How did we get here?
Society in 2016 is vastly different when compared to how things used to be even just 50 years ago. Some things are much better than they were, for example, much of the world’s population walk around with mini computers in their pockets that allow them to access more books, knowledge, and information than anyone in the history of time.
Think about that, people 50 years ago or 2000 years ago all had to carry books around with them in order to read something about the past or read something visionary about the future.
It seems like for the grand majority of day to day life we can figure it out by asking Google, “How to ____________.” No matter if you want to learn how to cook a meal, or climb Mount Everest, there is usually a step-by-step tutorial on how to make it happen.
On the other hand some of the differences between today’s society and the past are not so favorable.
We have heard the Apostles of the Lord for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints say many times that the moral standards of society and the church used to be fairly aligned and that now the societal beliefs differ a great deal from those of the Latter Day Saint teachings.
How is it that in such a short period of time our society has decided to call good evil and evil good.
The principle that bothers me the most is the concept of neutrality.
I saw an animated video on Facebook a couple months ago that was teaching what makes a person wise. The video depicted an obviously angry man and showed how he micro managed people, judged people negatively, and had a general condescension toward others which all hinged on the fact that he had opinions.
The second man was shown to be wise in direct contrast to the first man due to his calm personality. This man was shown in Zen-like poses where he remained absolutely neutral when it came to any decisions.
Our society today teaches us that it is better to be neutral, accepting others regardless of what they do than to take a side regarding most topics. Society also teaches us that we should never tell anyone that they are wrong, and by so doing we cross a treacherous line.
All of this neutrality makes me sick.
I have always believed that we are to love ALL people, for it causes our God pain when we hate our own blood. (Moses 7:33) In addition as we have true love for others our actions will be aligned to link arms with each other and create better societies.
We should care about others on a deep level no matter who a person is, for that is what the Savior not only taught, but DID. I feel like loving others truly and deeply is one of the ultimate identifiers of real disciples of Christ. So I do not say “love others” flippantly.
Now, as we love others is it not our duty to help lift others with that love?
Lifting others begins with standing on firm and solid ground. You must have a conviction, a testimony, of all you claim to know.
For if you stand on a large pile of neutral jello you won’t be able to lift someone else let alone have the desire to lift others.
This life is about agency, therefore if people choose a path for themselves it is ultimately their decision. This is not to say that we look at others condescendingly when they do not make the same choices we make.
We make choices all the time that hurt other people’s feelings, and frankly, hurt our Heavenly Father’s feelings too. But God does not start treating us as a doofus when we make a wrong choice. He loves us all the same.
The key to this subject is that God also does not bend his rules or relax his expectations of us either. And that is how God’s love is evident to us and how his love lifts us up!
God has standards, rules, guidelines, and maps to help us become what he expects us to be.
And contrary to popular belief, God does not sit in some nebulous neutral land, taking no action in our lives and having no interest in our success…
He reaches out to you more than you might ever understand. EVERY DAY!
It has been almost 8 years since I have seen one of my best friends. Shane and I grew up together in the same stake throughout our youth and after we both served missions we became roommates.
He and I had shared some of the best times together as young single adults. After he met the girl who would become his wife he decided to become a Police Officer. During his tenure as a Police Officer he was one of the most trustworthy and respected men in his department.
One night he received the startling call that shots were fired and he was needed as backup. As he raced to aid his fellow officer, a drunk driver veered into Shane’s police car smashing him into a pole.
That was the night when Shane’s spirit went home to the God who gave him life (Alma 40:11)…
…leaving his wife, daughter, family and friends with an incredible void.
It has been a process to forgive the man responsible for this tragedy, and I still pray for Shane’s wife, daughter and immediate family.
In this case the man who made a few wrong decisions is no less deserving of love than the other man in this true story.
It is easier to see how important rules, regulations, and morals are when a person’s life is on the line.
Maybe if the man hadn’t had anything to drink that night, maybe if he hadn’t decided to drive, maybe if my friend was driving a little more cautiously…
Maybe things would have turned out differently.
If everyone would follow the rules, things would be so much better for all of us.
Society seems to have a huge problem with what is wrong or bad in an effort to make nothing wrong or bad unless it comes down to sever cases involving death.
The fact of the matter is that there is good AND bad. Right and wrong DO exist in this world even though popular media tells you that you are wise for staying neutral and not having opinions, beliefs, or convictions.
So STAND UP! CHOOSE A SIDE!
Have an opinion! Have beliefs! Have convictions! Because having conviction is so much more important than swaying in any direction the wind decides to blow.
I realize that some beliefs are wrong. Yep I said it, wrong. People shouldn’t hate others based upon skin color. People shouldn’t hate others, PERIOD. But I always hold a higher level of respect for a person who lives in uncompromising congruence with their beliefs as opposed to someone whose goal is to be neutral.
Having convictions and beliefs does not mean we shouldn’t analyze them from time to time, or even adopt new ones if they are based upon God’s truths. It also does not mean that we should force everyone else to have our beliefs.
God doesn’t force us even though he is right.
God wants every one of his children back after our lives are over here on this earth. He has never been able to take from us our ability to choose, nor will he. And so he works, stretches out his hand, opens doors, and closes doors in effort to help us choose a side…
…To CHOOSE HIS SIDE.
Co-Founder of 25th Month