Secularism

All registered users can post here.
Ann
Posts: 219
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 4:57 pm
Location: Idaho

Re: Secularism

Post by Ann »

Thanks for those quotes, especially from Elder Romney and President Lee and for the verses from Helaman. Thanks to Angela for how she shared her testimony.

Two of the most important attributes in holding on to the iron rod must be humility and faith. How could we ever, EVER think that our thoughts and ways are higher than the Lord's?! I don't care how brilliant or educated you might be - you don't know everything! The gold standard of evidence-based research in medicine is multi-center, large, randomized, double blinded, placebo controlled, prospective clinical trials that are well-designed and carried out by really smart and educated people. These trials often change the way we practice medicine and influence many clinical decisions. However, the conclusions from these trials are often disproved as new information becomes available or discovered. In addition, most people base their decisions or make conclusions from far lesser sources of secular information.

In contrast to man's limited knowledge and short-sighted perspective, God knows and sees ALL and loves all of us unconditionally. He gives us prophets to show us what will really help us. As witnesses and spokesmen for the Lord, through the scriptures and through the spoken word, they give us the iron rod, the true word of God, and lead us along the correct path. The way may seem too easy, too old-fashioned (I would say - time honored), too unpopular, etc. - Satan uses so many tactics to keep us from clinging to God's word - but ultimately as we follow the prophets in humility and faith, they will "safely guide us through."
User avatar
Steve
Moderator
Posts: 2567
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:08 pm
Location: Provo, UT

Re: Secularism

Post by Steve »

This talk could have been injected into the gun control or socialism threads, but the fundamental warnings pertain to secularism as a whole, so I present these quotes to you here.
The short-fall of secularism (with its frequent failure to answer satisfactorily the long-range “cost effectiveness” questions concerning what really benefits man), in fact, calls attention to itself. Errant or random do-goodism has so often been sincere but has ended up being ineffective or is reminiscent of “straightening deck chairs on the Titanic.” The wrong kind of help isn’t really helpful; it is often harmful, for “solutions” become problems. Good motives and good ideas can produce laudable results, but sometimes such combinations can also produce the results (now decried by almost all) such as we see, for instance, in our public welfare programs.
...
The new secular “moral geometry” with its fluid lines, alien angles, and restless points, rejects the idea of divine design in the universe, but then naively seeks to muster righteous indignation in behalf of the disadvantaged—but without any corresponding concern over the need for non-economic morality—the very values necessary to make indignation righteous!

Chronic, unmitigated, and wide economic disparity (featuring both the greedy, insensitive rich and the idle, grasping, envious poor) clearly does contribute to the sin of the world. Nor are secular prophets on record for as long, or as often, as are the religious prophets in describing the obligations we have to the poor. Thus, while there are often (as between eternalism and secularism) shared concerns, there is also a very sharp divergence in terms of the solutions proposed.
...
Eternalism focuses on the individual and on those processes in which the individual is taught correct principles and then is given optimum opportunity to govern himself. Indeed, nowhere does the contrast appear to be more stark between the basic approaches to man’s problems than in the focus of eternalism on the individual as the basic human reality (and next the family). Where reform and desirable change are concerned, eternalism opts for conditions that facilitate true individual growth, letting the consequences of any successes ripple outward. Secularism tends to want to deal increasingly with systems, governments, labels, groups, etc.—with adjustments in the things outside man, apparently hoping that, somehow, changing the external scenery will change the things inside man.
...
We are rightfully concerned about taming our cities so that they are habitable and desirable to live in. But we cannot tame our cities without taming ourselves. We are rightfully worried about the swelling bureaucracies of government, which need to respond to us—not to regiment us. But we cannot tame those bureaucracies unless we first tame our appetites, for a bloated bureaucracy is merely a manifestation of citizen appetites, demands, and the subsequent need for external controls.

Modern science, with its marvel and wonders, has passed technology into the hands of men who now find it difficult to tame that technology because they cannot tame themselves. Absent the absolute values of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and technology becomes a toy or a weapon. It is inevitable that some of those who are insensitive to eternal values will finally tire of their play with the toy of technology and turn it to more invidious purposes.

If we are not able to build into ourselves and our families the brakes of self-restraint and self-discipline, we are apt, unwittingly, to create tyranny in our government or anarchy in our citizenry. If we push onto the government the management not only of our economy, but also the management of our morals, the civil servants of the future will be neither civil nor servants.
...
Those who pursue the approach of eternalism, of course, are not the authors of this superior—the only—approach to human problems. The scriptures tell of the true Designer and his premortal competency—of Jesus Christ and of his preeminence (not only as to his goodness but as to his brilliance): “For he is more intelligent than they all!” Jesus is not only the very best, he is the very brightest, and those who follow him have abundant assurance about the Shepherd who is leading them. Those who follow him soon realize what Peter realized at the time of a major defection among the disciples. When Jesus inquired of those who remained, “Will ye also go away?” Peter’s reply reflected one of the realities of the universe:

“… Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68.)
...
C. S. Lewis wrote well when he asserted:

“What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they … could … invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history—money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery—the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy. …

“That is the key to history. Terrific energy is expended—civilizations are built up—excellent institutions devised; but each time something goes wrong. Some fatal flaw always brings the selfish and cruel people to the top and it all slides back into misery and ruin. In fact, the machine conks. It seems to start up all right and runs a few years, and then it breaks down. They are trying to run it on the wrong juice. That is what Satan has done to us humans.” (Mere Christianity, New York, MacMillan Co., 1958, p. 39.)
...
Without the Church, revelation, and its absolute doctrinal anchors, Church members would also probably follow the fads of the day—as some churches have done—but as Samuel Callan warned, the church that weds itself to the culture of the day will “be a widow within each succeeding age.”

(Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Eternalism vs. Secularism, October 1974 General Conference)
When God can do what he will with a man, the man may do what he will with the world.     ~George MacDonald
User avatar
Ian
Site Admin
Posts: 2307
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 12:46 pm

Re: Secularism

Post by Ian »

thank you, this is a "must-read" article.
so let it be written... so let it be done.
James
Posts: 258
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:56 pm

Re: Secularism

Post by James »

User avatar
Tuly
Posts: 4380
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 9:16 pm

Re: Secularism

Post by Tuly »

Appreciated this talk by Elder Robert D. Hales - Seeking to Know God, Our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ - General Conference October 2009 - I agree with Elder Hales that the "natural man" feeds into secularism.

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/ ... t?lang=eng
As prophesied, we live in a time when the darkness of secularism is deepening around us. Belief in God is widely questioned and even attacked in the name of political, social, and even religious causes. Atheism, or the doctrine that there is no God, is fast spreading across the world.
I testify that the way to know the truth about God is through the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost, the third member of the Godhead, is a personage of spirit. His work is to “testify of [God]”19 and to “teach [us] all things.”

However, we must be careful not to constrain His influence. When we do not do what is right or when our outlook is dominated by skepticism, cynicism, criticism, and irreverence toward others and their beliefs, the Spirit cannot be with us. We then act in a way that the prophets describe as the natural man.

“The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” This “natural man is an enemy to God, … and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, … and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, [and] full of love.”
"Condemn me not because of mine imperfection,... but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." Mormon 9:31
User avatar
Steve
Moderator
Posts: 2567
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:08 pm
Location: Provo, UT

Re: Secularism

Post by Steve »

The wise and the prudent, with all their energy of thought, could never see the things of the Father sufficiently to recognize them as true. Their sagacity labours in earthly things, and so fills their minds with their own questions and conclusions, that they cannot see the eternal foundations God has laid in man, or the consequent necessities of their own nature. They are proud of finding out things, but the things they find out are all less than themselves. Because, however, they have discovered them, they imagine such things the goal of the human intellect. If they grant there may be things beyond those, they either count them beyond their reach, or declare themselves uninterested in them: for the wise and prudent, they do not exist. They work only to gather by the senses, and deduce from what they have so gathered, the prudential, the probable, the expedient, the protective. They never think of the essential, of what in itself must be. They are cautious, wary, discreet, judicious, circumspect, provident, temporizing. They have no enthusiasm, and are shy of all forms of it—a clever, hard, thin people, who take things for the universe, and love of facts for love of truth. They know nothing deeper in man than mere surface mental facts and their relations. They do not perceive, or they turn away from any truth which the intellect cannot formulate. Zeal for God will never eat them up: why should it? he is not interesting to them: theology may be; to such men religion means theology. How should the treasure of the Father be open to such? In their hands his rubies would draw in their fire, and cease to glow. The roses of paradise in their gardens would blow withered. They never go beyond the porch of the temple; they are not sure whether there be any adytum, and they do not care to go in and see: why indeed should they? it would but be to turn and come out again. Even when they know their duty, they must take it to pieces, and consider the grounds of its claim before they will render it obedience. All those evil doctrines about God that work misery and madness, have their origin in the brains of the wise and prudent, not in the hearts of the children. These wise and prudent, careful to make the words of his messengers rime with their conclusions, interpret the great heart of God, not by their own hearts, but by their miserable intellects; and, postponing the obedience which alone can give power to the understanding, press upon men's minds their wretched interpretations of the will of the Father, instead of the doing of that will upon their hearts.

(George MacDonald, The Hope of the Gospel)
When God can do what he will with a man, the man may do what he will with the world.     ~George MacDonald
User avatar
Ian
Site Admin
Posts: 2307
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 12:46 pm

Re: Secularism

Post by Ian »

great quote.
so let it be written... so let it be done.
User avatar
Tuly
Posts: 4380
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 9:16 pm

Re: Secularism

Post by Tuly »

Thanks Steve, I do love MacDonald.
"Condemn me not because of mine imperfection,... but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." Mormon 9:31
User avatar
Steve
Moderator
Posts: 2567
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:08 pm
Location: Provo, UT

Re: Secularism

Post by Steve »

Again from a great talk by Elder Maxwell:
Even with all of the world’s powerful tugs and pulls, spiritual feelings can and do assert themselves anyway. Doubts of doubt can intrude. All the quick fixes do not really cure the emptiness and boredom of secularism.

Further, some who laboriously scale the secular heights find, after all, that they are only squatting atop a small mound of sand! They have worked so hard to get there!

(Elder Neal A. Maxwell, The Tugs and Pulls of the World, October 2000 General Conference)
When God can do what he will with a man, the man may do what he will with the world.     ~George MacDonald
User avatar
Steve
Moderator
Posts: 2567
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:08 pm
Location: Provo, UT

Re: Secularism

Post by Steve »

We worry about what men say. Perhaps it is time to cease to worry so much about what men say and ask ourselves, "What has God said?" More important than what our neighbors are doing, or what the rest are doing, is what has God done.

Long ago there was a young man who, though "little in (his) own eyes," was chosen king of all Israel. The humble Saul was ready for God; and when the prophet of God had anointed him, he "turned into another man." The Spirit of the Lord came upon him. "God gave him another heart." While he listened to the Lord and his prophets, he led with great strength. When he became willful and stubborn and rebellious, he ceased to be useful and he lost his place. "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry" (see 1 Sam. 10:1-27; 1 Sam. 15:1-35).

(Elder Marion D. Hanks, Thank God It Can Be Done in My Time, October 1967 General Conference)
When God can do what he will with a man, the man may do what he will with the world.     ~George MacDonald
User avatar
Steve
Moderator
Posts: 2567
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:08 pm
Location: Provo, UT

Re: Secularism

Post by Steve »

Churches in many areas are becoming centers of political activism. Ministers and priests are leading protest marches for political causes. Pastors are turning to psychology, psychiatry, and social science in an attempt to serve and fill the emotional and spiritual needs of their parishioners. When sermons are given, they are intellectual masterpieces of learned men trained in schools of divinity as orators, but the heart has gone out of their words. They give messages full of man’s wisdom, but not of God.

Church leaders feel and know this. As a result, they are seeking to reform their churches. Great changes in doctrine and church procedures are being proposed, and some of these changes have actually been put into practice. Conferences and synods are called into session to try to define points of doctrine, methods of procedure, or the wording of gospel ordinances, etc. It appears to me that men are trying to speak for God instead of letting God speak for himself. ...

I see, as you see, ideological dissension throughout the length and breadth of the earth. We read in papers and magazines and books various proposals of men who seek to solve moral and ethical problems by the passing of legislation. We see men and women turning to political theory or to science in an attempt to solve the spiritual and moral problems of today’s civilization. We are trying to solve our problems by man’s philosophy and learning and by human wisdom. ...

God’s way is the way to solve our political, moral, ethical, even our financial problems. The way of the Lord can eliminate wars, riots, discrimination, suffering, and starvation. What the world then needs is direction from a true prophet who, knowing the mind and the will of God, can speak in his name with power and authority and say, “Thus saith the Lord!” ...

Peace cannot come by legislation or through affiliation with any political philosophy. Man’s methods of solving his problems are subject to the misuse of power and the errors which come from inexperience and lack of knowledge. Peace, joy, and happiness can come only through an acceptance of God’s revealed plan of life.

(Elder Theodore M. Burton, "Thus Saith the Lord", October 1971 General Conference)
When God can do what he will with a man, the man may do what he will with the world.     ~George MacDonald
User avatar
Steve
Moderator
Posts: 2567
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:08 pm
Location: Provo, UT

Re: Secularism

Post by Steve »

Another great talk by Elder Maxwell!
All about us we see the bitter and abundant harvest from permissiveness. A perceptive person has acknowledged: “The struggle to live ethically without God has left us not with the just and moral order we imagined but with disorder and confusion.

“Something has gone radically wrong with secularism. The problem has more than its share of irony, for secularism, in the end, has converted itself into a kind of religion. …

“… Now the transition is complete: the state has become the church” (Peter Marin, “Secularism’s Blind Faith,” Harper’s Magazine, Sept. 1995, 20). ...

The more what is politically correct seeks to replace what God has declared correct, the more ineffective approaches to human problems there will be, all reminding us of C. S. Lewis’s metaphor about those who run around with fire extinguishers in times of flood. ...

Ironically, as some people become harder, they use softer words to describe dark deeds. This, too, is part of being sedated by secularism! Needless abortion, for instance, is a “reproductive health procedure,” which is an even more “spongy expression” than “termination of pregnancy” (George McKenna, “On Abortion: A Lincolnian Position,” Atlantic Monthly, Sept. 1995, 52, 54). “Illegitimacy” gives way to the wholly sanitized words “nonmarital birth” or “alternative parenting” (Ben J. Wattenberg, Values Matter Most [1995], 173).

Church members will live in this wheat-and-tares situation until the Millennium. Some real tares even masquerade as wheat, including the few eager individuals who lecture the rest of us about Church doctrines in which they no longer believe. They criticize the use of Church resources to which they no longer contribute. They condescendingly seek to counsel the Brethren whom they no longer sustain. Confrontive, except of themselves, of course, they leave the Church, but they cannot leave the Church alone (Ensign, Nov. 1980, 14). Like the throng on the ramparts of the “great and spacious building,” they are intensely and busily preoccupied, pointing fingers of scorn at the steadfast iron-rodders (1 Ne. 8:26–28, 33). Considering their ceaseless preoccupation, one wonders, Is there no diversionary activity available to them, especially in such a large building—like a bowling alley? Perhaps in their mockings and beneath the stir are repressed doubts of their doubts. In any case, given the perils of popularity, Brigham Young advised that this “people must be kept where the finger of scorn can be pointed at them” (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1941], 434).

Therefore, brothers and sisters, quiet goodness must persevere, even when, as prophesied, a few actually rage in their anger against that which is good (see 2 Ne. 28:20). Likewise, the arrogance of critics must be met by the meekness and articulateness of believers. If sometimes ringed by resentment, we must still reach out, especially for those whose hands hang down (see D&C 81:5). If our shortcomings as a people are occasionally highlighted, then let us strive to do better. ...

(Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Becometh As a Child”, April 1996 General Conference)
When God can do what he will with a man, the man may do what he will with the world.     ~George MacDonald
Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests