Friday, February 25, 2011

Waling to Zion: Casting Down My Idolatry

Idolatry. That was what Brigham Young said was one of the main reason the Saints could not redeem Zion. How am I doing on this?

Idol worship means worshipping something/one instead of God. It keeps us from doing the right things; no matter how small. They are often seen in the form of addictions. These are our weapons of rebellion.Elder Kearon recently said,
 "We must lay down our weapons of rebellion (and we each know what they are). We must lay down our sin, vanity, and pride. We must give up our desire to follow the world and to be respected and lauded by the world. We must cease fighting against God and instead give our whole hearts to Him, holding nothing back."
Today there are many idols we can worship. Money. TV. Books. Sports. Music. Drugs. Alcohol. Tobacco. Pornography. Stuff. Image. Fashion. Shopping. Food. Work. Hunting. Hobbies. Facebook. Internet. Gaming. Time. Education.

I have found that it's really easy to recognize the idols that others have, but it's harder recognizing and accepting the idolatry in my own heart. I guess though according to Elder Kearon I really do know what they are and maybe I just don't want to admit them to myself.

Here on earth we have been given the wonderful gift of agency. How to we use it? Do we use it to bow down to worship dumb idols or are we worshiping the one true God? Elder Hales said, "Every time we go out, every decision we make, we are either choosing to move in his direction or in the direction of our Savior. But the adversary must depart if we tell him to depart. He cannot influence us unless we allow him to do so, and he knows that! The only time he can affect our minds and bodies-our very spirits-is when we allow him to do so."

I find hope and strength from this. I can resist the temptations of Satan and refuse to bow down to my weaknesses. I must be vigilant though because I can lose my agency by making wrong choices. Elder Hales commented, "To retain our agency we must daily walk in the light our Lord and Savior and follow the path of obedience."

Elder Hales has talked about how we can reclaim our agency that we may have lost to wrong choices (idolatry). He says the path back should include these steps:

"Choose to accept-truly accept-that you are a child of God, that He loves you, and that He has the power to help you.

"Choose to put everything-literally everything-on the altar before Him. Believing that you are His child, decide that your life belongs to Him and that you will use your agency to do His well. You may do this multiple times in your life, but never, never give up.

"Choose to put yourself in a position to have experiences with the Spirit of God through prayer, in scriptures study, at Church meetings in your home, and through wholesome interactions with others. When you feel the influence of the Spirit you are beginning to be cleansed and strengthened. The light is being turned on, and where that light shines, the darkness of evil cannot remain.

"Choose to obey and keep your covenants, beginning with your baptismal covenant. Renew these covenants weekly by worthily partaking of the sacrament.

"Choose to prepare to worthily attend the temple, make and renew sacred covenants, and receive all of the saving ordinances and blessings of the gospel.

"Finally, and most importantly, choose to believe in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Accept the Savior's forgiveness, and the forgive yourself. Because of His Sacrafice for you, He has the power to 'Remember
{your sins} no more.' You must do likewise."

I thought this was important counsel to me in my quest to strip the idolatry out of my life. I must recognize the things I hold on to and that prevent me from laying my will on the alter. In my life most of what entices me to idolatry is the worship of my own agenda, my own ideas, my own time, and just simply my desire to do what I want. Regardless of how noble or wholesome it is if it is not what God wants me to do at that moment then I am worshiping the idol of my own self.

In Zion I must only worship the one true God. I must cease my self-worship, my idolatry.

All the quotes (except for the quotes from Elder Kearon) are quoted from the conference address, "To Act for Ourselves: The Gift and Blessings of Agency," given April 1, 2006.


Kestrel said...

Recently (like, two weeks ago) I realized that I was spending way, way too much time on Facebook playing games. To the point that I was staying up very late, getting frustrated with my son when he wanted attention and I was "busy," ignoring my household duties and not making dinners, etc.

It was really hard, but I cut the game I was playing off completely for a week. I'm not saying I became the perfect parent/wife/church member in that week, but I certainly discovered lots more time and was able to get a lot of things done that I had ignored. I went back and played the game again last week, just once, and you know what? It's really dumb. I don't know if I would have eventually realized that anyway, but taking a week off and then going back helped me see that that game is stupid and there's no reason to be wasting my life on it.

And a thought just occured to me that sleep can be an idol, if I let it be. Sometimes I sleep in instead of getting up early and reading my scriptures, or I take naps instead of getting stuff done because I looooove to sleep. Not because I'm super tired, but because I love sleeping. Weird, yes. I'm not sure where I was going with that except to say I gotta work on cutting excess sleep out of my days. And nights, ha ha.

Kimberly said...

I know my false idol is intellectualism. I look everywhere BUT to God for help when I have a problem, when I should go to Him first and allow Him to guide me to the answer I'm seeking for.