The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Worldliness

"Too many of our Heavenly Father's children spend their precious lives carving out broken cisterns of worldly gain that cannot hold the living water that satisfies fully their natural thirst for everlasting truth."  — Joseph B. Wirthlin, General Conference, April 1995

"In Proverbs, we read, 'For the commandment is a lamp' (Prov. 6:23). Once darkened, a society loses its capacity to distinguish between right and wrong and the will to declare that some things are wrong per se. Without the lamp, our world finds itself desperately building temporary defenses, drawing new lines, forever falling back, unwilling to confront. A society which permits anything will eventually lose everything!" — Neal A. Maxwell, General Conference, April 1995

"The distance between the Church and a world set on a course which we cannot follow will steadily increase." — Boyd K. Packer, General Conference, April 1994

"Members of the Church need to influence more than we are influenced. We should work to stem the tide of sin and evil instead of passively being swept along by it.... We can live in the world, brothers and sisters, without letting the world into us." — M. Russell Ballard, General Conference, April 1989

"If one 'mind[s] the things of the flesh' (Rom. 8:5), he cannot 'have the mind of Christ' (1 Cor. 2:16), because his thought patterns are 'far from' Jesus, as are the desires or the 'intents of his heart' (Mosiah 5:13). Ironically, if the Master is a stranger to us, then we will merely end up serving other masters." — Neal A. Maxwell, General Conference, October 1995

"Some fine and capable people become so committed to science, philosophy, history, art, music, athletics, professional pursuits, intellectual hobbies, or recreation that these interests replace the simple core values, covenants, and doctrines of the gospel. These pursuits become a substitute religion and the governing force in their lives." — John K. Carmack, General Conference, October 1988

"Many in the world hold back from making the 'leap of faith' because they have already jumped to some other conclusions-often the conclusions of Korihor, which are: God never was nor ever will be; there is not a redeeming Christ; man cannot know the future; man cannot know of that which he cannot see; whatsoever a man does is no crime; and death is the end. (See Alma 30:13-18.) The number of modern-day adherents to the Korihor conclusions will grow." - Neal A. Maxwell, "The Inexhaustible Gospel," Ensign, April 1993, p. 71

"We must not allow the things of the world to blinker our vision of the eternal destination. Nor must we permit the 'voices in the world' to lead us off course (1 Cor. 14:10). Rather, we must allow the hope of Christ's glory and of eternal life to rest in our minds forever (see Moro. 9:25). We must reaffirm the goal that matters most and press toward it 'looking forward with an eye of faith' (Alma 32:40)." - Carlos E. Asay, "Stay on the True Course," Ensign, May 1996, p. 60

"The trials through which today's young people are passing-ease and luxury-may be the most severe test of any age. Brothers and sisters, stay close to your own! Guide them safely! These are perilous times. Give increased attention. Give increased effort." - A. Theodore Tuttle, "The Things That Matter Most," Ensign, Dec. 1971, p. 90

"The Lord revealed the remedy for such spiritual disaster when He counseled Emma Smith to 'lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better' (D&C 25:10). And Christ provided the pattern, declaring prior to Gethsemane, 'I have overcome the world' (John 16:33; emphasis added). The only way that we may overcome the world is by coming unto Christ. And coming unto Christ means walking away from the world. It means placing Christ and Christ only at the center of our lives so that the vanities and philosophies of men lose their addictive appeal. Satan is the god of Babylon, or this world. Christ is the God of Israel, and His Atonement gives us power to overcome the world. 'If you expect glory, intelligence and endless lives,' said President Joseph F. Smith, 'let the world go' (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith [1998], 243; emphasis added)." - Sheri L. Dew, "We Are Women of God," Ensign, Nov. 1999, p. 98

"In spite of the fact that Jesus asked us to shun the broad road leading to death, the traffic thereon continues to get more and more crowded. Some of our broad-mindedness has been compared to the Powder River, which is very broad and very shallow. We never get much power from a river that is a mile wide and an inch deep; rather, it is the narrow torrent that tears away the mountainside." - Sterling W. Sill, "The Strait Gate," Ensign, July 1980, 7

"We must not allow the things of the world to blinker our vision of the eternal destination. Nor must we permit the 'voices in the world' to lead us off course (1 Cor. 14:10). Rather, we must allow the hope of Christ's glory and of eternal life to rest in our minds forever (see Moro. 9:25). We must reaffirm the goal that matters most and press toward it 'looking forward with an eye of faith' (Alma 32:40)." - Carlos E. Asay, "Stay on the True Course," Ensign (CR), May 1996, p.59

"We have earthly debts and heavenly debts. Let us be wise in dealing with each of them and ever keep in mind the words of the Savior. The scriptures tell us, 'Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.' (Matt. 6:19-20.) The riches of this world are as dust compared to the riches that await the faithful in the mansions of our Heavenly Father. How foolish is he who spends his days in the pursuit of things that rust and fade away. How wise is he who spends his days in the pursuit of eternal life." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts," Ensign (CR), May 2004, p.40

"The adversary is delighted when we act like sightseers, meaning those who are hearers rather than doers of the word (see James 1:22), or shoppers, meaning those preoccupied with the vain things of this world that suffocate our spirits. Satan baits us with perishable pleasures and preoccupations—our bank accounts, our wardrobes, even our waistlines—for he knows that where our treasure is, there will our hearts be also (see Matt. 6:21). Unfortunately, it is easy to let the blinding glare of the adversary's enticements distract us from the light of Christ. 'For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?' (Matt. 16:26).

"Prophets have admonished us to forsake the world and turn our hearts to Jesus Christ, who promised us, 'In this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full' (D&C 101:36; emphasis added). Said President Spencer W. Kimball, 'If we insist on spending all our time and resources building up ... a worldly kingdom, that is exactly what we will inherit' ('The False Gods We Worship,' Ensign, June 1976, 6). How often are we so focused on pursuing the so-called good life that we lose sight of eternal life? It is the fatal spiritual equivalent of selling our birthright for a mess of pottage." - Sheri L. Dew, "We Are Women of God," Ensign (CR), November 1999, p.97

What is in the future? How far can we see ahead of us? Some of us cannot see the length of our noses, but the prophets have warned us of the danger that menaces us. We must be prepared and get our feet planted upon the ground, because we don't know, I don't know, what test is ahead of us. The gospel of Jesus Christ has had to be preached with tears and beseechings, sufferings, adversity and persecution from one generation to another. No generation accepted it because their belief in material power was so dense that they lost faith in the spiritual, We have to talk of the temporal. Temporal things have to be attended to, or we all would starve to death, but we must not place the temporal before the spiritual, for if we do, you can look out for disaster and trouble. No man can save the nation, or a people when they get the temporal first and forget the spiritual." - J. Golden Kimball, "Conference Report," April 1923, Third Day—Morning Session, p.127

"There is no balance in living on the fringes of our faith, with one foot in Zion and one foot in Babylon. We cannot be sinners part of the time and saints part of the time. We cannot be servants of the Lord one moment and people of the world the next. It won't work. It smacks of hypocrisy. Those who attempt to do so teeter on the brink of disaster. As James stated, 'A double minded man is unstable in all his ways' (
James 1:8)." - Carlos E. Asay, "In the Lord's Service: A Guide to Spiritual Development," p.51

"At this very moment, international heroes in sports, music, and movies not only live immoral lives but teach that immorality around the world through the powerful influence of the media. They are idolized and accepted by millions worldwide. The world in general seems to have lapsed into a coma of unrighteousness, leaving God-given and time-honored moral values and principles behind.

"The Brethren have said to push the world back. We are many more than the ten needed to save Sodom and Gomorrah. How will we fight this battle as it continues? The faithful Saints of God, with the undergirding of His holy priesthood, are the most powerful force on earth. We must hold fast to forceful proclamations from God regarding the sanctity of life, His eternal and never-ending instruction to be chaste and pure. His loving counsel that families are ordained of God with a father, mother, and children to live together forever was not intended to be the exception, but the rule. A return to Christ by an individual will bring peace of mind in place of turmoil, tranquility to replace strife, courage and optimism in place of fear." - Durrel A. Woolsey, "
A Strategy for War," Ensign (CR), November 1995, p.84

"We must watch and pray, and look well to our walk and conversation, and live near to our God, that the love of this world may not choke the precious seed of truth, and feel ready, if necessary, to offer up all things, even life itself, for the Kingdom of Heaven's sake." - "Discourses of Brigham Young," selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe, p.314

"Wise use of our technology would include care in that which we invite into our homes by the way of television, videos, computers, including the Internet. There is much that is good and edifying in the media, but there is also much that is gross, immoral, and time-consuming, enticing us to be 'ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth' (2 Tim. 3:7). During the Second World War when gasoline was in short supply and rationed, I remember signs saying, 'Is this trip necessary?' Today, with ever-increasing demands on everyone and time in short supply, might we ask ourselves before we turn on the video game, the television, the computer, or access the many programs available, 'Is this trip necessary?'" - Harold G. Hillam, "Teachers, the Timeless Key," Ensign (CR), November 1997, p.62

"Thus, ever acknowledging God's redeeming hand is very important, but, alas, so doing is diminished by the unwise mortal reliance on 'the arm of flesh' (2 Ne. 4:34; D&C 1:19). Ah, the arrogant arm of flesh, like the quarterback whose arm was so strong it was boasted that he could throw a football through a car wash and it would come out dry on the other side! Such naïveté, such triviality symbolize not only the arm, but also the mind of flesh, which misses 'things as they really are, and … things as they really will be' (Jacob 4:13)." - Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "From Whom All Blessings Flow," Ensign (CR), May 1997, p.11

"'Having food and raiment let us be therewith content.'—Why another farm, another herd of sheep, another bunch of cattle, another ranch? Why another hotel, another cafe, another store, another shop? Why another plant, another office, another service, another business? Why another of anything if one has that already which provides the necessities and reasonable luxuries? Why continue to expand and increase holdings, especially when those increased responsibilities draw one's interests away from proper family and spiritual commitments, and from those things to which the Lord would have us give precedence in our lives? Why must we always be expanding to the point where our interests are divided and our attentions and thoughts are upon the things of the world? Certainly when one's temporal possessions become great, it is very difficult for one to give proper attention to the spiritual things." - Spencer W. Kimball, "Conference Report," October 1953, Second Day—Morning Meeting, p.54

"While Lot's wife and the small party of which she was a member were told not to look back at Sodom for a very good reason, we in our time have good reason to look back at Sodom!" - Neal A. Maxwell, "Deposition of a Disciple," p.63

“The scriptures teach us that we should ‘seek … earnestly the [very] best gifts,’ that we should seek wisdom and understanding and to ‘prepare every needful thing.’ We are admonished to lose ourselves in the service of others and to seek those things that are ‘virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy.’

“At the same time, we are cautioned not to seek the unclean things of the world. President Gordon B. Hinckley has said: ‘There is so much evil, enticing evil, in the world. Shun it, my brothers and sisters. Avoid it. It is as a dangerous disease. It is as a poison that will destroy you. Stay away from it.’ In the book of Amos we read, ‘Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the Lord, the God of hosts, shall be with you.’” - Craig C. Christensen, “Seek, and Ye Shall Find,” Ensign (CR), May 2003, p. 33

“I have learned as I have become older that worldly goods and things are of minor importance. One needs only sufficient food to sustain his body, a reasonable amount of clothing to wear, and sufficient comforts of home, and probably some money for entertainment, cultural things, church service, taxes, and traveling. The man with worldly riches cannot use more. He cannot wear two shirts comfortably at one time, nor can he eat two meals at one time. (Of course I know some who try.) I do not mean that one should cease trying to achieve; but what I am trying to say is that one should put first things first.” - Milton R. Hunter, December 15, 1964, “BYU Speeches of the Year,” 1964, p. 4

"My brothers and sisters, today, as we look at the world around us, we are faced with problems which are serious and of great concern to us. The world seems to have slipped from the moorings of safety and drifted from the harbor of peace.

"Permissiveness, immorality, pornography, dishonesty, and a host of other ills cause many to be tossed about on a sea of sin and crushed on the jagged reefs of lost opportunities, forfeited blessings, and shattered dreams.

"My counsel for all of us is to look to the lighthouse of the Lord. There is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what its beacon light can rescue. It beckons through the storms of life. The lighthouse of the Lord sends forth signals readily recognized and never failing." - Thomas S. Monson, "A Word at Closing," Ensign (CR) May 2010

The values of the world wrongly teach that 'it’s all about me.' That corrupting attitude produces no change and no growth. It is contrary to eternal progress toward the destiny God has identified in His great plan for His children. The plan of the gospel of Jesus Christ lifts us above our selfish desires and teaches us that this life is all about what we can become. - Dallin H. Oaks, "Unselfish Service," Ensign (CR) April 2009

Yes, the voices and enticements of the world make good seem evil and evil, good. The false attractions to engage in immorality, to view that which is forbidden on your home video, to seek unbounded pleasure as if God did not exist, are, in reality, the yawning pit of hell, set there by the one who will try to bind you with his awful chains. - William Grant Bangerter, "Coming Through the Mists," Ensign (CR) April 1984

The choice to serve God, worthily made, does not necessarily preclude a home or sufficient money or income, or the things of this world which bring joy and happiness, but it does require that we must not turn away from God and the teachings of Jesus Christ while in the pursuit of our temporal needs. - N. Eldon Tanner, "Choose You This Day", Ensign (CR), June 1971, p.11

I remember reading a poster once that said, “A ship in a harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are made for.” I think that applies to our lives. We may pass through troubled times, but if we constantly seek nothing but physical security, we’re probably not doing what we should. We need to seek the spiritual security of knowing we are doing the Lord’s will. Sometimes that will not give us all the physical security we may desire, but it will give us all we need. - John H. Groberg, "What Are You Doing Here?" Ensign, January 1987

Spiritual nutrients, which keep us spiritually healthy, can lose their potency and strength if we do not live worthy of the divine guidance we need. The Savior has told us: "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." We need to keep our minds and bodies clean from all forms of addiction and pollution. We would never choose to eat spoiled or contaminated food. In the same selective way, we should be careful not to read or view anything that is not in good taste. Much of the spiritual pollution that comes into our lives comes through the Internet, computer games, television shows and movies that are highly suggestive of or graphically portray humanity's baser attributes. Because we live in such an environment, we need to increase our spiritual strength. - James E. Faust, "Spiritual Nutrients," Ensign, (CR) October 2006

In this, the dispensation of the fulness of time, as we prepare for the final satanic battles in anticipation of the return of Christ to the earth, it is very important to know who is on the Lord’s side. The Lord needs to know on whom He can rely. - Robert C. Oaks, "Who's on the Lord's Side? Who?" Ensign (CR) May 2005

Even though you have a testimony and want to do what is right, it is difficult not to be drawn to the great and spacious building. From all appearances, the people in the building seem to be having a great time. The music and laughter are deafening. You would say to me what my children have said, “They’re not really happy, huh, Dad?” as you watch them party.

They look happy and free, but don’t mistake telestial pleasure for celestial happiness and joy. Don’t mistake lack of self-control for freedom. Complete freedom without appropriate restraint makes us slaves to our appetites. Don’t envy a lesser and lower life. - Glenn L. Pace, "They're Not Really Happy," Ensign (CR) November 1987

We all need to build a personal ark, to fortify ourselves against this rising tide of evil, to protect ourselves and our families against the floodwaters of iniquity around us. And we shouldn’t wait until it starts raining, but prepare in advance. This has been the message of all the prophets in this dispensation, including President Hunter, as well as the prophets of old. - W. Don Ladd, "Make Thee an Ark," Ensign (CR) November 1994

Out of necessity, most of us are involved in earning money and acquiring some of the world’s goods to be able to sustain our families. It requires a good part of our time and attention. There is no end to what the world has to offer, so it is critical that we learn to recognize when we have enough. If we are not careful, we will begin to chase after the temporal more than the spiritual. Our pursuit for the spiritual and eternal will then take a backseat, instead of the other way around. Sadly, there appears to be a strong inclination to acquire more and more and to own the latest and the most sophisticated. - Michael John U. Teh, “Where Your Treasure Is,” Ensign (CR) May 2014

What of our earthly possessions? We can see what a tornado can do with them in just minutes. It is so important for each of us to strive to lay up our spiritual treasures in heaven—using our time, talents, and agency in service to God. - Ronald A. Rasband, “The Joyful Burden of Discipleship,” Ensign (CR) May 2014

Christ speaks to all of us, not only to the young rich man who went away sorrowful. He commands us to give of our wealth, whatever it might be. For some it is material possessions, for others time or a talent. For those of us who have worldly riches, it does not mean that we cannot enjoy the commodities of life for which we work. But it means that we use them to do good and that we share them with those in need. Our hearts should be set upon helping those in need. - Hans B. Ringger, “Choose You This Day,” Ensign (CR) May 1990

As covenant children of God, we have been promised that if we are faithful, we will prevail over the enemies of his work. By our faithfulness and righteousness, the evil influences of wicked and designing men and women will be subdued. - David B. Haight, “The Keys of the Kingdom,” Ensign (CR) October 1980

As we go through life we are continually making choices which will determine what we get out of life. Are we going to take advantage of our opportunities to improve, or waste our time? Are we going to do right, or wrong? Are we going to go to church, or desecrate the Sabbath? Are we going to serve God, or mammon? We cannot have divided homage. Life must find its mastery. - N. Eldon Tanner, "Choose You This Day," Ensign (CR), June 1971, p.11

The Savior’s warning against having the cares of this world choke out the word of God in our lives surely challenges us to keep our priorities fixed—our hearts set—on the commandments of God and the leadership of His Church. - Dallin H. Oaks, “The Parable of the Sower,” Ensign (CR) April 2015

We shall see in our time a maximum if indirect effort made to establish irreligon as the state religion. It is actually a new form of paganism that uses the carefully preserved and cultivated freedoms of Western civilization to shrink freedom even as it rejects the value essence of our rich Judeo-Christian heritage…. Irreligion as the state religion would be the worst of all combinations. Its orthodoxy would be insistent and its inquisitors inevitable. Its paid ministry would be numerous beyond belief. Its Caesars would be insufferably condescending. Its majorities—when faced with clear alternatives—would make the Barabbas choice, as did a mob centuries ago when Pilate confronted them with the need to decide. ("Meeting the Challenges of Today," p. 149.) - "The Neal A. Maxwell Quote Book," p. 303

Never strike hands with the Devil; never seek to make friends of Christ and Baal. They cannot be friends. If we do not let go the hand of the Devil, we must the hand of Christ. Christ has long ago refused to hold communion with Satan. We cannot hold one with one hand, and the other with the other hand. If we try this, the first we know we shall find ourselves entirely on the side of the Devil. - Daniel H. Wells, "Journal of Discourses," 26 vols., 9:64

From the pinnacle of the temple, Satan said to Jesus, "Cast thyself down." Satan has been giving that same direction ever since with the most terrifying success. And the first step toward any failure is always merely to look down, to let earthly things absorb our interests. It is pretty difficult to look down and to look up at the same time. - Sterling W. Sill, "Conference Report," April 1961, First Day—Morning Meeting, p. 9

It is "in the world" where we have the privilege of coming and enjoying a mortal experience. It is "in the world" where we are tested and tried. It is "in the world" where we have opportunities to participate in sacred, saving ordinances which will determine our postmortal life. It is "in the world" where we have opportunity to serve and make our contribution to mankind. It is to this world the Savior must come. - L. Tom Perry, "In the World," Ensign (CR), May 1988, p. 13

As the apex of time draws closer, which will culminate the earth-life existence of man, the basic issues of the spiritual mind and the carnal mind, of right and wrong, and of good and evil will become more pronounced. For example, we see at work in the world today powerful forces of carnalism that are opposed to God and the influences of a spiritual nature that can persuade and direct man to the righteous life. These advocates of carnalism would substitute God for an invisible earthly comrade and are prepared to lead the masses into a global conquest, on the carnal premise that, collaterally, concepts of God as a creator and the divine mission of the Son of God, the Redeemer of mankind, who is the advocate of a system of proven and eternal laws of progress, are to be systematically "nominalized," and finally eliminated. - Alvin R. Dyer, "Conference Report," April 1967, Third Day—Morning Meeting, p. 108

If you find yourself entrapped in the pursuit of material things, now is the time to courageously stand tall. If you worship the items that money can buy more than you cherish the love of God, now is the time to stand tall. If you have been blessed with abundance beyond your needs, now is the time to stand tall in sharing with those whose needs remain unfulfilled. - H. David Burton, "Standing Tall," Ensign (CR), November 2001, p. 65

The Savior taught clearly the proper value of worldly possessions in his conversation with the rich young ruler who asked what more was required to have eternal life; he had kept all the commandments from his youth. He asked the Master what he still lacked. Jesus told him to sell all that he had and give to the poor, and come and follow Him. But the man went away sorrowing, for he loved his possessions. (See Matt. 19:16-22.) How many of us would pass this test? - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Straight and Narrow Way," Ensign (CR), November 1990, p.64

For a good while there has been going on in this nation a process that I have termed the secularization of America…. we as a nation are forsaking the Almighty, and I fear that He will begin to forsake us. We are shutting the door against the God whose sons and daughters we are…. Future blessings will come only as we deserve them. Can we expect peace and prosperity, harmony and goodwill, when we turn our backs on the Source of strength? If we are to continue to have the freedoms that evolved within the structure that was the inspiration of the Almighty to our Founding Fathers, we must return to the God who is their true Author…. God bless America, for it is His creation. - Gordon B Hinckley, Standing for Something (New York: Times Books, Random House, Inc., 2000), xviii, xxiii, xxv.

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