The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Genesis 39:9

"Young men of the Aaronic Priesthood, remember the scriptural injunction, 'Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.' (3 Ne. 20:41; D&C 38:42; see also Isa. 52:11) Remember the story of Joseph in Egypt, who hearkened not to the wife of Potiphar and maintained his purity and virtue. (See Gen. 39:6-20). Consider carefully the words of the prophet Alma to his errant son, Corianton, 'Forsake your sins, and go no more after the lusts of your eyes.' (Alma 39:9)'The lusts of your eyes.' In our day, what does that expression mean? Movies, television programs, and video recordings that are both suggestive and lewd. Magazines and books that are obscene and pornographic. We counsel you, young men, not to pollute your minds with such degrading matter, for the mind through which this filth passes is never the same afterward. Don't see R-rated movies or vulgar videos or participate in any entertainment that is immoral, suggestive, or pornographic. Don't listen to music that is degrading." — Ezra Taft Benson, "Come, Listen to a Prophet's Voice," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1990], p. 7

"At the very pinnacle of success, when he was prosperous, popular, young, and romantic, he came upon a great temptation—a temptation that, had he yielded to it, would have ruined his life. His master's wife became enamored with him and sought to seduce him. From the record it is clear that Joseph's strength to resist this great temptation and live true to his convictions was derived from his faith, based upon a knowledge of what the Lord had said about adultery. For, said he, 'How... can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?' This weighing of Joseph's temptation in terms of sinning against God was possible only because he was informed as to God's commandments. And thus, he being fortified with knowledge and great faith, 'It came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her.' (Genesis 39:9-10)" — Marion G. Romney, "The Power of Faith," "Faith," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], p. 10

"Each temptation is real, but so is faith in one's identity. Each affliction is to some degree tormenting, but the plan of salvation reassures us about ourselves and outcomes. An irritation will be keenly felt, but it can be overcome by seeing the irritation for what it often is—including seeing it as an extrusion of yet untamed ego! With faith, as did Joseph anciently under serious temptation, one can self-interrogate: 'How... can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?' Joseph knew his own identity and the responsibility it carried. He went further, however, even reminding his temptress of her own identity and responsibility, noting that her husband 'hath [not] kept back anything from me but thee, because thou art his wife.' (See Genesis 39:7-20) The natural man, however, does not put such relevant questions to himself." — Neal A. Maxwell, "Lord, Increase Our Faith," [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1994], p. 114

"We should put God ahead of everyone else in our lives. When Joseph was in Egypt, what came first in his life-God, his job, or Potiphar's wife? When she tried to seduce him, he responded by saying, 'How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?' (Genesis 39:9) Joseph was put in prison because he put God first. If we were faced with a similar choice, where would we place our first loyalty? Can we put God ahead of security, peace, passions, wealth, and the honors of men? When Joseph was forced to choose, he was more anxious to please God than to please his employer's wife. When we are required to choose, are we more anxious to please God than our boss, our teacher, our neighbor, or our date?" — Ezra Taft Benson, "The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], p. 350

We learn a great lesson from Joseph. When he was presented with a temptation, he immediately separated himself from even the appearance of evil. All of us have events in our lives which find us in challenging situations.

When we are confronted with that which is evil and degrading—whether it be the wrong kind of music, a television program, or the Internet which places us in the wrong environment—how strengthening it is to remember the story of Joseph: “And [he] fled, and got him out” (Gen. 39:12). He removed himself from the temptation. – L. Tom Perry, “Becoming Men in Whom the Spirit of God Is,” Ensign (CR) May 2002

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