Friday, January 23, 2009

Winning the War against Evil

This entry is part of my general conference application series.
Priesthood Session

Winning the War against Evil, by Elder James J. Hamula
Of the Seventy

I have a problem with how prevalent pornography is in today's society. As a high school student, I recall listening to a talk on mission preparation by John Bytheway where he cautioned that there are places in the world where saints need to guard against where they look because of pornographic images. I found this hard to believe, but now our own neighborhoods may reflect the same peril. In fact, in a letter to the editor in BYU's newspaper today, a student expresses disappointment by the prevalence of cleavage shown on campus.

This theme reminds me of Elder Christofferson's phrase, "the vicarious immorality of pornography," from his talk in this conference. Also, I recall when Elder Oaks counseled young women against dressing immodestly and becoming pornography to some men (link to talk). Apparently this problem, and other related problems, are real.

In discussing winning the war against evil, Elder Hamula quoted from President Packer:

I know of nothing in the history of the Church or in the history of the world to compare with our present circumstances. Nothing happened in Sodom and Gomorrah which exceeds in wickedness and depravity that which surrounds us now.

Instead of becoming depressed by the comparison to Sodom and Gomorrah, let's remember the enthusiasm and optimism of President Hinckley, who often reminded that never before has the gospel been as available to so many people. Also, I try to remember that in the end, the Lord is going to win; we simply need to decide whose side we're going to be on.

So, if we want to win in the war against evil, here's how to do it:

There is only one way to win the war against Satan, and that is to win it ... by (1) faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice, (2) testimony of [Christ], and (3) consecration of oneself to the Lord and His work.

It's comforting to know that as bad as the world seems to be getting, the same old basic answers remain effective in preserving and protecting ourselves in winning the war against evil.

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