O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.
We often read this and assume that "When they are learned they think they are wise" applies to scholars or intellectuals who get a little too much book learning and then think they know better than God. After all, that's the interpretation taught in Sunday School and seminary so it must be right.
I wonder if we shouldn't do a better job applying this passage to ourselves. Do I ever find myself thinking that just because I went to all four years of seminary, or because I go to Sunday School each week, I am wise regarding the scriptures? Could this verse apply to learning from General Conference or the Ensign? Maybe the Handbook of Instructions?
Perhaps the Lord wants to counsel me, but I am so certain of the interpretation of whatever it is I'm studying that I miss His whispering Spirit. Perhaps this scripture applies to spiritual knowledge just as much as scholarly learning.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting we shouldn't pay attention to General Conference or read the Ensign
In short we should ask ourselves more often, "Do I set aside His counsel because I think I already know what He is telling me in spiritual matters?