Do I Want Admonition?

It seems silly now, but I have gone most of my life not understanding the definition of the word admonition. About a month ago, I decided to do a scripture study surrounding the word. I started by looking up the definition.

To me, the definition that fits what the scriptures describe is a little more obscure: “wise counsel.”

As I have studied, I have tried placing that phrase in place of the word admonition. Here are some of the results:

  • Ephesians 6:4 — Parents are to raise their children in the wise counsel of the Lord.
  • Enos 1:1 — Having been raised in the wise counsel of the Lord, Enos was moved to seek the Lord personally.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:11 — Paul was reminding the saints in Corinth about the things that happened to the children of Israel as they wandered in the desert. He then says that these things happened to be examples for us, and were written for our wise counsel.
  • 2 Nephi 4:13 — Nephi’s brothers were angry because he shared the wise counsel of the Lord with them. They felt he was out of line and was just seeking to be the family leader.
  • Articles of Faith 1:13 — We believe in following the wise counsel of Paul.
  • Doctrine and Covenants 6:19 — The Lord sets the precedent through Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery for each of us to give wise counsel and to receive wise counsel in our faults.

I also took this idea and studied general conference talks. It shouldn’t have surprised me, but I was a little surprised to realize that each talk is an admonition, or wise counsel, given to us by the Lord through his properly called servants.

So, now that I know that admonition is wise counsel and not a guilt trip or a do-this-or-else session (the impressions of the word that I received while I was growing up), I’m happy to receive admonition from the Lord. My personal wisdom is much too fallible.

Have you ever assumed you knew the meaning of a word that you’ve read in the scriptures or heard at church only to later learn the real definition was a lot different from what you thought? What was the word, and how did learning the real definition deepen your understanding? Tell us in the comments!