Friday, June 5, 2015

Quentin L. Cook on the world's way and the Savior's way

Elder Quentin L. Cook (1940- ) was called as a Seventy in 1996, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2007.
"We live in a world where the latest story, the buzz, the hype, the 'new thing' is much sought after and then publicized throughout the world. Movies, television, and other media often celebrate heroic gestures, dysfunctionality, conflict, and sexuality rather than the quiet, everyday acts of sacrifice, service, and love that are so much a part of the Savior's message and example. The wild rush to find the new often tramples on what is true....
"Today there is a tendency among some of us to 'look beyond the mark' rather than to maintain a testimony of gospel basics. We do this when we substitute the philosophies of men for gospel truths, engage in gospel extremism, seek heroic gestures at the expense of daily consecration, or elevate rules over doctrine. Avoiding these behaviors will help us avoid the theological blindness and stumbling that Jacob described (Jac 4:14)....
"One of the great challenges of this life is to accept Christ for who He is: the resurrected Savior of the world, our Redeemer, our Lord and Master, our Advocate with the Father. When He is the foundation for all that we do and are, we avoid the theological blindness that results from looking beyond the mark, and we reap the glorious blessings He has promised us. 'Come unto me, ye blessed,' He tells those who follow Him; 'there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father' (Enos 1:27)."
- Quentin L. Cook, "Looking Beyond the Mark," Ensign, March 2003, pp. 40-44
Click here to read the full talk
Elder Cook warns us about paying too much attention to the world's "fads and distractions" in ways that make us lose sight of the things that should matter most. It's easy to forget the quiet life of discipleship, the "everyday acts of sacrifice, service, and love" that lie at the core of the Gospel message.

I thought this was an interesting statement, summarizing the danger of getting trapped by the world's allures:

The second warning is to not get caught up in "gospel extremism" or other misguided efforts, but to continue to focus on "maintain[ing] a testimony of gospel basics" and to remember "daily consecration."

This was a good summary of the challenge, and the "cure" of knowing where our focus belongs:

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