” . . . speak unto us smooth things . . .”

There is a false notion that is so invidious it precludes us from emerging from our current widespread spiritual slump. The false notion is that anything from God will invariably be “lovely” or “of good report” as implied by the 13th Article of Faith. This false mantra however, is so wrong it alone empowers the darkness to grow all around us.
If you only need to listen to the voices of praise, and adulation which speak to you that “all is well in Zion” then you can never recognize an authentic call from the Lord to repent. Instead, like Laman and Lemuel, you will erroneously think any message that condemns your misbehavior is “sharp” or “angry” (2 Nephi 1: 26.) Yet Nephi’s only intention was to seek “the eternal welfare” of Laman and Lemuel. (2 Nephi 1: 25.)
When we will only listen to vanity and praise, we are not much different than those who only wanted “smooth things” anciently. (Isa. 30: 10.) 
The cure for some illness requires a knife to be used first before healing can begin. The purpose is not to injure, but only to heal.