Thursday, April 7, 2011

What are the Apostles warning us of today? #1

Every April and October we get to listen to the Prophet and Apostles and other Church Leaders speak to those who will listen to their counsel in General Conference.Well first of all some of you may ask, "What is General Conference?"
General conference is a semiannual gathering of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During general conference weekend, Church members and others who are interested gather worldwide in a series of two-hour sessions to receive inspiration and instruction from Church leaders. We get to hear from modern day prophet and apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. They instruct us as if God would instruct us if He was walking this earth. They give us a voice of warning for dangers in the world. Dangers can be from immoral or economical dangers. One of the biggest dangers they have been speaking of is on the internet. Pornography is destroying not only marriages but oneself. Many many apostles and prophets are speaking upon this subject.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles states,
"Most days we all find ourselves assaulted by immoral messages of some kind flooding in on us from every angle. The darker sides of the movie, television, and music industry step further and further into offensive language and sexual misconduct. Tragically, the same computer and Internet service that allows me to do my family history and prepare those names for temple work could, without filters and controls, allow my children or grandchildren access to a global cesspool of perceptions that could blast a crater in their brains forever.
Remember that those young wives said their husbands’ infidelity began with an attraction to pornography, but immoral activity is not just a man’s problem, and husbands aren’t the only ones offending. The compromise available at the click of a mouse—including what can happen in a chat room’s virtual encounter—is no respecter of persons, male or female, young or old, married or single. And just to make sure that temptation is ever more accessible, the adversary is busy extending his coverage, as they say in the industry, to cell phones, video games, and MP3 players.

Whether we be single or married, young or old, let’s talk for a moment about how to guard against temptation in whatever form it may present itself. We may not be able to cure all of society’s ills today, but let’s speak of what some personal actions can be.

  • Above all, start by separating yourself from people, materials, and circumstances that will harm you. As those battling something like alcoholism know, the pull of proximity can be fatal. So too in moral matters. Like Joseph in the presence of Potiphar’s wife, just run—run as far away as you can get from whatever or whoever it is that beguiles you. And please, when fleeing the scene of temptation, do not leave a forwarding address.
  • Acknowledge that people bound by the chains of true addictions often need more help than self-help, and that may include you. Seek that help and welcome it. Talk to your bishop. Follow his counsel. Ask for a priesthood blessing. Use the Church’s Family Services offerings or seek other suitable professional help. Pray without ceasing. Ask for angels to help you.
  • Along with filters on computers and a lock on affections, remember that the only real control in life is self-control. Exercise more control over even the marginal moments that confront you. If a TV show is indecent, turn it off. If a movie is crude, walk out. If an improper relationship is developing, sever it. Many of these influences, at least initially, may not technically be evil, but they can blunt our judgment, dull our spirituality, and lead to something that could be evil. An old proverb says that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, so watch your step.
  • Like thieves in the night, unwelcome thoughts can and do seek entrance to our minds. But we don’t have to throw open the door, serve them tea and crumpets, and then tell them where the silverware is kept! (You shouldn’t be serving tea anyway.) Throw the rascals out! Replace lewd thoughts with hopeful images and joyful memories; picture the faces of those who love you and would be shattered if you let them down. More than one man has been saved from sin or stupidity by remembering the face of his mother, his wife, or his child waiting somewhere for him at home. Whatever thoughts you have, make sure they are welcome in your heart by invitation only. As an ancient poet once said, let will be your reason. 
  • Cultivate and be where the Spirit of the Lord is. Make sure that includes your own home or apartment, dictating the kind of art, music, and literature you keep there. If you are endowed, go to the temple as often as your circumstances allow. Remember that the temple arms you “with [God’s] power, … [puts His] glory … round about [you], and [gives His] angels … charge over [you].”  And when you leave the temple, remember the symbols you take with you, never to be set aside or forgotten.

Most people in trouble end up crying, “What was I thinking?” Well, whatever they were thinking, they weren’t thinking of Christ.  So let us work a little harder at remembering Him—especially that He has “borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows … , [that] he was bruised for our iniquities … ; and with his stripes we are healed.” Surely it would guide our actions in a dramatic way if we remembered that every time we transgress, we hurt not only those we love, but we also hurt Him, who so dearly loves us. But if we do sin, however serious that sin may be, we can be rescued by that same majestic figure, He who bears the only name given under heaven whereby any man or woman can be saved." (Place No More for the Enemy of My Soul, April 2010 General Conference)

The adversary is huge into destroying peoples confidence and self control. Well guess what do you know how big our God is? Our God can help you overcome these problems. Whether it be video games or immoral activity God will help us. As we learned from the New Testament from Jesus Christ himself in Matthew 5:28 "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." That is the voice of our Savior. Remember it always. Do not forget who all you are gonna be hurting. Would you like to cause more pain to our Savior by doing these self-degrating things. NO YOU DO NOT! I will answer that for you. He lived a perfect life and died while He was yet perfect. Who would want to harm someone that has only but showed Love towards you? If nothing else think about our Savior when in times of decision or temptation. Follow the counsel of Helaman to his sons in Alma 37:35-37

"O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God.
 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day."

There is nothing more I can say to add onto Helaman's comment in the Book of Mormon.

 Look at this picture. Why would you want to hurt Jesus even more?
Jesus still has His hands out stretched to you and I. It is not too late to come unto Him and be forgiven and healed by the Master Physician. If nothing else REMEMBER HE LOVES YOU UNCONDITIONALLY AND ETERNALLY. God Lives and Loves you and He invites all to come unto Him and be forgiven.

If you are in need of help locate your nearest LDS Addiction Recovery Program

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