Junior Ganymede has become one of my favorite blogs. I thought this post was interesting and timely, particularly the point about the many voices we hear today. It’s true, nothing has changed in human nature, it’s only the voices that continually change (both in rhetoric and in volume). Without a foundation, you never know what to expect from the mocking voices emanating from the great and spacious building.
Come on, Elder Kimball, I thought. You can’t really expect me to believe there were millions of perverts running around, even in the 70s. You are telling me a stretcher.
I was reading what President Kimball said at the first session of the April 1971 conference and I just wasn’t buying it.
But he was right and I was wrong.
As I read on, I saw that he didn’t just mean pedophiles and folks with outlier sexual quirks. He wasn’t even referring to Les Gibituqs, as would have fit with the blunt way they talked back then. He meant cads, sluts, fornicators, being too sex-minded in general, embracing birth control as an entitlement because sex was seen as a right and a demand . . . . He meant most of us in America 2015.
We have come a long way since 1971. We take for granted what we ought not and treat as normal what is abnormal.
But while the tone is different–we haven’t used the noun pervert since the early 80’s–the content is much the same. We probably put too much importance on shifts in tone. They aren’t really changes after all. Sinners needed love and compassion and patient redemption in the 70 s and sin is still evil and sinners still wicked today. It’s the measure of the times that changes, not the message.
However, sex wasn’t the point of the talk. The point is something I have recently learned. (Whenever I discover some gospel insight, I discover the prophets have been there all along. My virgin wilderness, my Newfoundland, always already has a little cabin that Joseph and Brigham built, with Ezra or Spencer on Gordon or Tommy out on the porch swapping tales). What I’ve realized is that the concept of peer pressure is just one room in the great and spacious building. It is the form of social danger we are most familiar with, and because we are familiar with that one, we think we are proof against them all. But peer pressure is only one form of social danger. That dark tower has many other gargoyles. Status and social information are as hungry as lust, as intense as fear, as subtle as lies. And that, not sex, is the subject of Elder Kimball’s talk. He warns us about the voices we hear. Sex didn’t begin in 1963. Nothing about human desire and the demands of the body changed in the sexual revolution. What changed were the voices of society.
“May the voices of the the Lord’s servants prevail.”
And what do we have to thank for such changes in tone? Political Correctness, at least. And, of course, the prophets speak out against being “PC,” especially Elder Oaks. Political correctness, being a peer pressure, is about control–mind control. And this subject is a can–nay, a palette of extra large cans–of worms, dark worms.
The reality of mind control in our day is discussed in the documentary State of Mind: The Psychology of Control. It covers some of the whos, the hows, and the whats that lull us into giving away our agency.
I am not sure I’d consider agency something able to be given away, ultimately; although I find that people do give in to what’s easier. When it comes to how people operate, behavior modification debases self-image in order to effectuate predictable modes and patterns of behavior that are easily managed, even when confronted by adversity. The seat of one’s convictions will dictate the expression taken in that course.
Without putting on a bit of battle wear, we’re all unprepared for mental or spiritual assaults. Even then, it isn’t by self-determination that the correct wear is established. It is required that we would ask of Him to guide us; recompense is not our own. Overzealous desire to fight leads to grave mistakes. The best fighters in the world eventually meet their match. Beneath the noise floor, there isn’t the question of what is or isn’t correct. We can’t make perfect square waves, there is a natural order that we follow, and it doesn’t give regard to our desire. What is hidden will be brought to the Light.
When people think themselves to be in the Light, yet are consumed by darkness, they find themselves in a bottomless pit. In that, every class is subject to the lack of due care and unwillingness to change which binds us to less favorable conditions. Nevertheless, this isn’t an irreversible condition. Left unchecked, wickedness accumulates, eventually reaching critical mass. This affects all institutions, from governments to religions to families to even the elusive hermits.
Political correctness is specific to the confines of its own sphere of influence, still yet wavering when in opposition to another’s, if it’s advantageous to or requisite for survivability. It can lend to or take away from your metaphorical palette of bait, when considered against the Word. The Father’s name taken in vain, which is to use Him as a tool, is a sin against the Spirit. It’s not simply unforgivable in the sense of salvation–it’s irrevocable. God never walked away, but cringed as someone jumped on a raft, went adrift without food or water, and eventually became free food, yet the agency was there all along to jump on the raft.