"Therefore, cease from all your light speeches, from all laughter, from all your lustful desires, from all your pride and light-mindedness, and from all your wicked doings." (D & C 88:121)I have particularly reflected on light-mindedness. There are several places in our worship that we are reminded to cease from all our light-mindedness. What does that mean and how do I apply that to my life? Light-mindedness could be not being serious enough, involving self with irrelevant things and also things that are not of eternal consequence.
Thinking about this is perhaps why I am led to be apart of the Babylon/Zion discussion. There are several of us in Bloggerland who are discussing in depth the principals of Babylon and how it is deceptively creeping into our lives. Some of these influences are evil , but some are not, they are just distractions. Therefore we are sometimes beguiled into thinking that as long as they are not bad and the prophets haven't expressly forbidden it than it is okay.
These Babylonian devices that keep us from doing the things we ought to do cause us to be light-minded. So perhaps the discussion could include the following questions. Is watching this movie made by LDS people causing me to be light-minded? Is reading this book that happens to be by an LDS author causing me to be light-minded? Is listening to this music causing me to be light-minded? And so forth.... Heavenly Father is merciful and has given us another clue to help us see clearly. He has commanded (commandments and covenants being our protection against the Evil One) us to avoid all light-mindedness. In this way we have another tool to help us decipher the treachery that exists around us.
In studying though I needed more knowledge on what is involved with light-mindedness. Is it okay to laugh? To have fun? The institute manual for the Doctrine and Covenants was a tremendous resource. Here are some quote from the prophets on light-mindedness.
"The Lord has called upon us to be a sober-minded people, not given to much laughter, frivolity and light-mindedness, but to consider thoughtfully and thoroughly the things of his kingdom that we may be prepared in all things to understand the glorious truths of the gospel, and be prepared for blessings to come...Joseph Smith said,
"I believe that it is necessary for the Saints to have amusement, but it must be of the proper kind. I do not believe the Lord intends and desires that we should pull a long face and look sanctimonious and hypocritical. I think he expects us to be happy and of a cheerful countenance, but he does not expect of us the indulgence in boisterous and unseemly conduct and the seeking after the vain and foolish things which amuse and entertain the world. He has commanded us the contrary for our own good and eternal welfare." (Joseph F. Smith, Conference Report, Oct. 1916)
"The things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search unto and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity-thou must commune with God. How much more dignified and noble are the thoughts of God, than the vain imaginations of the human heart! None but fools will trifle with the souls of men.I remember several years ago that the Leadership of the Church read a letter over the pulpit that asked the Saints to get to the temple more. They suggested that we would need to give up many of our recreational pursuits but we were expected none the less to become a temple going people. When I ponder on this I think they were asking us to give up some of our light-minded behavior so that we could commune in our temples.
"How vain and trifling have been our spirits, our conferences, our councils, our meetings, our private as well as public conversations-too low, too mean, too vulgar, too condescending for the dignified characters of the called and chosen of God, according to the purposes of his will, from before the foundation of the world!" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 137)
In the Last Days I think it especially vital that we keep our focus on Christ and His teachings. As we do this we will not be distracted and drawn into things of light-mindedness. I have been taught many times that The Parable of the Ten Virgins is not a parable about 5 members and 5 non-members. Nor is it a parable about 5 less-actives and 5 actives. It is a parable about 10 active, recommend holding members of the church. When I contemplate this parable in this manner it is sobering. Why were the 5 virgins lacking in oil? Was it because they had become distracted and had forgotten to fill their lamps? Had they been distracted with light-mindedness and gone off not because they were evil but simply because they were distracted?
I find that catch myself being distracted too much. I am light-minded. I am not always contemplating the vast expanse of eternity and communing with God as Joseph Smith taught. I think that it is very difficult to be fully engaged all the time. That is why we have the opportunity to repent and try a little harder to be a little better every day as President Hinckley asked us too. As I try harder I feel the Spirit more clearly to alert me of the light-mindedness out there. I can more clearly discern the fiery darts that seek to destroy me and my family during the last days. As I do so my lamp can stay lit day by day and I can be prepared for the day the bridegroom comes.