I have pondered the thought of morality lately, being defined as, "principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior." I want to reaffirm that there is right and there is wrong. I would suggest that if people take the effort of serious consideration, most would admit to knowing this principle.
Despite our knowledge of "good and bad", we still make wrong decisions. However, I think making a wrong decision then subsequently repenting or making the situation right again, is different from the blatant disregard of there being a moral code to begin with. Elder D. Todd Christofferson gave a wonderful address regarding this topic. In one of my favorite quotes he says:
I have an example, that is mostly ridiculous, but perhaps serves as an illustration. I would like to say that I usually strive to make good choices, not only to my benefit, but to the benefit of those around me as well. When I choose to do a good thing, it will affect those I interact with positively. An example of this is when I leave the grocery store, I put away my cart. Do I always feel like putting away my cart? No. However, I know it's the right thing to do :) (bear with me here) So some of you may be saying, "I don't put away my cart, it's the responsibility of the person working at the grocery store to do it. I'm keeping them busy. It's their job. Not mine." Fair enough. What if no one put away their carts at the grocery store? I mean - a Saturday at Costco status and no one is putting away their carts. It may be impossible to have enough employees putting away carts to keep up with people abandoning them. The result? An inability to drive through the parking lot or find places to park, cars perhaps even getting hit, paint chipped, or probably worse case - dented :)
I hope you do not take my example so literally as to ignore the underlying principle I am trying to communicate (and that Elder Christofferson speaks to much more intelligently and eloquently :) ) There will never be enough rules, or people employed to help keep order, to make up for people disregarding or deciding not to be morally disciplined. Within our society we have laws, and people responsible to help enforce those laws, but they can never make up enough ground to account for people not making good decisions.
It may seem easier to have relativity guiding you in life. There is no right and wrong, and there is an implicit abdication of guilt or responsibility. It will probably always seem like more effort to abide by rules (God's rules being commandments), and choose to live by the consequences of your actions.
I think the most powerful thing people of any faith, or with a moral code, can do is to stand by it. Even, and perhaps especially, when it is difficult. You will be an example of the believers, showing that a life lived in accordance with God's commandments brings a peace that cannot be duplicated. Not only will your example help others to better know God, but your decisions will help make the lives of the people around you better. I am always so grateful when the people I associate with at work/school/church make decisions that have a positive effect on my life.
I imagine like many of you, I have recently been appalled at the things that have become common place in our society. I am making a decision to instead of bemoan the degeneration of morality, to try and live a moral life as an example of the joy that it brings. I cannot change the trajectory of society as a whole, but I can, hopefully, be a good influence to those I am in contact with.
I am forever grateful to a God who loves me so much that He has given me a set of guidelines to live by, that truly brings me happiness. Perhaps more importantly, also ensures the happiness of those around me.
Love you too much -
Messages of Faith
Our blog contributors will deliver consistent messages of faith to try and help all of us come closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Subscribe and receive an
e-mail update every time we post!