Oprah’s coming to SC in December to campaign for Obama. Did you know that? Yep, it’s true, and apparently there are a lot of people who are in a dither about it. Can Oprah, one of the most influential  women in the world, convince undecided South Carolinians to vote for her friend, a man who reportedly won’t pledge allegiance to the American flag? Oh, and there’s more news. The State’s editorial board isn’t too happy about the Supreme Court modifying the Bar exam AFTER the fact, thus allowing 20 people who had failed to pass. Then there’s the wife of former Governor McNair, Josephine, who died a mere eight days after her husband. According to the newspaper, she was quite a gracious and beloved First Lady.

Why am I filling you in on the news that I learned yesterday? Because I think you might be in the same boat that I am, neglectful but not disobedient. Shortly after reading the newspaper, skimming a magazine, and checking out the latest on MSN.com, I picked up the November Ensign, a church publication, and read a great conference talk by Elder Keith K. Hilbig. Based on Paul’s admonition to “Quench not the Spirit,” Elder Hilbig’s address said that anything that diverts us from the straight and narrow path can dull our sensitivity to the promptings of the Spirit.

“Yes, yes, I know that already,” I thought, but then I came across a question that stopped me in my tracks: “Do I read newspaper religiously but find it difficult to read scriptures daily?” I DO read something from the scriptures daily, but to be perfectly honest, I spend more time reading other things.  I’m going to change that because I believe Elder Hilbig’s promise that, “Whatever level of spiritual development each of us may presently have, there always exists a higher level within our reach.” I want to reach that higher level, don’t you?

Elder Hilbig closes his presentation with a reminder to “quench not the Spirit through disobedience or neglect.” I’ve been neglectful but not disobedient. By that I mean that I don’t lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, or murder. I try to love my neighbor as myself, do good deeds now and then, and give a full day’s work for a full day’s pay. But do I read and ponder the scriptures as much as I do other materials? No, I’ve been neglectful.