Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's All Relative

I often wonder why people do the things they do. Why did he say that? Why did she act that way? Why does he live like that? Why does she always find herself in the same bad situation? Why is he continually allowing himself to be treated like that? Etc. Before I came on my mission, whenever I would get into this ponderous mood I would often get on my computer or pull out my iPod/CDs and listen to music. I like most types of music but what I really love is something that will help me calm down and think.

I really enjoy to listen, sit back, and contemplate to music. One of my favorite musicians to help me do this is Jack Johnson. In his lyrics to the song, "It's All Understood" he teaches us that in today's society morals have become a thing of the past. The world used to revolve around what was right and what was wrong. Good and bad. Now, everything is in the grey area. It's all relative.

Jack Johnson
Here is a portion of "It's All Understood":

And fact is only what you believe
And fact and fiction work as a team
It's almost always fiction in the end
That content begins to bend
When context is never the same

I was reading a book
Or maybe it was a magazine
Suggestions on where to place faith
Suggestions on what to believe
But I read somewhere
That you've got to beware
You can't believe anything you read
But the good Book is good
And that's well understood
So don't even question
If you know what I mean

But it's all relative
Even if you don't understand
Well it's all understood
Especially when you don't understand
And it's all just because
Even if we don't understand
Then lets all just believe

Jack is talking about a very serious and real issue in this song. He is addressing the reality of the struggle between personality and complacency. We are created as equal individuals and the trial of this life is to align our will with God's. Heavenly Father has given us one precious thing that is truly ours: Choice. But just because we own our choices does not mean that we should do anything and everything that we want.

This is what Satan wants us to think and it has become one of the his biggest tools against us. He has much of the the world convinced that the right and wrong of morality is up to the individual. This is false. God's laws and morals have been established "since the foundations of this world" (Doctrine and Covenants 130:20). When someone or something goes against those laws they are at fault. We as a society will never outgrow these morals. To believe such is to think that we can outgrow God. His laws will never change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (2 Nephi 29:9).

In a talk called, "Cleansing the Inner Vessel" given by President Boyd K. Packer a story is told of a grade school class where one of the students brought a kitten for 'show and tell'. One of the students raised his hand and asked if it was a boy kitty or a girl kitty. After some confusion and chaos (and I'm sure nervousness for the teacher) one boy raised his hand and said, "I know how you can can vote on it!" Funny story, I know, but it holds a lot of truth to the way that our society has become! President Packer then said,
"If we are not alert, there are those today who not only tolerate but advocate voting to change laws that would legalize immorality, as if a vote would somehow alter the designs of God's laws and nature. A law against nature would be impossible to enforce. For instance, what good would a vote against the law of gravity do?
"There are both moral and physical laws...History demonstrates over and over again that moral standards cannot be changed by battle and connot be changed by ballot. To legalize that which is basically wrong or evil will not prevent the pain and penalties that will follow as surely as night follows day."
We cannot change the laws or designs of God. Anything but His will is counterfeit. Don't get me wrong, we all have our own personalities, likes and dislikes. I am not saying that we must conform to the will of a friend or a corporation. But we must try our best to bring our lives into alignment with the teachings of Christ.

There are certain things that are relative to the individual but I assure you that the way that we follow God and His servants is not one of them. Times, styles, and fashions may change but God will not. Just like Jack Johnson said, "The good Book is good and that's well understood. So don't even question, if you know what I mean." Even in the chaos of our lives we can be certain of one thing. God is with you. He is constant and He loves you more than you know. Follow Him, no matter what the world is saying or doing, and you will be blessed evermore.