Hearkening and holding fast

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During scripture study today, I came across 1 Nephi 15:24

Whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.

While pondering it, a question came to mind.

What’s the difference between hearkening to the scriptures and holding fast to them? If there is no difference, why list both?

3 thoughts on “Hearkening and holding fast

  1. I’ve always viewed the word “hearken” to mean to listen and seriously consider. This serious consideration may or may not lead to obedience, depending. For example, if someone gave me advice, I would be hearkening to it if I listened, thought about it, and then decided if/how it applied to me.

    To “hold fast to”, I would think, means to obey. I think the reason both are listed in 1 Nephi as being essential is that someone can obey the principles of the scriptures without knowing about them, but without hearkening to those principles (i.e. listening and pondering), it is easy to be led astray, simply out of ignorance.

  2. I personally was taught that “hearken” meant to listen and follow/obey. I could be wrong, but that is what I was taught.

    I think the difference might be in degree, personally. “To hearken” is eternally important, but picture “to hold fast” in your mind. It seems to me that “to hearken” is comparable to “to hold,” but the scripture says to “hold FAST” (emphasis added). Someone holding FAST (I wish I knew how to write in italics here) is gripping with all their might, holding on for dear life. I think the second part is simply adding another degree of loyalty and obedience.

  3. I think of the Iron Rod. We had a Primary activity a couple of years ago where we did an obstacle race/path for the children. They were blindfolded and by “HOLDING FAST” to the iron rod (in this care Dad’s rope) they could get from where they started to the end. But if they let go, chances were they would trip over something, run into something or go around in circles. They would be able to “hear” where they needed to go by others telling them but they still had to make that choice of finding the rod again. Out of 40 odd children, some let go to show off, some let go unintentionally, but most held fast.

    The Young Men were assisting us in that part of the activities and several of them came up to me afterwards telling us how much of an example the children had been to them. They had been told by us (by bring of course lol) that the children looked up to them and would think it cool if they helped out. By the YM said it was them to learnt and they realized without holding to that Iron Rod they had been falling away even if only in small amounts.

    Hearken to me is listening. Like listening to the Prophet’s messages at General Conferance. Holding fast to me is walking away from the messages and doing what we know to be true without fail.

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