President Spencer W. Kimball was known as a master of using evocative and memorably imagery in his talks. His address in the first session of the April 1972 conference was no exception:
He spoke of a time when he was a mission president in Argentina and came across a place where a carelessly tossed cigarette had ignited a fire which burned the grass and scorched or burned all of the telephone poles. As a result the wires and poles were both sagging and occasionally banging into the ground. Because of this, the communication lines were down and static frequently occurred.
President Kimball applies this metaphor to a variety of situations, First, marital crisis often occurs due to a lack of communication where “the wires are down, the poles are burned, husbands and wives are jangling, and there is static where there should be peace. There is growing disgust and hate where there should be love and harmony.”I found this to be a poingant metaphor for a relationship in trouble. So often, strife an discord enters precisely because of failure in communication.
Sagging communication lines are also the source of trouble when individuals drift into inactivity. President Kimball spoke of a young returned missionary who eventually ceased activity as he began to read more critical literature and became disillusioned. President KImball noted that because he had failed reading the scriptures, praying, or keeping the commandments, “[h]is communication poles were burned, and his lines were sagging terribly.”
As a result of the “dwindling faith in our world,” so much of the communication lines that were once properly in place are down. Affluence and seeking after the things of this world has led us to neglect the communication lines that are most precious. For “[w]e are living in a sagging world.”
And when the lines are down, often the first thing to go is communication with our father in heaven. Thus, “My first question to people in trouble is, ‘What about your prayers? How often? How deeply involved are you when you pray? And when you pray, are you humbly thanking or are you asking?’”
President Kimball offers this stark prophetic warning “Sin comes when communication lines are down—it always does, sooner or later.”
If our lines of communication are down, either in our relationship with others or in our relationship with our father in heaven, we must repent. We must “repair our sagging lines” and “keep close to our Lord and Savior.” Failure to do so will always bring heart break and tragedy.
All the posts from this session
- On the Inevitability of Worship (Nathaniel Givens at Difficult Run)
- Conference October 1971- Elder Hinckley and Persistence in Faith (J. Max Wilson LDS at Sixteen Small Stones)
- Worshiping the True and Living God (Daniel Ortner at Symphony of Dissent)
- On Worship, Practical, Contemplative, and Aesthetic-Humanitarian (Ralph Hancock at The Soul and The City)
- “[G]o and do” (Michelle Linford at Mormon Women)
- Emulating the Great Exemplar (Walker Wright at Difficult Run)
- Living by Power—A Woman of God (SilverRain at The Rains Came Down)
- If Ye Be Willing and Obedient (Chastity Wilson at Comfortably Anachronistic)
- “The World Needs a Bath in Christ’s Pure Religion” (Jan Tolman at LDS Women of God)