Question: What can we learn from the counsel Paul gave the Saints as to how they should “live as Saints should live”?
Answer: “As you continue to center your mind and heart in Him, He will help you have a rich and full life no matter what happens in the world around you.” (Elder Richard G. Scott)
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Romans 12:9, 21
9 Let love be without dissimulation (let the gift of love be used sincerely, without hypocrisy). Abhor (shun, avoid with deep feeling) that which is evil; cleave (hold tight) to that which is good.
21 Be not overcome of evil (do not let evil overcome you), but overcome evil with good.
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Richard G. Scott, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
...You have a choice. You can wring your hands and be consumed with concern for the future or choose to use the counsel the Lord has given to live with peace and happiness in a world awash with evil. If you choose to concentrate on the dark side, this is what you will see. Much of the world is being engulfed in a rising river of degenerate filth, with the abandonment of virtue, righteousness, personal integrity, traditional marriage, and family life. Sodom and Gomorrah was the epitome of unholy life in the Old Testament. It was isolated then; now that condition is spread over the world.
Satan skillfully manipulates the power of all types of media and communication. His success has greatly increased the extent and availability of such degrading and destructive influences worldwide. In the past some effort was required to seek out such evil. Now it saturates significant portions of virtually every corner of the world. We cannot dry up the mounting river of evil influences, for they result from the exercise of moral agency divinely granted by our Father. But we can and must, with clarity, warn of the consequences of getting close to its enticing, destructive current.
Now the brighter side. Despite pockets of evil, the world overall is majestically beautiful, filled with many good and sincere people. God has provided a way to live in this world and not be contaminated by the degrading pressures evil agents spread throughout it. You can live a virtuous, productive, righteous life by following the plan of protection created by your Father in Heaven: His plan of happiness...
Our Father knew of our day. He prepared the scriptures and provided continuing divine guidance to sustain us. That help will assure that you can live with peace and happiness amid increasing evil. Consider these verses:
“All things must come to pass in their time. [God knew the challenges we would face when He gave this counsel.]
“Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.
“Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.”
That is a priceless promise. As you continue to center your mind and heart in Him, He will help you have a rich and full life no matter what happens in the world around you.
Paul wisely taught, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”
We should emulate Joshua: “Choose [ye] this day whom ye will serve; … as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Jesus taught: “Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days.” “He who is faithful shall overcome all things, and shall be lifted up at the last day.”
Finally this pattern of success: “Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, … deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, … that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ.”...
Have you noticed how Satan works to capture the mind and emotions with flashing images, blaring music, and the stimulation of every physical sense to excess? He diligently strives to fill life with action, entertainment, and stimulation so that one cannot ponder the consequences of his tempting invitations. Think of it. Some are tempted to violate the most basic commandments of God because of seductive actions portrayed as acceptable. They are made to seem attractive, even desirable. There seems to be no serious consequence, rather apparent lasting joy and happiness. But recognize that those performances are controlled by scripts and actors. The outcome of decisions made is likewise manipulated to be whatever the producer wants.
Life is not that way. Yes, moral agency allows you to choose what you will, but you cannot control the outcome of those choices. Unlike the false creations of man, our Father in Heaven determines the consequences of your choices. Obedience will yield happiness, while violation of His commandments will not...
If you are ever tempted to experiment with the alluring offerings of Lucifer, first calmly analyze the inevitable consequences of such choices, and your life will not be shattered. You cannot ever sample those things that are forbidden of God as destructive of happiness and corrosive to spiritual guidance without tragic results...
Avoid worldly wickedness. Know that God is in control. In time, Satan will completely fail and be punished for his perverse evil...No matter how wicked the world becomes, you can earn that blessing. Seek and be attentive to the personal guidance given to you through the Holy Spirit. Continue to be worthy to receive it. Reach out to others who stumble and are perplexed, not certain of what path to follow...
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Sources: Come, Follow Me–For Individuals and Families, p. 127; The New Testament Made Easier, Part 2, Volume 3, by David J. Ridges, 125; Excerpts from General Conference, April 2004, “How to Live Well Amid Increasing Evil,” by Richard G. Scott, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.