Skip to main content

Popularity and Principle (Maxwell; Brigham Young; Tanner)

There are real dangers—subtle and obvious—when members fall into lockstep with the world’s ways. In so many respects, the world’s ways head in opposite directions from gospel destinations. Moreover, as a covenant people, our behavioral loyalties are to be with the Lord, not with the Caesars of this world. But the tugs of the world are real and persistent. Besides, following the fashions of the world is merely to pursue eventual obsolescence, “for the fashion of this world passeth away” (1 Cor. 7:31).
Typically, President Brigham Young spoke sternly concerning popularity and what can be its ruining acclaim:
“I do not want ‘Mormonism’ to become popular. … I would rather pass through all the misery and sorrow, the troubles and trials of the Saints, than to have the religion of Christ become popular with the world” (inJournal of Discourses, 10:297).
President N. Eldon Tanner cautioned, “This craving for praise and popularity too often controls actions, and as [people] succumb they find themselves bending their character when they think they are only taking a bow” (Ensign, Nov. 1975, p. 76).
Furthermore, not only must we forgo erosive popularity, but we are to be unsurprised when “at that day shall he [Satan] rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good” (2 Ne. 28:20).
Church standards remain constant in a time when some actually call good evil and evil good! (See Isa. 5:20.) No wonder the Latter-day Saints “must be kept where the finger of scorn can be pointed at them” (Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses, 12:272). Since there is not much chance that the fingers of scorn will be diverted, we should “[heed] them not” (1 Ne. 8:33). Ironically, among those pointing fingers of scorn are a few that once grasped the iron rod. As Lehi envisioned, these defectors become ashamed, fall away, and become aligned with the popular taunting multitude in the great and spacious building (see 1 Ne. 8:27, 33).
Popularity can overwhelm the individual’s inner sentinel or conscience, which stands guard over his soul by sounding inconvenient and uninvited alarms.
Granted, we do not deliberately seek reproach, which has its own ways of coming. Granted, too, pervasive righteousness will later reign triumphant on the earth. There was, also, happy and rare righteousness in the City of Enoch, where the principles of God were rightly popular within that special culture. Such is surely not today’s situation, however, even though there are so many good and honorable individuals in various races and nations.
If we are meek and have the gift of the Holy Ghost, we will not be subject to the manipulation of our appetites by the trendy. Deliberate manipulation—whether of nicotine, alcohol, or pornography—is real because “evils and designs … do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days” (D&C 89:4).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The God of the 4th Watch (S. Michael Wilcox)

The scriptures are our Father in Heaven’s letters; only He knows more than I did as a father what you and I would need.  There are times in our lives when we need to open the letter and communicate with our Father in Heaven, and understand what He is like and His concern for us.  I would like to share this morning, with you, four letters from my Father in Heaven that have been very important to me—that I hope will be indicative of the power that the scriptures can be for us as we face different trials and challenges of our lives.  The first letter is called "The Fourth Watch." That letter comes from the sixth chapter of Mark.  The Savior has fed the five thousand that day, and in the late afternoon, early evening, He is sending his apostles down into the ship. He will dismiss the multitude. He wishes to pray that evening, and then He will meet the apostles a little later on the shore and they are to pick Him up.  In late afternoon, early evening, the apostles get on the sh

The Exquisite Gift of the Son (Matthew S. Holland)

  For anyone today with pains so intense or so unique that you feel no one else could fully appreciate them, you may have a point. There may be no family member, friend, or priesthood leader—however sensitive and well-meaning each may be—who knows exactly what you are feeling or has the precise words to help you heal. But know this: there is One who understands perfectly what you are experiencing, who is “mightier than all the earth,” 17   and who is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that [you] ask or think.” 18   The process will unfold in His way and on His schedule, but Christ stands ready   always   to heal every ounce and aspect of your agony. As you allow Him to do so, you will discover that your suffering was not in vain. Speaking of many of the Bible’s greatest heroes and their griefs, the Apostle Paul said that “God … provided some better things for them through their sufferings, for without sufferings they could not be made perfect.” 19  You see, the very nature of

Bread or Stones: Understanding the God We Pray to (W. Michael Wilcox)

Amazing talk about the nature of God, answers to prayer, adversity, etc.: https://devotionalarchive.byuh.edu/node/332.html https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR2xdzkEIQk&feature=youtu.be Bread or Stones: Understanding the God We Pray to Devotional Talk Given at  Brigham Young University-Hawaii  March 31, 2009 S. Michael Wilcox  Religion Instructor & Author CES Institute of Religion A number of years ago when my daughter was about your age, she was just out of high school, she went to one semester at BYU and then she got an opportunity to go to the Soviet Union (former Soviet Union) and teach English in Russia. Now this was before e-mail and cell phones, and communications between the United States and the Soviet Union were not going to be really good. She was eighteen; we were a little bit worried that there might be moments or times when she would need to talk with a parent, and not be able to because of communication difficulties.  So I decided that I would write her a series