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Monday, January 23, 2012

Staying safe in enemy territory

On Sunday, 22 January 2012, President Boyd K. Packer spoke at the Seminary centennial broadcast held in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.  His theme was how one stays safe in these times of such evil and wickedness.  For this article, The Mormon Eagle will quote President Packer (as found in the Deseret News of Monday 23 January 2012 on page B2), and then will add some inspiration as moved upon by the Spirit of the Lord.

President Packer said, "You are growing up in enemy territory.  When you become mature spiritually, you will understand how the adversary has infiltrated the world around you.  He is in homes, entertainment, the media, language - everything around you.  In most cases, his presence is undetected.  Pornography is just on example."  He spoke of the most desirable and worthwhile things the youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can do to stay spiritually strong.

Sensitivity of the Holy Ghost
The Spirit of the Lord is sensitive.  President Packer taught, "You cannot lie or cheat or steal or act immorally and have those [spiritual] channels remain free from disruption.  Do not go where the environment resists spiritual communication.  You can learn to seek the power and direction that is available to you, and then follow that course no matter what."

Let us take President Joseph F. Smith as an example of one whose sensitivity to the Spirit saved him from injury and possibly death.  Once President Smith was riding the train home from the eastern United States.  He was outside on the platform when he heard the Spirit say to him, "Go in and sit down."  He went back into the train, but hesitated a moment, telling himself, "Oh, pshaw, perhaps it is only my imagination."  He then heard the Spirit's voice again say, "Sit down."  Responding without hesitation, President Smith sat down.  No sooner had he done so, when the train's engine and most of the cars lurched from the track.  President Smith, however, was unharmed, although all the rail cars in front of his were smashed up.  President Smith was at this time accompanied by Presiding Bishop Charles W. Nibley, who said the train cars were "jammed up pretty badly."  Concerning the voice of the Spirit, President Smith said, "I have heard that voice a good many times in my life, and I have always profited by obeying it" (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, p. 265).

We can also take Nephi as one whose daily living allowed him to heed the promptings of the Spirit.  Concerning the trip to get the Brass Plates from Laban, he said, "And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do" (1 Nephi 4:6).

Agency and Gender
President Packer said to the youth of the Church,

This matter of gender is of great concern to the Brethren, as are all matters of morality.  A few of you may have felt or been told that you were born with troubling feelings and that you are not guilty if you act on those temptations.  Doctrinally we know that if that were true, your agency would have been erased, and that cannot happen.  You always have a choice to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost and live a morally pure and chaste life, one filled with virtue. . . . You have . . . agency.  Use it wisely to deny acting on any impure impulse or unholy temptation that may come into your mind.  The key word is discipline - self discipline.  The word discipline comes from the word disciple or follower.  Be a disciple/follower of the Savior, and you will be safe (emphasis added).

The Mormon Eagle concurs with President Packer.  The evilness of homosexual relations is spreading across the world.  Currently, the issue of so-called gay marriage is making its way through the state of Washington's Legislature.  This is a travesty that the great nation of the United States and the people within it are sanctioning iniquity under the guise of tolerance.

Latter-day Saints should not, must not, and ultimately cannot tolerate wickedness.  We can be friends with the world, but we must stand strong against the Arch-Deceiver's ploy to "call evil good, and good evil" (Is. 5:20).

I know President Packer is an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, a mighty seer as was the Apostle Paul of old.  The Lord speaks to President Packer and all the other living Apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ today.  I know if we follow President Packer's counsel, we will be spiritually safe, and that when the world starts destroying itself because of it's sanctioning of evil, the Mormons will be the only people on Earth not at war with anyone.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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