Secularism (Worldliness)

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

CS Lewis  |  Mere Christianity

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“Aim at heaven and you will get the earth thrown in; aim at earth and you will get neither.”

CS Lewis  |  Mere Christianity

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“Consequently, atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning. Just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning.”

CS Lewis  |  Mere Christianity

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“Your education must never stop. If it ends at the door of the classroom on graduation day, we will fail. And we will need the help of heaven to know which of the myriad things we could study we would most wisely learn. . . .The real life we’re preparing for is eternal life. Secular knowledge has for us eternal significance. Our conviction is that God, our Heavenly Father, wants us to live the life that He does.”

Elder Henry B. Eyring

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“The Lord and His Church have always encouraged education to increase our ability to serve Him and our Heavenly Father’s children. For each of us, whatever our talents, He has service for us to give. And to do it well always involves learning, not once or for a limited time, but continually.

“It is also clear that spiritual learning would not replace our drive for secular learning. The Lord clearly values what you will find in that history book. And He favors not only Spanish verbs but also the study of geography. His educational charter requires that we have “a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms” (D&C 88:79). There is also an endorsement for questions we study in the sciences. It is clear that putting spiritual learning first does not relieve us from learning secular things. On the contrary, it gives our secular learning purpose and motivates us to work harder at it…Remember, you are interested in education, not just for moral life but for eternal life.

“Part of the tragedy you must avoid is to discover too late that you missed an opportunity to prepare for a future only God could see for you.”

Elder Henry B. Eyring

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Thomas S. Monson

“Beyond our study of spiritual matters, secular learning is also essential. Often the future is unknown; therefore, it behooves us to prepare for uncertainties. Statistics reveal that at some time, because of the illness or death of a husband or because of economic necessity, you may find yourself in the role of financial provider. Some of you already occupy that role. I urge you to pursue your education—if you are not already doing so or have not done so—that you might be prepared to provide if circumstances necessitate such.

“Your talents will expand as you study and learn. You will be able to better assist your families in their learning, and you will have peace of mind in knowing that you have prepared yourself for the eventualities that you may encounter in life.”

Thomas S. Monson  |  “Three Goals to Guide You”

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The Sabbath of the Lord is becoming the play day of the people. It is a day of golf and football on television, of buying and selling in our stores and markets. Are we moving to mainstream America as some observers believe? In this I fear we are. What a telling thing it is to see the parking lots of the markets filled on Sunday in communities that are predominately LDS. Our strength for the future, our resolution to grow the Church across the world, will be weakened if we violate the will of the Lord in this important matter. He has so very clearly spoken anciently and again in modern revelation. We cannot disregard with impunity that which He has said.

Gordon B. Hinckley  |  Look to the Future

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“A glance over the conditions of mankind in this our day with its misery, discontent, and corruption, and disintegration of the social, religious, and philosophic fabrics, shows that this generation has been put into the balance and has been found wanting. A following, therefore, in the old grooves, would simply lead to the same results, and that is what the Lord has designed shall be avoided in Zion. President Brigham Young felt it in his heart that an educational system ought to be inaugurated in Zion in which, as he put it in his terse way of saying things, neither the alphabet nor the multiplication table should be taught without the Spirit of God.”

Karl G. Maeser  |  Educating Zion, p. 2

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“Let us never lose sight of the fact that education is a preparation for life — and that preparing for life is far more than knowing how to make a living or how to land on the moon. Preparing for life means building personal integrity, developing a sound sense of values, increasing the capacity and willingness to serve. Education must have its roots in moral principles. If we lose sight of that fact in our attempt to match our educational system against that of the materialists, we shall have lost far more than we could possibly gain.”

Ezra Taft Benson  |  Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 297

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“The early Church creeds were motivated more by political than theological concerns. As William Penn is credited with saying, ‘Persecution entered with creed-making.’ Like-mindedness became a requirement rather than a goal. Orthodoxy, not love and grace, became the central focus. The saved were those Christians who shared our doctrinal creed. It wasn’t enough to claim you were Christian. You had to be the right kind of Christian, a faithful adherent of our religious code. Those within this tight circle were our brothers and sisters, and we were obliged to love them. Those outside our church, denomination, or religion were unsaved.”

James Mulholland  |  If God Is Love: Rediscovering Grace in an Ungracious World (San Francisco: Harper, 2004), 56, 61

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