I came across this meme on facebook recently. I don’t know the person who shared it, nor was there any commentary on the original post.
I was curious about what the whole verse said, so I looked it up because it didn’t really “sound” like something Nephi would have said.
“Behold all ye that kindle fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks, walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks which ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand—ye shall lie down in sorrow.“
YIKES! That was a huge misquote with the potential to lead people in the wrong direction, if they didn’t take the time to find and read the whole verse.
This is indicative of a larger problem in our instant media world. Have you ever just read a news headline and passed on reading the article because you thought the title said it all? Have you observed later on that the story wasn’t what its title suggested it was? It happens far too often and inflames people in unhealthy ways. Media companies, blogs,social media pages/accounts, and podcasts do this for SEO, or search engine optimization. In other words headlines are written to get the most clicks, even if clicking the headline leads you to something false, or intentionally misleading.
This brings us back to context and why it matters. The media is guilty of selectively editing interviews, and print material to suit their agenda to get clicks and to manipulate you. It’s vital that we look at primary sources for things when there are questions. Read the whole statement, watch the whole video, click thru and read the whole article! A lot of needless strife and contention has come from selective editing and outright lies that get told on a daily basis. The result of which is, like Nephi stated, we have a lot of people walking around in the spark of their own fire thinking that they’re in the light, when they’re really just burning up and will soon be sorrowing. Don’t be that person.
Context matters if we want the truth.