LDS World: The gospel is eminently practical

Published: Sunday, Dec. 15 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

3. Disposable marriages: When a marriage crumbles, financial resources are often compromised in order to accommodate two rather than one household. More devastating is the emotional toll both parties experience, and the even deeper emotional damage to children.

4. Caring little about others: Indifference to other makes it easy to ignore responsibilities and obligations and eminently easy to wound others physically, verbally and emotionally.

5. Violence: Not only turning toward, but encouragement to violence creates a world where brutality and viciousness become endemic. It beggars the imagination what humans are capable of when violence becomes an enshrined way of life.

6. Selfishness: Self-centeredness is the antithesis of unselfishness and generosity. In a world where there is growing economic disparity, suffering and want, selfishness assures the reality of persistent, deeper, more widespread suffering.

Each of the above behaviors would be rejected by anyone who is pragmatic, who follows a philosophy of practical living for a happier, more successful life. More importantly, while the gospel of Jesus Christ is eminently pragmatic, it is also the source of all truth. And gospel truths, if followed, promise the possibility of a rich, full life — not necessarily one without challenges, but one where individual peace and joy abounds.

The path to peace and joy is succinctly described in, among other places, Doctrine and Covenants 68:25-32. It is realized by exhibiting faith in Jesus Christ, repenting of sin, being baptized, learning of and listening to the Holy Ghost. A person will pray, walk uprightly before the Lord, observe and keep the Sabbath day holy, and cease to be idle.

Should we be surprised? Our Heavenly Father and his son love us with a perfect love. They desire our happiness. Because this is so, the gospel of Jesus Christ is both pragmatic — sensible and practical — and true, leading the followers of Christ to the peace and joy each desires.

Kristine Frederickson writes on issue-oriented topics that affect members of the LDS Church worldwide in her column “LDS World." She teaches part-time at BYU. Her views do not necessarily represent those of BYU.

Email: kfrederickson@desnews.com

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