings, knowledge and confidence in the Lord and his precepts.

The Lord is our partner, and we owe him the same fidelity that we owe a spouse. Just like a marriage, communication and understanding with the Lord takes effort on our part. As we turn to something else for comfort and relief of our burdens, we step onto the path that leads to infidelity. When we stop putting forth effort to communicate, we can begin to distrust our partner, misinterpret their intentions, and even to hate them, through no fault of their own. The vows that we make with a spouse mirror the vows we have made with our Lord and Savior, and we have the responsibility to uphold those vows, treasuring them as special and sacred to us.

To be too busy to pray or to read our scriptures, is to be too busy for a relationship with Him. A relationship cannot thrive without quality time spent together. Our spouse may be exactly the same person that we married, but we are the ones who have now changed, because we have not nurtured our lines of communication. This can lead to confiding and trusting someone else, and ultimately, betrayal and abandonment. Though He is the same today as yesterday, we can begin to feel that his teachings and his gospel no longer bring us joy if we do not bother to spend time with Him. We will grow apart.

"For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" St. Matthew 11:30

A healthy, unbroken relationship with God will ease our burdens instead of adding to them. It will bring us support and joy. May we always repair our sagging lines of communication, and keep close to our Lord and Savior, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

For more posts from the General Conference Odyssey, please read below:

No Success Can Compensate by Silver Rain
Restoring our Lines of Communication by Daniel Ortner
Common Consent, Sustaining vs. Non-Opposition by J. Max Wilson
On Repetition and Lines of Communication by Nathaniel Givens
A Peculiar People Aims for Respectability by Ralph Hancock
More Profound Than Words by Jan Tolman

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