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Friday, November 9, 2012

117: PARABLE OF THE TRASH CANS


Tuesday is garbage pickup day in our neighborhood. Every Monday night we put out our black garbage can as to not miss the early morning pick up. Every two weeks, the recycle collector comes around, so we put our green recycle can out along with our black garbage can. Since my next door neighbor is better at keeping track of which week it is, I look to see if he has put out his green recycle can. If I see other green recycle cans out on the street, then I feel confident that it must be Recycle Tuesday.

It would be interesting to see if just one person put out their green can on the wrong week, if you would eventually see everyone else put out there recycle cans. I think there is a lesson to be learned in this simple example. The greater number of good people that believe, think, and or do things the same.. we usually have the assurance that it must be right. We tend to look to others, and put our trust in them.

The scriptures warn us that this could lead to problems.

"Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost"  2 Nephi 28:31

Using this same example with the garbage cans, let’s say, if we know that it is not “Recycle Tuesday” yet everyone has put there cans out, would we feel inclined to put our can out as well, so as not to be left behind? Or what if, no one has put out their cans, would we be the only ones to put our can despite looking like a fool?

Lately, I have been concerned with what I call “group think”. This is particularly a problem in Utah. We have a tendency to rely on others. We are told to stay within in the mainstream. Don’t question, just do.

Symbolic of the recyclable collection, a day will come when we will need to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost and not be dependant on the arm of flesh to make sure we are ready for when the “collector” will come around for pick up even if no one else has their green recyclable cans out but us.