Splashed On! (By The ‘Great And Spacious Building’)


I was handed a copy of a very interesting article that appeared in the Winter 2011 BYU magazine. It was an article written by M. Sue Bertin entitled “The Dangerous Digital Vortex”. The article addresses the danger we all face in this technological age. Particularly children. She spoke, not only of the importance of filtering what comes into our homes, but more importantly how communication between parents and children can lead to a “spiritual” firewall of protection. I have found over the years, that for some parents, the moral decay has become so frightening that they wish to “withdraw” from the world in which we live in hopes of protecting their families and loved ones. I certainly can understand why someone might feel that way. We live in troubling times. We want to live “in the world but not of the world”. That is easy to say but hard to do when the world is invading our homes. What is a parent to do? What is an individual to do? Do we buy a plot of land, turn it into a compound, and build a fence around it? And although we might not be physically able to do so, are we supposed to do that on a spiritual level? Let me share with you a paragraph from the above article that helped shed some light on the subject. It was thought-provoking to me. The author wrote:

“I really believe that this is the fire (I believe he meant the dangers of our technology) this generation has to pass through says Knutson. (He is an associate professor of computer science). “It’s the river of filthiness in Lehi’s dream. He said the iron rod was on the riverbank, so when you’re clinging to the rod, you’re very close to the river. It’s muddy, and you get splashed. But you can’t let go and move further from the filthiness. You’re where you’re supposed to be. It’s not your location that’s safe or unsafe–it’s how you behave despite your proximity to temptation. We cannot withdraw from the world but instead are called to be in it while we hold on to the scriptures, good parents, others who are godly, and most of all, the Savior”.

This article sent me back to the Book of Mormon to re-read Lehi’s dream. I guess, in my mind, it never occurred to me that someone who let go of the rod did so in order to distance themselves away from the “filthy river” and “spacious building”. And if they did, wouldn’t that be the right thing? But, in reading the dream again it clearly states that we need to “hold to the iron rod”; not let go and try to go it alone or do it our way. In Nephi we read this:

“And I beheld a rod of iron, and it extended along the bank of the river, and led to the tree by which I stood. And I beheld a strait and narrow path, which came along by the rod of iron, even to the tree..And I saw …concourses of people, many of whom are pressing forward, that they might obtain the path which led to the tree….and they did …commence in path…and it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; year, even an exceedingly great mist of darkness, insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wondered off and were lost… I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; an they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree.” (1 Nephi 8:19-24).

We receive directions and counsel from our leaders. And I don’t recall any counsel to date that says we need to “withdraw” our families from the world. Maybe that day will come. Maybe, the people inside the “great and spacious” building, who are both young and old, male and female who are “in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit” need to see those who are “holding to the rod of iron”. Maybe some of them, upon seeing examples of righteous people, will leave the “great and spacious” building, cross the filthy river, and grab the iron rod. Perhaps the people of the Lord need to be visible to the world so that they can see that when you partake of the fruits of the gospel, that it brings joy!

We need to diligent and vigorous in guarding ourselves and our families from the influence of the adversary! However, going into hibernation is probably not the best answer. Because in the end, that season will end and we, our children, and loved ones will need to wake up, come out of the cave and find food for nourishment. And understanding and experiencing the dangers involved, will prepare, and give to us the ability to grasp on even tighter to the rod of the gospel. We might get splashed on from time to time, but the redemption of our Savior will ultimately make us clean, if we repent and come unto him.


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