The Finger of Scorn Pointed Directly At You!


Gordon B. Hinckley said over twenty years ago, “We live in a season of wickedness, pornography, immorality. All of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah haunt our society. Our young people have never faced a greater challenge. We have never seen more clearly the lecherous face of evil”. (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Living in the Fullness of Times,” Liahona, Jan 2002).

Having been raised in the same town my entire life gave me the opportunity to develop friendships based on long-term relationships. It was easier for me to maintain my standards having had friends that had known me since childhood. It seemed to me that they had respect for my religious values. It wasn’t until after graduation from High School that I first experienced the intense “finger-pointing” that comes from those not of my faith and beliefs.  It was finger-pointing that was meant to shame me and try to dissuade me from continuing to partake from the “tree of life”, or the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It doesn’t feel good to have people point at you in derision. And although privately I think most admire and respect you if you have some sort of standards, they rarely publicly back you. As a young man the “great and spacious” building stood strong and powerful. Many years ago I read a devotional address given by Boyd K. Packer given in 2007. Entitled “Lehi’s Dream and You”, I found a number of his thoughts to be enlightening. He said this:

“Largely because of television, instead of looking over into that spacious building, we are, in effect, living inside of it. That is your fate in this generation. You are living in that great and spacious building.”

Things have changed since I was a young man. Where I once was looking at the large and spacious building, the shadow of its influence and power has now reached over the river and onto the “tree of life.” Perhaps this is what the scriptures mean when they say, “And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceedingly great mist of darkness, insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wandered off and were lost”. (1 Nephi 8: 23).

With the darkness overshadowing even the location of the “tree of life”, how can we save ourselves and our loved ones? Packer then counseled:

“You will be safe if you look like…and act like an ordinary Latter-day Saint: dress modestly, attend your meetings, pay tithes, take the sacrament, honor the priesthood, honor your parents, follow your leaders, read the scriptures…and pray, always pray. An unseen power will hold your hand as you hold to the iron rod. Will this solve all your problems? Of course not! That would be contrary to the purpose of your coming into mortality. It will, however, give you a solid foundation on which to build your life.”

The list for successfully resisting the “scoffing and scorn” from those of the spacious building has been given many times. It has been repeated once more by the above words of Elder Packer. They are straightforward and true.

May all of us have the power to resist the temptation to abandon our principles due to the pressure of the “pointed finger of scorn!”

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