Monday, October 1, 2012

Wisdom and Understanding

I had a thought today about wisdom, and what it means to be wise. It was sparked by the following statement of the prophet Abinadi, from the Book of Mormon:
Ye have not applied your hearts to understanding; therefore, ye have not been wise.
(for more information on Abinadi, see chs. 11-17 of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon.)

This statement implies that in order to be wise (by Abinadi's definition), one must apply his or her heart to understanding.


Do you want to be wise in Relationships?
                                             Self-fulfillment? 
                                               Career success? 
                                                 Politics? 
                                                   Religion?

Keep in mind that if we are not wise, then we are fools.

The above observation leads to a sort of wisdom self-check. If we wonder whether we are wise or foolish with respect to a certain matter, we can ask ourselves:
  • How important is it to me to truly understand this?
  • Have I truly applied myself to fully grasping what is going on here?
  • What can I still do to possibly understand this better?
This can apply to anything in our lives that is important to us. 

I do not intend to imply here that if we apply ourselves then we will definitely be wise. But it is important to note that if we are not truly applying ourselves, then how can we ever expect to be anything other than a fool?

This is personally important to me because in many cases, even if I do not care to be an expert in a certain area, the last thing I want is to be perceived as a fool (which in many cases is a weakness, not a strength).

What are your thoughts?