Friday, January 10, 2014

The Truth Shall Make You Free

From my perspective, one of the missions of the Church is to teach the World the message of the Gospel.  The pure source of Truth is not to be found in the World.  If there is any secret conspiracy of evil, the primary goal must be to entice information seekers to believe in and invest their confidence in that which is not Truth.

The promise of Jesus is that knowing the truth brings us freedom.
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  (John 8:32)

Is it a mistake to base our actions and convictions on these Worldly information sources?  What sort of freedom is in jeopardy?  What kind of bondage do we risk?
Judging by most behavior, common sentiment is that as long as the World tends to align with our own personal notions and standards, we can find this to be justifiable and sufficient for our needs.  We rely on these information sources and make our own judgements and decisions based on the flawed and biased information that was crafted specifically with the intent to deceive.

Perhaps we feel justified in forming positive or negative impressions of those we ought to rather regard as peers, so long as we continue to select from these biased sources that appear to support our arguments.

Some seem to be strongly inclined to trust information sources even far less reputable than the mainstream, apparently with this very rationale. 

Counsel from the Church seems to belie the prudence of such tendencies. 
We must not seek guidance from the world, and if our true identity has been clouded by mistakes or sins, we can change. We can turn around and repent and return to virtue. We can climb above the willows. The Savior’s Atonement is for you and for me. He invites each of us to come unto Him.  (Elaine S. Dalton, “Come Let Us Go Up to the Mountain of the Lord”)
Some Church leaders admonish us to get as far away as possible from the influences of the World.
Above all, start by separating yourself from people, materials, and circumstances that will harm you. As those battling something like alcoholism know, the pull of proximity can be fatal. So too in moral matters. Like Joseph in the presence of Potiphar’s wife, just run—run as far away as you can get from whatever or whoever it is that beguiles you. And please, when fleeing the scene of temptation, do not leave a forwarding address. (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, "Place No More for the Enemy of My Soul") 

The scriptural guidance is we continue our efforts to bring truth to the knowledge and understanding of men.
For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it—
Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven—
These should then be attended to with great earnestness. (Doctrine and Covenants 123:12)

In light of this understanding, some political theories seem less than consistent.

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