What Limits Our Vision?

As you open your eyes, you will be better able to see where your vision is limited.
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As the old adage states, “Poor eyes limit your sight; poor vision limits your deeds.”

There are things that may impact our ability to really see those who are around us. Some of those things are outside our circle of influence; other things we can control. Please study the following scripture passages and continually ask yourself the following questions posed to us by Elder Kim B. Clark of the Seventy (“Encircled About with Fire” [address given at the Seminaries and Institutes of Religion training broadcast, Aug. 4, 2015]):

  • What am I doing that I should stop doing?

  • What am I not doing that I should start doing?

Genesis 42:6–8

“And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph’s brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth.

“And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye? And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food.

“And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him” (Genesis 42:6–8).

  • Joseph’s brothers should have recognized him, but they didn’t. Why do you think they didn’t recognize him?

Numbers 13:26–33

“And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land.

“And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.

“Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.

“The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.

“And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.

“But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.

“And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.

“And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight” (Numbers 13:26–33).

  • Why were the scouts’ reports so different?
  • Why did 10 of the scouts see only challenges, while Caleb and Joshua saw blessings and opportunities?

Numbers 22:22–31

“And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.

“And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.

“But the angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side.

“And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again.

“And the angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.

“And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.

“And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?

“And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.

“And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.

“Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face” (Numbers 22:22–31).

  • Why couldn’t Balaam see what his donkey saw?

1 Nephi 15:24

“And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and 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” (1 Nephi 15:24).

  • What does this verse teach about our eyes?

  • Why do you think the adversary’s fiery darts would be aimed toward our eyes?

  • What do you think the adversary does not want us to see?

1 Nephi 15:26–27

“And they said unto me: What meaneth the river of water which our father saw?

“And I said unto them that the water which my father saw was filthiness; and so much was his mind swallowed up in other things that he beheld not the filthiness of the water” (1 Nephi 15:26–27).

  • Lehi was a righteous man, and yet he did not fully see everything in his vision. What limited Lehi’s vision?