the bondage of the world

We may be bright and learned. We may be physically fit and fully capable. We may have all of the advantages of circumstance and environment and society, but there is a bond and a servitude and a limitation which if we're not careful may, in fact, be more apparent and evident and to which we may be more vulnerable at that point than at almost any other time. For lack of something else to call it, let me call it the world. I want to read you a few lines about this subject:


For that person striving to live righteously, this mortal existence is a testing time indeed. The faithful are plagued with the temptations of a world that appears to have lost itself in a snarled maze of ambiguity, mendacity, and threatening uncertainty. The challenge to live in the world but not of the world is a monumental one, indeed.


Our second estate is indeed a probationary state. The choices we are called upon to make every day of our lives call forth the exercise of our agency. That we fail so frequently to think and do that which is right is not evidence against the practicality of righteous living. We do not falter and stumble in the path of righteousness simply because we do nothing else, but because too often we lose the vision of our relationship with God. The incessant din and cackling ado of this turbulent life drown out the message which asserts that, as man is, God once was and that, as God is, man may become.


If we will not dance to the music of materialism and hedonism but will remain attuned to the voice of godly reason, we will be led to the green pastures of respite and the still waters of spiritual refreshment. All the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune this world can hurl against us are as nothing when compared to the rewards for steadfastness and faithfulness. It would behoove us all to fix our sights more consistently upon the things which are everlasting and eternal. This world is not our home.


Those are lines from the valedictory address at the Utah state prison, May 23, 1974, given by inmate John McRell, who [in 1974 was] about fifty years of age and had been behind bars for more than half of those years.

Elder Jeffery R. Holland, "Borne Upon Eagles' Wings" (BYU Fireside, June 2, 1974)


http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=6053&x=67&y=9


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