Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Return to Virtue

I was studying in Alma 47 this morning and was reminded of some conference talks given in the fall of 2008. "Christian Courage" by, Robert D. Hales (Quorum of the 12 Apostles) and "Return to Virtue" by, Elaine S. Dalton (General Young Womens President)Photo: Elaine S. Dalton, General Young Women's President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

"Could it be that we have been slowly desensitized into thinking that high moral standards are old-fashioned and not relevant or important in today’s society? As Elder Hales has just reminded us, Lehonti in the Book of Mormon was well positioned on the top of a mountain. He and those he led were “fixed in their minds with a determined resolution” that they would not come down from the mount. It only took the deceitful Amalickiah four tries, each one more bold than the previous, to get Lehonti to “come down off from the mount.”8 And then having embraced Amalickiah’s false promises, Lehonti was “poison[ed] by degrees”9 until he died. Not just poisoned, but “by degrees.” Could it be that this may be happening today? Could it be that first we tolerate, then accept, and eventually embrace the vice that surrounds us?10 Could it be that we have been deceived by false role models and persuasive media messages that cause us to forget our divine identity?

Are we too being poisoned by degrees? What could be more deceptive than to entice the youth of this noble generation to do nothing or to be busy ever-texting but never coming to a knowledge of the truths contained in a book that was written for you and your day by prophets of God—the Book of Mormon? What could be more deceptive than to entice women, young and old, you and me, to be so involved in ourselves, our looks, our clothes, our body shape and size that we lose sight of our divine identity and our ability to change the world through our virtuous influence? What could be more deceptive than to entice men—young and old, holding the holy priesthood of God—to view seductive pornography and thus focus on flesh instead of faith, to be consumers of vice rather than guardians of virtue? The Book of Mormon relates the story of 2,000 young heroes whose virtue and purity gave them the strength to defend their parents’ covenants and their family’s faith. Their virtue and commitment to be “true at all times” changed the world!11

...What can each of us do to begin our return to virtue? The course and the training program will be unique to each of us. I have derived my personal training program from instructions found in the scriptures: “Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly.”14 “Cleave unto [your] covenants.”15 “Stand … in holy places.”16 “Lay aside the things of [the] world.”17 “Believe that ye must repent.”18 “Always remember him and keep his commandments.”19 And “if there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, … seek after these things.”20 Now more than ever before, it is time to respond to Moroni’s call to “awake, and arise” and to “lay hold upon every good gift, and touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing.”21

...I testify that a return to virtue is possible because of the Savior’s example and the “infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice.”22 I testify that we will be enabled and strengthened not only to do hard things but to do all things. Now is the time for each of us to arise and unfurl a banner to the world calling for a return to virtue. "

Elaine S. Dalton, “A Return to Virtue,” Liahona, Nov 2008, 78–80

1 comment:

Tony said...

I love Sister Dalton :D