Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Greatest Threat and the Greatest Defense

Harold B Lee once said, "Satan’s greatest threat today is to destroy the family, and to make a mockery of the law of chastity and the sanctity of the marriage covenant" (http://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-harold-b-lee/chapter-20). Ezra Taft Benson taught, "The plaguing sin of this generation is sexual immorality" (http://www.lds.org/general-conference/1986/04/cleansing-the-inner-vessel).

Unfortunately, the vices of sexual immorality are becoming increasingly accepted, and even encouraged in society today. As Dallin H Oaks once put it, "Evil that used to be localized and covered like a boil is now legalized and paraded like a banner. The most fundamental roots and bulwarks of civilization are questioned or attacked. Nations disavow their religious heritage. Marriage and family responsibilities are discarded as impediments to personal indulgence" (http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2004/04/preparation-for-the-second-coming). 

Far too often, I've come to see good men and women who I knew in High School breaking the law of Chastity within only a few years. Family is not as revered as it once was, as something to be waited for until after entering the marriage covenant. Nations are only as strong as the families in them, and this nation has lost the favor of heaven, because we have ceased to "serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ" (Ether 2:12). "For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off" (Ether 2:10).

In too many ways, we are following the path of both previous civilizations of the American continent. We, collectively, have demanded that God get out of our courts, out of our schools, and out of our land. (Of course, there are those who still fight for it, but I'm referring to policy here, not the sides of the debate). Now we are making mockery of "that which was most dear and precious above all things, which is chastity and virtue" (Moroni 9:9). Do we really expect that this will go without consequences? Do we really expect that the God of heaven will turn a blind eye to this plague of biblical proportions?

"The show of their countenance doth witness against them, and doth declare their sin to be even as Sodom, and they cannot hide it. Wo unto their souls, for they have rewarded evil unto themselves!" (2 Nephi 13:9). The sin that got Sodom destroyed was their sexual perversions. Now, we cannot hide the sins committed of sexual perversion in this world. It is everywhere around us: TV, Radio, the internet, billboards, and so on. The Law of Chastity has not changed, nor will it ever change, simply because society wills it that way. 

"The Lord delights in...chastity" (Jacob 2:28). It's not just a slight giddiness, but rather His whole soul is filled with joy in chastity. Thus, ours should be as well. We live in a sex-saturated society, but that doesn't mean we have to be affected. We don't need to be of the world, simply because we are in it. It's just going to get darker and more dangerous. So, what is there left to do?

In the words of the Holy One of Israel, "Verily I say unto you all: Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nationsAnd that the gathering together upon the land of Zion, and upon her stakes, may be for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth" (Doctrine & Covenants 115:5-6). We must be the guardians of virtue, and shine our example to all the world. How?

We must "let virtue garnish [our] thoughts unceasingly;" and "then shall [our] confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon [our] soul[s] as the dews from heaven" (Doctrine & Covenants 121:45). Then, others seeing our light shall come and see and feel.