Does Sin with Repentance Make You Stronger?

Here are the two awesome quotes from the show:

Spencer W. Kimball:

“Another error into which some transgressors fall, because of the availability of God’s forgiveness, is the illusion that they are somehow stronger for having committed sin and then lived through the period of repentance. This simply is not true. That man who resists temptation and lives without sin is far better off than the man who has fallen, no matter how repentant the latter may be. The reformed transgressor, it is true, may be more understanding of one who falls into the same sin, and to that extent perhaps more helpful in the latter’s regeneration. But his sin and repentance have certainly not made him stronger than the consistently righteous person.”
Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness (1969), 357

C.S. Lewis:
“A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is… You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness — they have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means — the only complete realist.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (1960), 124

 

 

Crash sound by pauliep83 on freesound.org.

Posted in Agency, Repentance, Sin, Strength and tagged , , by with no comments yet.

Could it REALLY be That Simple?

Moroni was the man. You want to know if something is good or bad? He gave it to us straight–undiluted. He said, “Dude, knowing right from wrong is stinkin’ simple. Plain as day” (paraphrasing).

Ahem.

Okay, so he really said,

It is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.

Meh, basically the same thing.

But is it really that simple? Plain as day? What about when your friends at school take the Lord’s name in vain? Is that right?

“Well,” you might respond, “it’s not right for me to take His name in vain, but it’s my friends. I can’t control what they say. ‘Judge not,’ remember? That’s what Jesus said!”

Touché. Jesus did say that. And you’re right. You don’t need to treat your friends like scum, or heathens, or kickable garden gnomes… That would go against the Lord’s teaching to love one another. But if you’re going to quote Jesus, at least quote Him all the way. If you look at the inspired translation of that verse, we see that what He really said was, “Judge not unrighteously, but judge righteous judgement.”

But what about saying it yourself, just a little, to show your friends that you really are sincerely not judging them?

“It’s not like I say it at home!” you might say. “I don’t even really like saying it–it’s just for the benefit of my friends!”

Benefit? Really?

“Hey! You agreed that judging isn’t good. Don’t judge me either!”

Okay, wait. First off, you’re just a vague hypothetical person, not the real thing…

“What?”

Keep in mind, when I say “you” I really mean my evil twin.

“Evil twin?”

Okay, more like, devils advocate alternate ego. And second, remember that it’s right and wrong that we’re talking about. If I neglect to teach the principle, for fear of offending you, I may be held accountable for keeping my trap shut. Jacob in the Book of Mormon talked about “answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence.”

Now admittedly, I’m not your leader. I’m just some awesome dude on the Internet…

“Pride goeth before the fall, brother.”

Okay, just some dude (just saying…)

But still, if you’re ever tempted to get after your leaders for being “judgmental” towards your choices, remember that your leaders and parents are called as judges.

Anyway, we’re getting totally off topic.

Moroni says,

The Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him. (Moroni 7:16-17)

So if something invites you to do good, it’s good, and invites you to do evil, it’s evil? That’s it?

Not exactly. Read the whole verse. (err… the whole verses… uh, both verses, wholly).

Everything that invites you to do good, and persuades to believe in Christ, is sent from God. Everything that persuades you to do evil, to believe not in Christ, and to deny him, and serve not God, is evil.

So if it invites you to do good and persuades you to believe in Christ, it’s good. If it invites you to do evil and deny God, it’s evil. It’s that simple.

“But wait…” you might say, “What about Batman? He doesn’t tell me to believe in God, but He’s not evil!”

Ah, and this is the acid test. This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where I stop reciting useless cliches and get back to the lesson. Obviously batman (correct me if I’m wrong, I haven’t seen the new movies. I remember him in the grey and purple suit punching the bad guys with a flashing “POW” across the screen) doesn’t persuade us to do evil, and deny God. Batman doesn’t try to get us to stop serving God. So he’s not evil.

But don’t stop there. Does batman persuade to believe in Christ?

“Er… well…”

Does he invite and entice us to do good, and to serve God?

“Maybe not, but he still, well… fights bad guys…”

But he doesn’t entice us to serve God. So the consensus? Is Batman good or bad? And the correct answer is: I don’t know. Like, maybe, neither?

“BUT HE FIGHTS BAD GUYS!”

Look, first off, batman isn’t real. Second, a lot of things can’t be blanketed as all right or all evil.

“Right, don’t judge.”

No… remember? Judge righteous judgement. So if I should be reading my scriptures, but I’m watching Batman instead…

“Wait, but what if you’re tempted to go to, I don’t know, an alcohol party, and instead of giving in to the temptation, you decide to watch Batman instead? Eh? Eh?”

Alcohol party?

“Okay, beer party, whatever. Batman is obviously good now, right?”

He could be.

Could be? He’s keeping you from a beer party! And that’s good!”

True. It is.

“Right. So Batman is good.”

He could be.

“Why must you be so wishy washy about this? You acknowledge that it’s good that he’s keeping you from a beer party, right?”

Right.

“So what ‘could’ be bad about that?”

I didn’t say that was bad. I’m just avoiding making the blanket statement that Batman is all good.

“We’re not talking about blankets! We’re talking about good guys and bad guys. Batman is a good guy!”

But if you spent every day watching Batman, instead of doing your duties as a husband, father, and priesthood holder, that would be bad. So going back to the language thing, if I start taking the Lord’s name in vain because I want to convince my friends that I don’t judge them, that’s bad.

“So judging people is good now?”

Oh, bother. Here we go again. All I’m saying is that if a choice leads us to do good, and believe in God, and follow Him, it’s a good choice. If a choice leads us to deny God, or to not serve Him, then it’s evil.

“But didn’t Moroni say that first?”

Yes. Yes he did. And he was right. And it really is that simple. Read the rest of Moroni 7. If we’re basing all our decisions on the fact that they’re not evil, we may neglect making some good choices that would help us follow the Savior.

“So what about Spider Man?”

Ugh… I think we’re done.

 


Posted in Agency, Conversations with my evil devils advocate alter ego, Decisions by with no comments yet.

Choice and Akidability: Teaching Agency to Young Children


Posted in Agency, Children, Family and tagged , , , , , by with 2 comments.

Music & the Knowledge of Good and Evil

Music and the Knowledge of Good and Evil

Music, Art, and Media Series

Ezra Taft Benson:

We seek that which is praiseworthy, lovely, virtuous, and of good report; and we salute Beethoven, Shakespeare, Rembrandt, and Michelangelo. In due time, we will also have more of our own giants–particularly great father-patriarchs and noble companions and mothers of men. There is certain music heard and art seen and clothes worn on this campus [BYU] that must pass away–not because the styles change but because our standards will be improved.


When individual actions of some Church members disturb you, here’s another principle to consider. This is the principle of stewardship. As the kingdom grows larger, more and more responsibilities have to be delegated and stewardships handed out. Men respond in different degrees of valiancy to their stewardships. God is very patient and long-suffering as he waits for some of us to rise to our responsibilities. He usually gives a man a long enough rope and a long enough time either to pull himself up to the presence of God or to drop off somewhere below. But while God is patient, no puny arm of man in his stewardship can long impede or pervert the work of the Lord. The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind ever so finely.


Because God has given men their agency, there will always be those who will misuse it. The gospel net draws in the good and the bad, the best and the worst–the worst because the devil, before the final cleansing, puts some of his followers within the kingdom in order to try and destroy it. We have some of them within the kingdom today, and in due course their number shall be known. Time has a way of taking care of all things, of elevating the good and bringing down the bad. If we see things going on within the kingdom that disturb us, we might first resolve if the matter falls within our stewardship. We then might go to the person or people involved. If it is of such a nature that we think it should be called to the attention of higher authority, then we can, in a kindly and quiet manner, take the necessary steps at the proper level.


To publish differences we may think we have with the leaders of the Church, to create strife and division, is a sure road to apostasy. Our task is to stick with the kingdom, not to let anything or anybody disaffect or sour us toward that great gift which Christ has given us–his church.


The Church is true. Keep its laws; attend its meetings; sustain its leaders; accept its callings; get its recommend; enjoy its blessings.


Jesus Christ–Gifts and Expectations, Ezra Taft Benson, BYU devotional, 10 December 1974

Moroni 7:12-17

12 Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.

13 But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.

14 Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.

15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.

16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

18 And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.

19 Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ.

tab

We’d write out the whole good spirit vs. bad spirit chart deal here, but formatting it in a blog would be a nightmare, so here’s the link to the whole talk he gave!

Investing for Eternity, John H. Groberg BYU devotional, 15 June 1982


Posted in Agency, Music and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , by with 1 comment.

Popular Music Guidelines

Popular Music Guidelines

Music, Art, and Media Series

Larry Bastian, “Popular Music Guidelines,” Ensign, Apr 1974, 37

Have you ever wondered why things like beat, rhythm, and intensity are mentioned by the brethren as things to be aware of when are choosing what type of music to listen to?  I have, and this talk addressed that very well.


Posted in Agency, Miscellaneous, Music and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , by with no comments yet.
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