LDS leaders highlight good will, evil of porn

In the two concluding sessions of the LDS Church‘s 175th Annual General Conference on Sunday, President Gordon B. Hinckley admonished members to reach out to others of various faiths in kindness and good will.

He also highlighted the doctrines and beliefs he says have set Mormons apart from other faiths from the foundation of the church’s restoration through founder Joseph Smith. The church will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Smith’s birth this year.

Hinckley said membership in the church and the blessings that flow from it “should never be cause for self-righteousness, for arrogance, for denigration of others, for looking down upon others.”

Ad: Vacation? City Trip? Weekend Break? Book Skip-the-line tickets

The Mormon Church

Given that the theology and practice of the Mormon Church violates essential Christian doctrines, Mormonism does not represent historical, Biblical Christianity, is not a Christian denomination, and is not in any way part of the Christian church.

“Regardless of the color of our skin, of the shape of our eyes, of the language we speak, we are all sons and daughters of God and must reach out to one another with love and concern,” he said. “All mankind is our neighbor. … Wherever we live we can be friendly neighbors.”

Speaking last in both the Sunday morning and afternoon sessions, Hinckley commented that through the marvel of modern technology, 95 percent of church members across the globe had the opportunity to participate in the general conference broadcasts. In total, 12 members of the church’s Quorum of the Twelve, Quorum of the Seventy and general auxiliary officers addressed members in the two sessions.

Hinckley also spoke of the great humanitarian efforts the church has been involved in, including aiding victims of the Dec. 26 tsunami disaster in south Asia. He said the president of the American Red Cross in February presented the church with the “Circle of Humanity” award, the highest award given by that organization. It was presented for the church’s role in supplying funding to vaccinate thousands of children in Africa against measles. Rotary International also recently recognized the church for contributions aimed at eradicating polio in Third World countries.

“As a church we have learned to work with others in lifting sorrow and sufferings of those who are in terrible distress,” Hinckley said. “Our humanitarian efforts have literally blessed the lives of countless thousands not of our faith.”

In the morning session, the church’s president remarked on “the great things which God had revealed through Joseph the Prophet.” He said they include the miracle of the first vision, the Book of Mormon as a second witness of Christ, the restoration of the priesthood, the revelation of the church’s name, temple ordinances binding families together for eternity, the true principles of baptism, temple work for the dead and God’s eternal plan for mankind.

“During the brief 38-and-a-half years of (Joseph Smith’s) life there came through him an incomparable outpouring of knowledge, gifts and doctrine,” Hinckley said.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve warned members of the spiritual pitfalls of the growing threat of pornography. He said he and his wife recently returned from two years of service in the Philippines, “and we were concerned to see the inroads pornography had made in the United States while we were away.

“Now, the corrupting influence of pornography, produced and disseminated for commercial gain, is sweeping over our society like an avalanche of evil,” Oaks said.

The problem has become so prevalent in society and within the church, he said, that Hinckley devoted an entire talk to it last October. Bishops and priesthood leaders throughout the church are grappling to deal with the damage pornography inflicts. He spoke of the pain and frustration many women in the church have expressed about the spiritual and emotional destruction caused by pornographic materials.

Directly addressing priesthood holders and young men in the church, Oaks said, “I know that many of you are exposed to this and that many of you are being stained by it.”

Oaks said those who succumb to the allure and addiction of pornography suffer a kind of spiritual death, losing their priesthood blessings and companionship of the Holy Ghost. He said viewers of visual filth not only become desensitized to normal relationships, but they “become deeply soiled in sin.”

The good news, he said, is that there are steps to overcome and forsake pornography including acknowledging it as evil, seeking the help of the Lord and priesthood authorities and avoiding it in all its modern incarnations.

Oaks admonished parents to protect their homes and families from pornography with Internet filters, monitoring and placing computers in common areas.

“Let us all improve our personal behavior and redouble our efforts to protect our loved ones and our environment from the onslaught of pornography that threatens our spirituality, our marriages and our children,” Oaks said.

President Hinckley said making a habit of going to the temple would do much to spiritually strengthen members against the harmful things of the world.

“There is no better way to ensure proper living than temple attendance,” he said. “It will crowd out the evils of pornography, substance abuse and spiritual atrophy.”

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve spoke to parents, bishops and branch presidents about helping youth, particularly young men, to prepare spiritually to serve missions. He said when the church raised the spirituality bar for its missionaries, it also raised the bar for parents and leaders.

What Do Mormons Mean When They Talk About….

LDS leaders use the standard vocabulary of Christianity but with radically different definitions:

“Parents, leaders and teachers need to counsel together and know every young man and young woman — every one,” Elder Ballard said. “Whether they are active or not, we need to know them.”

In a special request to bishops and branch presidents, he asked leaders in every unit to counsel with parents and pray to find “one more” young man, above those already committed to serve missions, who could be called to serve.

“If the over 26,000 wards and branches in the church will send all those whom they are already planning to send into the mission field — plus one more — the ranks of our full-time missionaries will swell,” Ballard said, “and we will move much closer in our divine mandate to take the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.”

Source

(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Daily Herald, USA
Apr. 4, 2005
Michael Rigert
www.newutah.com
, , ,

Religion News Blog posted this on Monday April 4, 2005.
Last updated if a date shows here:

   

More About This Subject

AFFILIATE LINKS

Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission -- at no additional cost to you -- for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate, Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this research service free of charge.

Speaking of which: One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at Amazon.com.

Travel Religiously

Book skip-the-line tickets to the worlds major religious sites — or to any other place in the world.