Casting Pearls Before Swine
The improper disclosure of sacred knowledge; profaning sacred knowledge by disclosing it to the unprepared or unworthy. One gains the Lord’s confidence by showing the Lord he is willing to keep the things which are sacred as holy things before Him.1 “And so it is with [sacred] things. They can be learned, but they cannot be taught. Those who are willing to receive them, however, will receive them. But only when they are prepared to respect the limits which should always separate the sacred from the profane. Putting jewelry on pigs is no more appropriate today than it was when Christ advised against it. When entrusted with sacred things, you must respect them. If you cannot respect their sacred nature, you are not a candidate to receive them…. Honor the type, and you prove you will honor the reality. Dishonor the type, and you prove you are not worthy of the reality. God will not be mocked in large measure by keeping the mockers away from His presence. The nature of their forfeiture is far greater, and takes place far earlier than they suspect. They forfeit here and now the chance to receive the Second Comforter. If you fail to respect a covenant made with God to keep…knowledge sacred and apart from the world, then you cannot hope to receive sacred knowledge from God through revelation and visitations.”2 Joseph Smith said: “The reason we do not have the secrets of the Lord revealed unto us, is because we do not keep them but reveal them; we do not keep our own secrets, but reveal our difficulties to the world, even to our enemies, then how would we keep the secrets of the Lord?” (DHC 4:479; TPJS, 195; WJS, 81). Elsewhere Joseph admonished: “If God gives you a manifestation; keep it to yourselves” (DHC 2:309; TPJS, 91). The Second Comforter is for one’s individual comfort and instruction. Not for public display or to gratify one’s pride or serve one’s vain ambition. Sacred things tend to lose their luster as they are profaned by being made common. Just as the white snow tends to stain the longer it is trodden underfoot by men, so also does the purity of revelation become denigrated by being revealed without regard to the audience’s preparation and worthiness to learn of sacred things. This is a binding limitation and an essential part of the process. To be qualified, one must be someone who can be trusted to keep sacred things sacred.3 “Of course, when required to testify of something by the Lord, the Lord’s insistence upon that testimony always takes precedence. The general rule is you keep them to yourself. The exception is when the Lord constrains you to do otherwise.”4
1 The Second Comforter, 371–372.
2 The Second Comforter, 176.
3 The Second Comforter, 18–19.
4 The Second Comforter, 19n17.