At a recent fireside, the former president of the Provo Mormon Temple told a story* about a meeting of his with the quorum of the 12 apostles. When he asked what was the greatest problem facing the church and young people today, the answer was simple: worldliness.
When I first heard that, it sounded to me like a cop-out answer. What does worldliness mean, anyways? Sure, the devil is out to get us, but that seems like a rather directionless way to point and call “watch out!” But in discussions with friends and through reading some articles on the internet (social media connects us to some very interesting things sometimes), I have begun to develop more of a view of what this worldliness is. This definition, found by googling “define worldliness,” sums it up to my liking.
Worldliness: “sophistication: the quality or character of being intellectually sophisticated and worldly through cultivation or experience or disillusionment.”
I think that today we are so caught up in our own learning and analysis (what is politically correct, what is intelligent, what do our conclusions point to, what makes sense in light of new studies or learning) that we neglect the source of Truth. Our wisdom and learning, no matter how we’ve built upon eons of human experience, no matter if it is mingled with scripture does not amount to a hill of beans next to the wisdom of God.
Thinking about things the world’s way is making us lose sight of what truly matters. We are letting the way that we understand the world around us be defined by what’s by current media. It’s not a single television show or song that is doing the damage, but the accepted, unquestioned attitudes about the world, morality, and keeping the commandments, that all of today’s media is based upon. The more we consume media after this train of thought, the more we unconsciously begin to accept it, and use it to negotiate meaning in our world. In effect, we are being pushed about by “every wind of doctrine,” that the world seems to put upon us.
My words may be unorganized and not well wrought, but in essence they are these: let us, each of us, remember to come unto Christ, being weary of how the world’s view are influencing ours, and may we combat the barrage of media based upon the wisdom of man, and spend a little more of our time with the word of God. Let us live “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
* He spoke with only one member of the 12, and I, unfortunately, don’t remember which one it was. I changed this part for readability.