Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Where Culture and Doctrine Collide—The Cult of Positivity

"There is a truth deep down inside of you that has been waiting for you to discover it, and that truth is this: you deserve all good things life has to offer."

—The Secret

"Yea, blessed are they whose feet stand upon the land of Zion, who have obeyed my gospel; for they shall receive for their reward the good things of the earth,...And they shall also be crowned with blessings from above...."

—D&C 59:3-4

I have often heard it said that the best lies are 99% truth. It has been said of Satan that he leads us "carefully" down to hell. One of the things that culture teaches us is that we deserve. Advertisers make millions, maybe billions of dollars per year on teaching us that we deserve good things.

Yet, that is not what we know of Christ, and we are meant to be like Him.

"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief...."

—Isaiah 53:3

As disciples, we have made a covenant to mourn.

"As ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people,...and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort...what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord?

—Mosiah 18:8-10

How can we be disciples of the Man of Sorrows without being willing to subject ourselves to negative feelings. We can't possibly mourn with those that mourn if we stand back from their sorrows. If we see people as toxic, as pests that must be fumigated, we can't hope to witness of the love of God. Granted, there are those who deliberately try to use and hurt you. But it is necessary for us to respond with love, even as we set necessary boundaries. Even if they don't recognize love in what you do.

I believe that the cultural pursuit of "happiness" poisons us, leads to depression, and maybe even is a leading cause of suicide. And when that pursuit of happiness is framed in an eternal sense, with eternal weight, the pressure becomes even more intense. So many people I've spoken with who have left the church cite the constant push for perfection as hypocritical, empty, and downright false.

Maybe it isn't the gospel that is the problem. Maybe it's our application of it. Maybe if we remember that striving to do good and keep the commandments comes with open forgiveness of our weakness and sin, and remember that sorrow can purify and sanctify us, we can understand God and the sacrifice of Christ just a little better. And then, maybe, we can also better love our brothers and sisters.

1 comment :

  1. I have not read much on the blogs for sometime. Somehow they got lost and then recently I found them. It is my opinon that we talk too much of perfection as though we can attain it in this life. I believe if people could understand that the most we can hope for is that Jesus will justify us and forgive us for our sins. If we are working to follow the Lord's will then we need not worry about the times we stumble and fall.

    I could not agree with the what the woman says about emotions. They come from our thoughts. Therefore we can change them if we want to. One must learn how to listen to their own jingle channel before they can succeed.

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