What Monkeys Teach Us About the Dangers of Wordliness


MR says: It turns out there is a lot monkeys can teach us about humility and the dangers of clinging to things that won't really bring lasting happiness.

In a 1976 message that Hugh Nibley said was “given the instant deep freeze” by the Latter-day Saints, President Spencer W. Kimball shared a sobering story to demonstrate the dangers of setting our hearts on the things of the world.

I am reminded of an article I read some years ago about a group of men who had gone to the jungles to capture monkeys. They tried a number of different things to catch the monkeys, including nets. But finding that the nets could injure such small creatures, they finally came upon an ingenious solution. They built a large number of small boxes, and in the top of each they bored a hole just large enough for a monkey to get his hand into. They then set these boxes out under the trees and in each one they put a nut that the monkeys were particularly fond of. When the men left, the monkeys began to come down from the trees and examine the boxes. Finding that there were nuts to be had, they reached into the boxes to get them. But when a monkey would try to withdraw his hand with the nut, he could not get his hand out of the box because his little fist, with the nut inside, was now too large. At about this time, the men would come out of the underbrush and converge on the monkeys. And here is the curious thing:

Lead image from Kunk's Noteworthy Notes.
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