Thursday, September 24, 2009

Until We Meet Again

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Until We Meet Again, by President Thomas S. Monson

I urge you to study the messages [of conference] and to ponder their teachings and then to apply them in your life.

These words of President Monson came as personal validation for this, my general conference application series. I remember two conferences ago feeling quite strongly that I needed to do this as a way of internalizing the messages and being reminded of their messages. Too often in the past I've finished conference with a mighty sigh and said, "Wow! What a great conference!", only to give little thought afterward and apply almost nothing that I heard.

I've liked seeing the application of the principles discussed in my life. I hope I'm a better person because of it.

In this address—the last one of this conference—President Monson caught my attention:

Now, a word of caution to all—both young and old, both male and female. We live at a time when the adversary is using every means possible to ensnare us in his web of deceit, trying desperately to take us down with him. There are many pathways along which he entices us to go—pathways that can lead to our destruction. Advances in many areas that can be used for good can also be used to speed us along those heinous pathways.

When the prophet of God issues warnings, I want to pay attention! He continued to discuss the dangers of the Internet and the prevalance of pornography and society's increasing apathy regarding moral virtues. I well remember the loving-yet-stern voice of power when President Monson said:

if you have allowed yourself to become involved in this behavior, cease now. Seek the help you need to overcome and to change the direction of your life. Take the steps necessary to get back on the strait and narrow, and then stay there. (emphasis added)

On my commute yesterday, I listened to Sister Dalton's recent CES Fireside address (link). Just before speaking of a need for us to lead out in a return to virtue through moral reform, she made a comparison that I found incredibly interesting. She spoke of the great environmental awareness that many of us have, calling us an "organic generation." We are concerned about air and water quality—we even have governmental agencies to mandate regulations for such—but many of us use insufficient filters on what we take into our minds through media, etc., "polluting [our] moral fiber."

This is reminiscent of Elder Oaks' now thirty-year-old quote on pornography (link):

We are surrounded by [immorality] . . . Pornographic or erotic stories and pictures are worse than filthy or polluted food. The body has defenses to rid itself of unwholesome food, but the brain won’t vomit back filth. Once recorded it will always remain subject to recall, flashing its perverted images across your mind, and drawing you away from the wholesome things in life.

I don't want to be drawn away. I don't want to be filled with pollution.

I want to be filled with light.

In the section called the "olive leaf," we are taught beautifully:

And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.

Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will. (D&C 88:67-68)

Incredible promises.

I'm grateful for the guidance afforded by prophets of God. The way to Christ is made clear as we listen, ponder, and apply their words.

I can't wait for another conference next weekend!

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