Casting Pearls Before Swine

I was just reading an entry and comments on this subject at the Millennial Star, and I had a question. The Savior said, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Matthew 7:6) Is this a commandment or a suggestion?

As we all know, there are only four kinds of sentences: Declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory. Which kind of sentence is the Savior’s counsel to avoiding casting pearls before swine? I don’t think there can be any argument that it is an imperative sentence. And that makes it a command by the definition of an imperative sentence. So this is one of the Savior’s commandments that we have covenanted to keep. How important is it? I suggest that all of the Savior’s commandments are important. Therefore, we ought to obey this one with the same diligence we keep the others, the Word of Wisdom for an example.

Are there any “swine?” If so, who are they? Should we judge? If not, what was the point of the Savior giving us this commandment? Why was the Savior so judgmental in calling some people swine? If we are to follow the Savior in all things, are we to follow him in being judgmental like this? I think these are interesting questions that deserve pondering, especially by those of us who blog.

6 Responses to Casting Pearls Before Swine

  1. Anonymous says:

    See D&C 41:5-6 for additional context on the meaning of the quote in question.

  2. I think that miracles we personally experience are indeed “pearls” that we should only share with others if prompted to do so by the Holy Ghost. I am often uncomfortable with those who share such experiences willy-nilly with one and all. Even though I have had such experiences myself, I feel they are puffing themselves up out of pride. And there is no way of knowing whether or not they experienced the miracles they claim. I myself have had a couple of bad experiences with sharing things I should have kept to myself.

  3. Floyd the Wonderdog says:

    I have several spiritual experiences that I hold dear. These are my pearls. I do not share them unless prompted by the spirit. After receiving my patriarchal blessing, I shared a line from it with a person that I thought was a friend. He ridiculed me for believing that God would take notice of a person of such humble circumstances. I felt hurt because I thought that I could trust this person with something that I held dear. He then proceeded to tell others, two of whom joined in the ridicule. FYI, I was later told that I was *lucky* that the promised blessing occurred.

    Once, the spirit prompted me to share my most precious experience while speaking in a ward. I did not know why the spirit would want me to do that and I was resisting. Then the councilor who was conducting the meeting told the congregation that a family in the ward had been in an accident the day before. Several were killed and those who had lived were in the hospital. It became clear that the spirit wanted a strong testimony of life after death and the love of our Savior. Because I am reticent to share my experiences, I said that it had happened to an Elder in my mission. I just didn’t tell them that I was that Elder. Was I wrong in doing it that way? I do not want people to think that I am something special because I have had special spiritual experiences. I want them to focus on the experience and that it was intended to teach. I can bear testimony without divulging the experiences that helped develop that testimony.

  4. J. Stapley says:

    I’m not saying I disagree; however, it seems that such a broad definition would be in direct contradiction to the Lord’s injunction to be a witness.

  5. When we speak the truth as moved upon by the Holy Ghost, we are speaking pearls. This is especially so when we are bearing a second witness to such pearls as they have come to us through the prophets, both the modern prophets and those whose pearls make up our scriptures.

    Obviously that which is false cannot be a pearl.

  6. J. Stapley says:

    What are our pearls?

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