Secularism (Worldliness)

LDS Quotes on Secularism & Worldliness

Why do people apostatize? You know we are on the “Old Ship Zion.” We are in the midst of the ocean. A storm comes on, and, as sailors say, she labors very hard. “I am not going to stay here,” says one; “I don’t believe this is the ‘Ship Zion.’ “But we are in the midst of the ocean.” “I don’t care, I am not going to stay here.” Off goes the coat, and he jumps overboard. Will he not be drowned? Yes. So with those who leave this Church. It is the “Old Ship Zion,” let us stay in it.

Brigham Young  |  Journal of Discourses 10:295; Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 85

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“The proud stand more in fear of men’s judgment than of God’s judgment. ‘What will men think of me?’ weighs heavier than ‘What will God think of me?’”

Ezra Taft Benson  |  “Beware of Pride,” Ensign, May 1989

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“If you understand the great plan of happiness and follow it, what goes on in the world will not determine your happiness.”

Boyd K. Packer  |  "The Father and the Family," Ensign, May 1994

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“The [current] American story about marriage, as told in the law and in much popular literature, goes something like this: marriage is a relationship that exists primarily for the fulfillment of the individual spouses. If it ceases to perform this function, no one is to blame and either spouse may terminate it at will”

Elder Dallin H. Oaks  |  Protect the children. Ensign, 42(11), 43–46.

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“The proud depend upon the world to tell them whether they have value or not. Their self-esteem is determined by where they are judged to be on the ladders of worldly success. They feel worthwhile as individuals if the numbers beneath them in achievement, talent, beauty, or intellect are large enough. Pride is ugly. It says, ‘If you succeed, I am a failure’.”

Ezra Taft Benson

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“Thus does Mormon, the prophet, accurately describe our own society [see Mormon 8:36-37) of elegantly dressed, competitive, fashion-infatuated, status-conscious people. Note that the Lord does not stress the ordinary iniquities of crime and immorality, of atheism and lawlessness. Instead he stresses the intolerance, the uncharitable state of mind, and the vanity that exist in our present world. He warns us of the pride, the envy, the arrogance, and the malice that exist in our day. We do not persecute the poor; we simply tend to ignore them and forget them as the prophet predicted. (See Mormon 8:39.)”

Theodore M. Burton  |  “A Disease Called Pride,” BYU Speeches of the Year, October 13, 1971, p. 4

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“The religious community must unite to be sure we are not coerced or deterred into silence by . . . intimidation or threatening rhetoric. Whether or not such actions are anti-religious, they are surely antidemocratic and should be condemned by all who are interested in democratic government,” he said. “There should be room for all good-faith views in the public square, be they secular, religious, or a mixture of the two. When expressed sincerely and without sanctimoniousness, the religious voice adds much to the text and tenor of public debate.”

Elder Dallin H. Oaks

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“Underlying this insistence on individual interpretation, is the assumption . . . that the plainest, most evident reading of the text is the proper one. Everyone becomes his or her own theologian. There is no longer any need to consult Augustine or Thomas Aquinas or Martin Luther about their understanding of various passages when you yourself are the final arbiter of what is the correct reading. This tendency, together with the absence of any authority structure within Protestantism, has created a kind of theological free-for-all, as various individuals or groups insist that their reading of the Bible is the only possible interpretation.”

Randall Balmer  |  Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America, 3rd ed.

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“[Religion] remains the most powerful community builder the world has known . . . . Religion is the best antidote to the individualism of the consumer age. The idea that society can do without it flies in the face of history.”

Jonathan Sacks

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The wolves amongst our flock are more numerous and devious today than when President Clark made this statement. . . .Not only are there apostates within our midst, but there are also apostate doctrines that are sometimes taught in our classes and from our pulpits and that appear in our publications. And these apostate precepts of men cause our people to stumble. . . .

Christ taught that we should be in the world but not of it. Yet there are some in our midst who are not so much concerned about taking the gospel into the world as they are about bringing worldliness into the gospel. They want us to be in the world and of it. They want us to be popular with the worldly even though a prophet has said that this is impossible, for all hell would then want to join us.

Through their own reasoning and a few misapplied scriptures, they try to sell us the precepts and philosophies of men. They do not feel the Church is progressive enough.

Ezra Taft Benson  |  Conference Report, April 1969, p. 11; Book of Mormon Student Manual, pp. 39-40

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