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Comments about ‘'What will you choose?' Elder Russell M. Nelson speaks at CES devotional’

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Published: Sunday, Sept. 8 2013 9:50 p.m. MDT

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Chemist
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

In item 4 Elder Nelson reveals an important bias of the church. Although he is attempting to be inclusive, recommending that LDS individuals associate with good people of many different religious backgrounds, he specifically excludes those who deny the existence of god. Does Elder Nelson not believe that there are good people who are atheists? If so, he is wrong.

Throughout my (now fairly long) life, I have not observed a correlation between moral behavior and religious belief (or lack thereof). There is just as high a fraction of immoral, unethical, and criminal individuals among the religious as among the nonbelievers, in my observation.

Sports Are Great
Salt Lake City, UT

Sorry Chemist, the victim card doesn't hold up here. He never says ONLY associate with those who are religious. Similarly when a doctors says "eat a variety of fruits and vegetables" is not the same as a doctor saying to eat ONLY those thing.

Sorry, no sympathy here. You're trying to hard to be the victim.

Rockyrd
Gilbert, AZ

Chemist,
I have a friend who is an atheist and is one of the fine, moral people I know. Elder Nelson would not want me to exclude him from my circle of friends because he is a non-believer. In a talk like this generalities are given. All the exceptions cannot be given or the talk would not have a focus.

I disagree with the previous post that labels you as a victim. The main point is well taken, but the tone needs some improvement.

Have a good day.

Cinci Man
FT MITCHELL, KY

I attended the broadcast in my stake center and it was a great talk. The Spirit prompts listeners. I felt nothing but love. I heard nothing but good advice and counsel. Thanks Elder Nelson.

TheProudDuck
Newport Beach, CA

No, atheists cannot be moral people, at least by their own standards. Because by their own standards, there cannot be any objective morality. There are only individuals' choices about what they, individually, will give the name "moral." But in the long run, there is no cosmic significance to what actions and thoughts one soulless bundle of atoms decides to call moral, in the brief instant before it's dissolved back into stellar debris.

Atheists can, and often do, give the appearance of morality. But by their own declaration, it can never be more than an appearance. Their morality is simply adherence to convention, or throwback genetic promptings. It can never constitute a free-willed choice to adhere to an objective moral standard. You need an objective, authoritative natural moral Law for that -- and denial of such is the very premise of atheism.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Chemist" athiesm is a religion. It is a religion by the definition of religion, and according to the IRS.

Linus
Bountiful, UT

Right on, ProudDuck!

Advice in the scriptures is to avoid being unequally yoked with unbelievers. I have a beloved niece who has fallen into the company of unbelievers. They have been very energetic in their proselyting. She has fallen under the pressure. Chemist would say she is enlightened by them. I say she made a hazardous choice for which generations will suffer. The gospel is the way, the truth, and the light. Denying the gospel doesn't enlighten anyone. If you want to be free, choose the counsel of Elder Nelson.

vangroovin
West Jordan, UT

Some very good and timely advice for all of us. I did not get the opportunity to hear his talk in its entirety, however, the notes this author provides helped me get the general idea with a specific insight regarding number sever: "Each day on earth is an opportunity to take the time to prepare for the interview all will have with the Savior on Judgment Day." Regardless of whether or not you are religious, I know that that is true and that each of us will have to account at that future day to account for our deeds on earth. This talk is a good reminder to me of that day and I hope that I can live my life more closely aligned to what Jesus taught. Thank you, Elder Nelson, for your counsel and thanks to the author for publishing your synopsis of it!

Brahmabull
sandy, ut

TheProudDuck

You are sorely mistaken my friend. Atheists can be, and many are, moral people. Moralality doesn't come from a defined set of laws established by somebody else. Morality is a set of standards set by an individual. Some think drinking is immoral, and some don't. I would be pretty confident to say with an atheist what you see is what you get. It is the religious people that are always trying to LOOK more moral then they actually are.

Chemist
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

I respectfully disagree with those who claim that our morality comes from religion.

To the Christians here:
Is it moral to stone a disobedient child, so that he dies? The Bible commands you to do so in Deuteronomy 21:18-21. Yet most of us would consider that action to be immoral, and we would surely prosecute a parent who stoned his child to death, no matter how disobedient he might be. If morals come from religion, how can you justify ignoring the very moral code that is written in your holy book?

I claim that we, as a society, have agreed (for the most part) on a moral code, and we are able to recognize that some actions commanded for us are indeed immoral. We choose which moral codes in the Bible to follow, and which to ignore, based on our own moral codes, which exist independently of our religion.

I believe our moral code developed long before we developed religion, when we became a social species. We have rules about how to have a functioning society, and these are the basis of morals.

David in CA
Livermore, CA

We were able to participate by seeing and hearing Elder Nelson's Fireside address
by viewing the BYU-TV channel. Great Advice!!

Thanks to BYU-TV!!

Still haven't heard about any plans for a DVD or CD of the concert Friday or Saturday eveing with James Taylor and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir or a Possible Broadcast of that
concert over BYU-TV.

It's sad when questions of this sort are asked on this comment section of the Deseret
News, AND NO ONE with possible answers responds.

God Bless..

Jack
Aurora, CO

@Chemist,
I have seen many of your attempts to claim contradictions from the Old Testament and Christians, and I have to wonder if you apply the same reasoning to your scientific pursuits. By definition Christians are followers of Christ, who preached a gospel in the New Testament which fulfilled the Law of Moses in the Old Testament. Trying to claim "the Bible" says one thing while Christians do another is thinly veiled. The Bible says many things, the New Testament being the fulfillment of Old Testament strictures, and how such actions as stoning a disobedient child aren't what Christ taught.
May I suggest that you find out what the Bible means, not just what it says. Symbolism and references to things common then and not so now take some time to understand. Just citing a verse here of there does not impart the meaning.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

" We believe in being honest, true, cchaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to ALL men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is ANYTHING virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."

Chemist is right.

I grew up in UT thinking that I should only associate with other Mormons--because of talks by church leaders. Then I left UT, and discovered, first, even the Mormon Church is full of sinners. Secondly there are good people of many different faiths. Thirdly, some people don't need religion in order to have high moral values and standards. Lastly, all church leaders are fallible.

So, the quest is to love my neighbor as myself.

TheProudDuck
Newport Beach, CA

"Morality is a set of standards set by an individual."

If it's set by one individual, it's only binding on that one individual. We already have a word for that. It's called "taste."

One person sets a standard that exalts compassion, and loving one's neighbor as himself. The other takes a more classically Greek view, and views excellence as the highest ideal. Under that standard, he considers it moral to kill the feeble-minded, the disabled, or anyone else who displays weakness.

Under atheist "morality," there is no objective, external standard by which we can tell the second guy he's an evil person. Our opinions are no more dispositive than his opinion. Morality is universal, or it's not morality. That we have different understandings of what the one true morality is, doesn't mean such a thing can't exist.

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