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Friday, December 23, 2011

Antichrists in The Book of Mormon: Part 7: Korihor and Secularism

Korihor's philosophy outlined in the immediate prior post has a modern equivalent. It is called secularism. In all my academic experience, outside of BYU, secularism required no definition or justification. It was always assumed to underlie everything we were doing or discussing.

For this blog, I'll let some Church leaders define and explain it:


Elder James E. Faust:
Secularism is expanding in much of the world today. Secularism is defined as “indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations.” Secularism does not accept many things as absolutes. Its principal objectives are pleasure and self-interest.

From Elder Robert D. Hales:
As prophesied, we live in a time when the darkness of secularism is deepening around us. Belief in God is widely questioned and even attacked in the name of political, social, and even religious causes. Atheism, or the doctrine that there is no God, is fast spreading across the world.
The best topic discussion can be found in Elder Neal A. Maxwell's 1974 address, "Eternalism vs. Secularism." In it, Maxwell points out that embracing secularism leave you with no purpose in life but pleasure:
[S]ecularism simply seems to assign a higher value to leisure. Though we all need some leisure, secularism often finds itself trying to reduce the necessity for work without showing corresponding concern as to the purposes to which leisure time should be put—except more idleness or pleasure-seeking.
For Mormons, Korihor and his secular philosophy is easily dismissed, except for one aspect of it in verse 17:
[E]very man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; and whatsoever a man did was no crime.

One of the things that so bothered me in my management training and beyond was how untrue this statement was. Numerous people either succeed or failed on the basis of sheer dumb luck. 

People who should have succeeded, often didn't and people who had no right to succeed, often did.

We are not entirely in control of our own destinies. Forces outside of us, both good (Heavenly Father) and bad (Satan) can affect what happens to us.

But, eternalism will ultimately triumph over secularism.

(This post is late due to upheaval in my personal circumstances.)


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