We've all done something like this in our lives, though perhaps not to the same extent. Some of us have eaten a particular food, gotten sick shortly thereafter, and now, even though we logically understand that it might not have been the food, any presence of that food later on will cause us to quease up. Others have had a bad experience at a certain store, restaurant, person's house, etc. that was completely unrelated to those locations, but now, they can't go there anymore lest those same bad feelings and memories be conjured up. And anyone who has just left a bad relationship knows the anxious feeling of seeing the next girl tie her shoes in the same way that the last girlfriend did and genuinely perceiving that this girl will be just like the last one.
About 4 months ago, there was a man shot outside a Village Inn near where my parents live. Two weeks later was General Conference, and I went to one of the sessions with my dad. We have a tradition of going out to eat afterwards, and we decided to go to Village Inn. It wasn't until we arrived there that I realized that it was the same Village Inn where the shooting occurred. While my logical side said that the shooting had nothing to do with the fact that the man went to the Village Inn and that the likelihood of the same thing happening to me was next to nothing, I felt the anxiety in my mind that going to this Village Inn was distantly dangerous. We went anyway, and the experience was wonderful, but I clearly remember that first instinct.
The fact is that our perception of events and our conception of ideas are colored by other events and ideas in our lives depending on their proximity and power. Indeed, the intrinsic value of any idea is augmented or diminished by its most proximate, potent idea.
- The Lord's Chess Match
- Ways of communicating revelation
- Bro. Black's comment
- Kristi's comment about the Atonement