Thursday, June 02, 2022

Falsehoods that Trip us up

 There are a lot of falsehoods that float around modern thought, and sometimes they embed themselves as the foundations of ideas that lead people down really strange and sometimes damaging paths. Often the idea is never questioned, and the direction it sends you is not good.

Some of these ideas I've noticed:

*People are born perfect, just the way God intended them to be. 

While this is appealing, saying we need to embrace exactly what we are and never change, it's not true. We're born mortal. This is not our final condition or state. What's more, this idea is really hurtful to disabled people. What it says is that God intended us to be in pain all the time, and that our perfection includes pain. It's important to accept who you are and what condition you are in, but it's also important to understand that mortality is temporary, imperfect, and designed to include flaws. If this was perfection, we would not need resurrection.

*People are the best judges of what is good and right for themselves.

This is flattery of the kind Korihor uses. People are notoriously bad at judging what is good and right for themselves. That's why we need commandments. And prophets. And prayer and revelation and inspiration. And laws, including basic traffic laws. We are inherently selfish and driven by base urges. Left to ourselves, people tend to be selfish, addicted, lazy, etc. We are easily motivated by immediate, temporary pleasure for ourselves. Easily motivated to cover pain instead of remove the source or heal the wound. Easily driven to never learning, never changing our ideas. Left to ourselves, we judge that we should eat sugar, drink alcohol, do drugs, sit around and be entertained, go with the crowd, avoid education, waste time in silly frivolous hedonistic vain pursuits. We fight, we hurt others, we hurt ourselves. We cannot take ourselves as the best authority on what's good, right, and best for us. We are woefully inadequate judges of what's good for us. We need someone who knows more and who has our best interests in mind, like God.

*God doesn't actually know what will make certain groups of people happy.

God made ALL of us. We're all His children. He has greater vision and understanding of who we are collectively and individually. He knows us personally. He really does know what can make every single person the most happy--way better than we do, and with an eye toward an eternity that we do not comprehend.

*Living "right" is supposed to be easy and comfortable. We shouldn't have to give up anything or change.

In fact, God requires sacrifices from all of us. Living is not easy and not comfortable because growth requires stretching and working hard. Easy and comfortable is not the way to grow and become. And to get the greatest blessings, God requires great sacrifices from people. All people. We all have hard things. We all have to do hard things in order to get the best that God has to offer. The way it not strict and difficult just for some people, but for everyone. Stricter than we want, but the blessings are greater than we can imagine. But we get to choose. Maybe we don't want to sacrifice for those blessings--or don't want to sacrifice what's being asked. Maybe it's not worth it to us. God respects our right to choose that.

*Marriage is primarily about fairytale falling in love, romance, chemistry, and magical kisses (and especially about great sex).

This corruption of the idea of marriage is appealing, but not real. Marriage is about partnering with a best friend to go through life together, solving problems, facing challenges, being a family with each other. It's about respect, and love of a deeper kind, profound devotion, friendship. Flirting and falling in love and kisses are all choices to make and skills we cultivate to make marriage more fun. They are not the foundation of marriage. Marriage is not something that happens to us, swept off our feet and love and happily ever after just magically. It's something we do, something we choose. It's incredibly valuable, satisfying, important, and wonderful. But if you're looking for a fairytale, you're looking at the wrong things. (And yes, sex is part of marriage, but sex is a skill and a choice as much as anything--it's not something that you can't control or change, and it's not magic, either.)

*We understand the afterlife, exaltation, resurrection, and even what we are.

Really, we have no clue. No clue at all. We're trusting God on this one. We like to say that certain characteristics we have are immutable and will never change, even in resurrection. But we don't even know what manner of beings we are! We have no idea what resurrection actually consists of, or what exaltation looks like. We can't even comprehend eternity. Like, at all. We really don't know what we're talking about on this one. We just take it on faith, trusting God can work it all out. 

*Disagreement means hatred, and hatred is a good reason to kill yourself (but don't because I will love you).

This is outlandish, but I see it all around. Ironically, usually it's coming from the people who are supposedly your "friends" saying things like, "You don't have to kill yourself because they disagree with you/dislike you. I will love you as you are." This actually plants the idea of suicide in someone's mind, and suggests to them that it's an option while simultaneously deflecting the blame for the idea from your "friend" to the person they are anxious to define as your enemy. This is especially dangerous because planting the idea of suicide is the first step toward suicide. This kind of "helpful" language is profoundly unhelpful. Additionally, it's a wormy way of getting in to define your thinking for you. When they say "I will love you as you are," they usually proceed to engage in flattery ("You are perfect and don't need to change ever"), and then to define what lifestyles and behaviors to need to engage in to be accepted by them.  ("Don't kill yourself if they hurt your feelings by telling you how to live to be happy--I love you; let me tell you how you should live to be happy instead, with a heavy dose of flattery.")

I'm sure there are many, many, many more falsehoods that we base actions and ideologies on. That seems to be the name of the game! 



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