Friday 18 April 2014

Easter - the sorrow, and the joy


From Elder Neil L Andersen 

Sin has always been part of the world, but it has never been so accessible, insatiable, and acceptable.

There is, of course, a powerful force that will subdue the whirlwinds of sin.

It is called repentance.


President Thomas S. Monson has said, “Where once the standards of the Church and the standards of society were mostly compatible, now there is a wide chasm between us, and it’s growing ever wider.”...

This past month the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve published a letter to leaders of the Church across the world. In part it read: “Changes in the civil law do not, indeed cannot, change the moral law that God has established. God expects us to uphold and keep His commandments regardless of divergent opinions or trends in society. His law of chastity is clear: sexual relations are proper only between a man and a woman who are legally and lawfully wedded as husband and wife....” 

While many governments and well-meaning individuals have redefined marriage, the Lord has not. In the very beginning, God initiated marriage between a man and a woman—Adam and Eve. He designated the purposes of marriage to go far beyond the personal satisfaction and fulfillment of adults to, more importantly, advancing the ideal setting for children to be born, reared, and nurtured.

Families are the treasure of heaven.


Also two new inspiring Easter-theme videos from 

I am extremely grateful for the media produced by the LDS; they are a great source of spiritual nourishment and strength.



Bruce Charlton said...

Comment edited from D.

"Last night I told my family I am a Christian. It didn't go down well. Surely you don't really believe in all that nonsense!...

"The conversation quickly homed in on the new legal status of same sex marriages. I stated as calmly and truthfully as I could manage that I believe marriage is 'sacred' and a beautiful union between man and wife.

"The situation that exploded before me following this admission with so fast and powerful I was terrified. I was immediately told I am an over-opinionated Religious zealot, that they did not know who I am anymore and I was shouted and commanded to leave my family home.

"Their anger at my perceived bigotry was palpable and their faces almost looked unrecognizably contorted with murderous revulsion towards me...

"I will be going to church alone this Sunday. Family is sacred to me too and I feel like I am losing it for simply believing in Christ.

"I had no idea that just stating a simple traditional Christian belief could be so powerfully resented by my loved ones..."

Bruce Charlton said...

@D -

Keep the channels of communication open from your side; don't ever give-up.

You are in my prayers.

Adam G. said...

I honor you, D. More importantly, God does. It's hard, but loving patience and quiet strength, they conquer all.

Bookslinger said...

Matthew 5: 11-12.
"Blessed are ye ... for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."

Jonathan C said...

Bruce, I've been following your arguments along these lines for a long time, but I am simply far too afraid to take the risk. I am exactly the sort of man who, if I married, would be involuntarily divorced within 4 years and legally required to pay 120% of my income in alimony and child support to children I'm not permitted to contact. I am not attractive to women and do not have the force of personality to keep a wife in the modern Western world, though I do have enough income to be a good short-term target. I would not feel any sense of celebration on my wedding day, because I would see it solely as the day I signed up to be divorced and fleeced, and I would already be awaiting the day she drops the hammer. I think yours was the last generation that could get married and reasonably expect to stay that way. In a land where 50% of marriages end in divorce, the bottom 50% of men should not risk marriage.

Even if the option of sex without marriage were taken away, I would choose a life alone over marriage. Because I truly believe that marriage would turn into a life alone, with all my future earnings stolen, within a few years. It does not make sense to trade a few moments of companionship for a lifetime of financial entanglements and contempt from children I barely know. Until the legal system is reformed to reduce the incentives for women to divorce (and the risk-free incentives to make up fake abuse stories), and the child custody system made fair, many men are wise to choose a life alone over the risk of marriage. A man can't marry in the West without giving support to an evil and predatory family court system. A marriage has 50-50 odds of making the world a more evil place rather than a better one.

I would not trouble you with this if it were just about me; but I know many, many men who think as I do. I've been agonizing over this issue a lot lately, and if I am to avoid sin, I think the least awful solution is for me to avoid all unnecessary contact with women I'm not related to for the rest of my life.

Bruce Charlton said...

@JC - I will do my best to respond by intuition and guess.

I think there is a right and wrong way of thinking about this kind of thing.

We all (especially me, very much so) lack courage, steadfastness, strength - and can be broken by life - and this prevents us from doing things that we ought to do.

Many people are chronically sick, have some kind of difficult personality, or some disability or disadvantage.

I mean it really does *prevent* us, here and now - in practice - from doing the right thing. But I am sure that if this is acknowledged (the fault is mine!) and repented, then it is okay - indeed this is what we are here for (one of the things).

But I don't think it is okay to conduct life in a probablistic way, and to deny responsibility for one's own choices but to claim that these are compelled, or are the only rational choice.

After all, for most of history, the greatest probability was very premature death for self and/ or spouse and/ or children.

So my personal view is that you need (I mean *you* actually, urgently need) to disentangle your argument - to acknowledge what is right, acknowledge the hand you have been dealt, acknowledge society as it is and may become - and to take full responsibility for your choices in that context - so you know what you ought to do, you know what you actually do - you repent the gap between the two, and you will be forgiven; and over time you will given some kind of strength and guidance that cannot at present be foreseen (and certainly cannot be rationally calculated).

David said...

I will not go to Church alone today, despite my fears, for the Lord will be with me. May God bless you all:

The final episode. I think perhaps it is also my favourite; because it is also the beginning.

Albrecht said...

Almost thou persuadest me to be a Mormon.