Idols of Today’s World Are Not Golden!


My wife and I were watching the news a few years ago when a human interest story came across the six o’clock news. It was a heart wrenching story of a little boy who is suffering from the effects of cancer. I didn’t catch the details of the prognosis for this young boy but the story was more about the fact that his dying wish was to meet his idol. Well, that is not unusual as I can recall reported stories of this nature dating back to Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth visiting sick children during the 1920’s. What struck me as unusual was the fact that this young boy desperately wanted to meet an aging rock star, now best known as a judge on the Television Series, “American Idol”. I happen to know a little bit about the lifestyle of this well known “judge” and by any objective account, he has lived a wicked and selfish life. He has left nothing but destruction in his rear view mirror. I am sure that this young boy knows nothing more about his “idol” than the fact that he sings and says “quirky” things to contestants. Yet, as I watched the story I couldn’t help but turn to my wife and say, “That guy is his idol?” I was left with the words of Paul in my mind, “Ye know that ye are…carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.” (1 Corinthians 12:2)

Like this young boy many of us are being “carried away unto dumb idols”. There is a cottage industry in our society that panders to and promotes individuals whose only gift to mankind is their supposed “Glamour and Ritz.” They lead lives of self-promotion and selfishness. They are the antithesis of the qualities exemplified in the Savior. They have become the “American Idol” so to speak. They are not made of gold, as was the calf of the Israelites. Indeed, they are more dangerous than the calf of gold because they are of flesh and blood. They seek the pleasures of life and are presented to all as “idols” to worship. Our children are exposed at a much younger age to these pleasure seekers whose only goal is to gain the praise and power of the world. They seek not the kingdom of God, but are only concerned about the carnal man.

It is important that we balance our lives and the lives of our families by exposing them to true heroes that can be found in the scriptures and in the lives of our leaders. Indeed, the halls of the local chapels in which we meet house some of the greatest heroes on the face of the earth. There are others worth promoting who dot the landscape in business, politics, athletics and even the entertainment world.

A number of years ago M. Russell Ballard  gave a wonderful talk entitled “O Be Wise”. In it he quoted Jacob who said, “O be wise; what can I say more?” (Jacob 6:12). Elder Ballard went on to say:

“Today is in many ways like Jacob’s day. My counsel is like unto his: “Repent, and come with full purpose of heart, and cleave unto God as he cleaveth unto you” (Jacob 6:5) Brothers and sisters, be wise with your families. Be wise in fulfilling your Church callings. Be wise with your time. Be wise in balancing all of your responsibilities. O be wise, my beloved brothers and sisters. What can I say more?”

May we adhere to the charge given by Ballard and be wise. Let us cleave unto righteousness and give up the “idols” of the world which bring nothing but unhappiness and destruction into our lives and the lives of our children. Let us be diligent in promoting those individuals whose lives emulate the life of the Savior. Let us not “…make unto (us) any graven image or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth…” (Exodus 20:5) Let the “American Idol” be!

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