This is day two of my 6 month LDS Conference challenge. I’m going to be realistic – I may not be able to study a talk a day, but the goal is to study consistently so that I will have reviewed and studied EVERY talk at least once by the next conference.
Today I want to study the talk by Elder Cook titled Can Ye Feel So Now?
My Initial Thoughts
As I read this talk, a lot of thoughts went through my head:
- Wow, that quote is PERFECT for Mandy.
- I know exactly what he means by the temptations of the adversary.
- Can I feel to sing the song of redeeming love in my life right now?
- What does it mean to “sing the song of redeeming love”?
- This talk is DEAD ON with where I am at right now (and where the world is at too).
After reading the talk, I said a quick prayer to ask God to help me to not think about how this could apply so much to Mandy, or to someone else I know, but more importantly, how it can apply toME!
Some of My Favorite Quotes
We are all aware the culture in most of the world is not conducive to righteousness or spiritual commitment.
“If ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?”2
“Everyone knows the culture is poisonous, and nobody expects that to change.”5 The constant portrayal of violence and immorality in music, entertainment, art, and other media in our day-to-day culture is unprecedented.
…a highly respected Baptist theologian…stated, “The spiritual immune system of an entire civilization has been wounded.”6
It is not surprising that some in the Church believe they can’t answer Alma’s question with a resounding yes. They do not “feel so now.” They feel they are in a spiritual drought. Others are angry, hurt, or disillusioned. If these descriptions apply to you,7 it is important to evaluate why you cannot “feel so now.” (bold added for emphasis)
(the scripture reference: 2 Nephi 2:27 27 Wherefore, men are afree according to the bflesh; and call things are dgiven them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to echoosefliberty and eternal glife, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be hmiserable like unto himself.)
[Some] spend most of their time giving first-class devotion to lesser causes. (this could be me with Internet access, with Facebook time, or other unnecessary things I waste my time doing).
Some have immersed themselves in Internet materials that magnify, exaggerate, and, in some cases, invent shortcomings of early Church leaders. Then they draw incorrect conclusions that can affect testimony. (this definitely applies to Mandy’s situation and could apply to me if I’m not careful in getting caught up with debates with anti-Mormons.)
Any who have made these choices can repent and be spiritually renewed.
Immersion in the scriptures is essential for spiritual nourishment.
The word of God inspires commitment and acts as a healing balm for hurt feelings, anger, or disillusionment.
(scriptural reference: 5 And now, as the apreaching of the bword had a great tendency to clead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God. – Alma 31:5)
C.S. Lewis asserted that Christianity tells people to repent and promises them forgiveness; but until people know and feel they need forgiveness, Christianity does not speak to them. He stated, “When you know you are sick, you will listen to the doctor.”11
The Prophet Joseph Smith said “when you joined this Church you enlisted to serve God. When you did that you left the neutral ground, and you never can [go] back.” His counsel was that we must never forsake the Master.12
I thought this was very interesting as a root cause for lack of commitment to Gospel teachings:
While anything that lessens commitment is of consequence, two relevant challenges are both prevalent and significant. The first is unkindness, violence, and domestic abuse. The second is sexual immorality and impure thoughts. These often precede and are at the root of the choice to be less committed.
Sexual immorality and impure thoughts violate the standard established by the Savior.17 We were warned at the beginning of this dispensation that sexual immorality would be perhaps the greatest challenge.18 Such conduct will, without repentance, cause a spiritual drought and loss of commitment. Movies, TV, and the Internet often convey degrading messages and images.
An Outcry to Parents
Parents, the days are long past when regular, active participation in Church meetings and programs, though essential, can fulfill your sacred responsibility to teach your children to live moral, righteous lives and walk uprightly before the Lord.
What I get from this is that we can’t just rely on Church leaders, seminary teachers, or friends to teach our kids what’s right and wrong. Family Home Evening is essential; talking about tough things is vital; and helping our kids develop their OWN testimonies at an early age is a must.
Parents must have the courage to filter or monitor Internet access, television, movies, and music. Parents must have the courage to say no, defend truth, and bear powerful testimony. Your children need to know that you have faith in the Savior, love your Heavenly Father, and sustain the leaders of the Church. Spiritual maturity must flourish in our homes.
…the moral issues of our day must be addressed in the family.
…as we all live the principles the Savior taught and prepare to meet God,25 we win a much more important race.26 We will have the Holy Ghost as our guide for spiritual direction. For any whose lives are not in order, remember, it is never too late to make the Savior’s Atonement the foundation of our faith and lives.27
(scriptural reference: 12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the arock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your bfoundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty cstorm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall. – Helaman 5:12)
24 ¶Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
I’m grateful for this talk on a couple different levels:
- How it reminds me what I need to do individually to “feel so now”
- How it reminds me how important it is to teach my children, both by example and by talking about difficult things
- How it is great words of wisdom for all followers of Christ who realize that the morals and culture of the world are NOT in accordance with what Christ taught – in fact, they are getting farther and farther away from the truth.
I hope to review this talk with B and discuss it in an upcoming FHE.
I love the Gospel.
I love the words of our prophets and apostles.
These are the words we are encouraged to “feast upon“.
3 aAngels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, bfeast upon the cwords of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will dtell you all things what ye should do.
I hope I can remember these words today as I go about my day to day activities. I hope I can ponder them and think about how I can apply them NOW.
I feel great about this study.