Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Elder Quentin L. Cook on resisting the calls of the world

Elder Quentin L. Cook (b. September 8, 1940) was called as a Seventy in 1996, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2007.
"We are so much a part of this world. The material aspects of day-to-day living are a specific challenge. Society tends to look at everything through the lens of worldly rewards.
"The preface to the Doctrine and Covenants highlights this very problem to warn us of dangers, give us guidance to prepare and protect ourselves now and in the future, and provide significant insight on this subject: 'They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol' (see D&C 1:16).
"President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) taught that idols can include credentials, degrees, property, homes, furnishings, and other material objects. He said that when we elevate these otherwise worthy objectives in a way that diminishes our worship of the Lord and weakens our efforts to establish His righteousness and perform the work of salvation among Father in Heaven’s children, we have created idols. (See Spencer W. Kimball, “The False Gods We Worship,” Ensign, June 1976, 2–6.)
"Sometimes the lens of the world causes us to focus on issues not quite as dramatic as aspiring to great wealth but that nonetheless take us away from deep spiritual commitment."
- Quentin L. Cook, "Reaping the Rewards of Righteousness," from an address delivered at BYU Women’s Conference on May 2, 2014. See Ensign, July 2015, p. 37
Click here to read the full talk

What are the "lenses" we look through as we view the world around us? That imagery is used to describe the mindset or the principles that influence our interpretation of our environment, circumstances, and situations of our lives. Elder Cook cautions us about the worldly lenses that can impact our actions. When we are motivated by "worldly rewards" we often focus on the wrong priorities:

Anything that detract us from "deep spiritual commitment" is dangerous to our personal progress and spirituality. It's wise to be aware of the temptation of worldly rewards, and be always cautious that we are avoiding that lure from the adversary.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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