The blessings of living a clean and moral life are overwhelming. Rather, they are positive, uplifting, and liberating. God is good whether we choose to believe it or not. Both in civil government, and in private and public education, it was held that God’s standard for morality was the foundation and strength of our nation, regardless of a person’s religious affiliation. (From Forerunner Commentary), After Jacob's ten sons sold their brother, Joseph, into slavery in Egypt, they spent two decades haunted by an ever-present feeling of guilt. Morality is an objective reflection of God’s character, and therefore consistently true for all people. Because the Lord loves us immensely and wants us to be happy, He has announced His intentions for His children in these latter days: “For I will raise up unto myself a pure people, that will serve me in righteousness” (D&C 100:16). This daily newsletter provides a starting point for personal study, and gives valuable insight into the verses that make up the Word of God. In God's standard of morality, He is quite specific. President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said: “Do not be guilty of tampering or playing with this sacred power of creation. Job 5:24 does not involve sin, but chata' appears in the verse: "You shall know that your tent is in peace; you shall visit your habitation and find nothing amiss." Here, chata' is translated as "amiss": Nothing is wrong; the habitation is as it should be. Most people believe sin occurs only between themselves and some impersonal, arbitrary law made up in former times to keep people from enjoying themselves. Saying God is the standard of moral values is like me saying the Hairy Man of the Mountain is the source for objective morality. For his authority, he cited only one case—a California Supreme Court case issued many years before. What, then, is the Lord’s standard for use of the sacred power of procreation—His standard of morality? Joseph also spoke of this great evil when he was tempted by Potiphar’s wife: “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9). No one can claim to be fooled by the effects of pornography, believing there is any such thing as an innocent glance. These uses have the blessing and endorsement of the Lord. It is repulsive to the Spirit of the Lord. They build relationships of trust, they enhance self-esteem, they foster a clear conscience, and they invite the Spirit of the Lord to bless individual and married lives. (2 Timothy 3:16–17) Callister, don’t you have a more recent case than this?”. Each partner in a marriage belongs to the other even before the marriage takes place. ." If it is too low or too high or too tight, it may prompt improper thoughts, even in the mind of a young man who is striving to be pure.4. Repentance, however, is not just a matter of time or forsaking a sin or making a confession. Ultimately, we will be judged by the standard of God's Word. What the Bible says about Sin, Christians, and the Fear of God. Their reputations in the community often carry a great deal of influence. Here is a context that involves moral or ethical issues, requiring chata' to be translated as "sin." May each of us be a part of that pure generation and embrace the Lord’s standard of morality. To determine whether the God of the Old Testament is morally good or bad, there must first be a standard against which judgments are made. The source of truth is the Word of God, the Scriptures, and they set the standards of our conduct. It is no abuse of the term to describe this agency as a … Erik Lutz, AiG–U.S., shows why only the Bible provides an absolute standard for morality. Why is it like this? There is a simple test to detect the difference. He was reminded that the supreme court trumps all lower-court decisions, however numerous or recent they may be. In truth, the Lord’s standard of morality is not so much a list of do’s and don’ts as it is a principle, which can be expressed as follows: The procreative power is to be exercised in the marriage relationship for two key reasons: (1) to bind and strengthen ties between spouses and (2) to bring … However, having abandoned God, their true spirituality and morality are terribly skewed, making their influence anti-God. Accordingly, Paul the Apostle counseled “women [to] adorn themselves in modest apparel” (1 Timothy 2:9). Thus, God is not absolutely independent." Because God created us and made us in His image, we belong to Him and are obligated to live according to His standard or face His judgment. This argument says that if we claim that there are moral values we have to have a standard by which we measure them. It does not make you feel worthy or clean.”2. The scriptures tell us, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). The apostle Paul writes in Romans 7:14 that God's law is spiritual. According to our brief analysis, God is the source, or ground, of objective moral facts. Love is motivated by self-control, obedience to God’s moral laws, respect for others, and unselfishness. This daily newsletter provides a starting point for personal study, and gives valuable insight into the verses that make up the Word of God. So it is with God our Father—He needs to speak only once on the issue of morality, and that one declaration trumps all the opinions of the lower courts, whether uttered by psychologists, counselors, politicians, friends, parents, or would-be moralists of the day. Through the media and entertainment, the world promotes quite a different level of moral acceptability than God's standards, illustrating Proverbs 14:12: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”. It can also indicate that "wandering" or "straying" is involved. Should We Ignore Our Feelings of Guilt? So I see moral values as defined paradigmatically in God; that is to say, God is the standard. Whenever Egypt was mentioned, they experienced a pang of culpability for what they had done. The judge said to my father, “Mr. Our goal in life is not just to be clean but also to be perfect. The Bereans "received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so" (Acts 17:10-11). This does not mean that God’s goodness is contingent upon our approval. We find another restriction in I Corinthians 7:3-4: Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. Boyd K. Packer, To Young Men Only (1976), 4, 5. Atheists assume that if there is evil in the world, then there can be no God. Be not deceived: neither fornicators … nor adulterers … shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9–10; emphasis added). God highly esteems those who fear Him and hate evil. Adams proposes that in many Judeo-Christian contexts, the term 'wrong' is used to mean being contrary to God's commands. Also, Ezekiel 44:10 reads, "And the Levites who went far from Me, when Israel went astray, who strayed away from Me after their idols, they shall bear their iniquity." The sins wreaked destructive results, even though they were committed by simple carelessness, laziness, indifference, or not considering the end. What happens to our sense of sin when God's standards seem no longer to be valid? All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. As such, the Bible becomes our source of morality because the Bible is the very Word of God in written form (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21). Your conscience is to be trained according to its standards so that you might not sin against God (Psalm 119:11). These suggest weakness as the cause of missing the standard. Chata' appears as "sins," but it is modified by the Hebrew shegagah (Strong's #7684), which means "inadvertently, unintentionally, unwittingly, or by mistake." Inappropriate touching arouses the procreative powers. The Bible, which contains God’s revealed moral will in His law and commandments, is His revelation to His people. At its simplest, sin is a deviation from what is good and right. Here, the first point that is raised does not concern legality, but a high standard of morality. Solomon writes in Proverbs 8:36, "But he who sins against me [wisdom personified] wrongs his own soul; all those who hate me love death." See what over 150,000 subscribers are already receiving each day. At some point we must decide which will be our invited guest. Some would have us believe that the Church’s stand against same-gender physical relationships is a temporary policy and not an eternal doctrine. In general, the argument I have heard that attempts to connect morality and God is the Lawgiver argument that I described in my last post. As the Father and Son are equally divine, the husband and wife are equally human. Sex and love are not equivalent. He also said, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? How have I offended you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done deeds to me that ought not to be done.". God is the final standard of what is good, and all that God is and does is worthy of approval. The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment Sign up for the Berean: Daily Verse and Comment, and have Biblical truth delivered to your inbox. For the full address, visit web.byui.edu/devotionalsandspeeches. Secluded locations, late nights, and morally loose friends have incredible magnetic fields to draw us into Satan’s clutches. Because Adam was commanded to tend to the earth, the plants, and the animals God punished the earth as well due to Adam's irresponsibility. The word "offended" is translated from chata', and "sin" is translated from a cognate. The Lord forbids fornication and adultery despite how the world feels toward these behaviors. Such a life will bring self-confidence and self-esteem. There are no exceptions. The standard must not be subjective and should be universal. 2014, 44–49. Humanists have also managed to convince many that everything is morally irrelevant. Again, no sin is involved. Our choice to obey or disobey God’s standard of morality will largely determine our happiness in life. It is certainly possible to suppress or ignore our conscience but the mere existence of an innate barometer of right and wrong is strong evidence for God, a divine moral-giver, so it’s essential to understand God’s standards. We must have the highest morality, as high as God Himself. In both contexts, the people sinned through ignorance, wandering, and other weaknesses. We cannot break God’s moral laws with impunity and be happy because God, who created us, placed within our souls a moral compass known as our conscience. Morality without God This question begins by assuming morals were created entirely by God and not just approved of by God. Leadership and Covenants (Part Six). Every human being has a conscience which is a God-given attribute to guide us on morality. He has made it even simpler by inspiring I John 3:4 (KJV): "Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.". We have seen that already in our word "upright," a synonym of "vertical." If you are afflicted with this malady, you need to do all within your power to overcome it. The Divine Mission of Jesus Christ: Light of the World, Faithful Parents and Wayward Children: Sustaining Hope While Overcoming Misunderstanding, Connecting with the Blessings of Relief Society, Faith and Fortitude: Women of the Old Testament, Trials, Tribulations, and Trust in the Lord, “The Lord’s Standard of Morality,” Ensign, Mar. If they can overturn them, they reason, they will be free to have all the fun non-Christians supposedly have. Many of them are university-educated and earn salaries that place them in upper-middle-class income brackets. God with authority, stayed true to his word (which is a good moral), and punished Adam and the earth for the sin committed. These acts constitute the ultimate use of the procreative power with someone of the opposite sex with whom we are not legally married. All three of these implications are right and true, and all people are held responsible for recognizing them. He seems to imply that moral goodness can exist and be determined independently of God. There is no field so dark or corner so secluded that no one will ever know. However, it is always better to remain clean than to sin and repent afterward. Anytime we violate God’s standard of morality, that conscience goes to work—it gnaws at us, it triggers feelings of guilt and remorse, and it acts as a divine witness testifying to the truth of that standard. Our dress affects not only our thoughts and actions but also the thoughts and actions of others. Accordingly, in the premarital setting it is contrary to God’s moral standard to touch the private or sacred parts of another’s body, whether or not the person is clothed.1. "Iniquities" is translated from the Hebrew avon, which suggests "perversity.". My father looked at the judge and replied, “Your Honor, may I remind you that when the supreme court speaks on a matter, it only needs to speak once.” The judge nodded with approval. The only reason today's youth seem to have been given for moral integrity is “because the church says the Bible tells us so.” For this reason, many waste their time trying to undermine the credibility of Scripture and the authority of the church. Otherwise, all we have is subjective human moral opinion, no matter how it is dressed up. It is at this juncture that Satan, using men he controls through subtle deceits, has dealt a devastating blow to our culture. Objective moral values do exist. Often that commences with confession. When God ordained the standard by which man should live, he set the standard in him-self. But we also believe in an infinite Atonement that has the capacity in this life or the life to come to endow us with every power necessary to convert our weaknesses and imperfections into strengths. Our choice will largely determine our happiness in life. Following are some of the tentacles of the evil one designed to cause us to break God’s standard of morality. All that God's order defines in this case is subordination. In terms of government, there is a distinctive and deliberate similarity between the two organizations. If we so desire, we can drive out every evil thought and immediately replace it with an uplifting song or poem or scripture. God's Standard of Morality Two oft-repeated rationalizations are used to support moral transgression. Though the Son is one with the Father, being of the same substance, power, and glory, He nonetheless voluntarily submits to the Father. It happened to King David as he watched Bathsheba at nighttime, at first from a seemingly safe distance (see 2 Samuel 11:2–4). It has been said, “You can watch the birds fly by; just don’t let them build a nest on your head.” There is nothing wrong with noticing the pretty young lady or handsome young man as they walk by—that is normal. For instance, Romans 3:20 reads, "Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin." Pornography is any picture or narrative that feeds the carnal man within. God desires that His children not watch any movie or TV show, go to any website, or view any magazine that is pornographic in any way. Women particularly can dress modestly and in the process contribute to their own self-respect and to the moral purity of men. He will set us up so that we can see—and He can see—how close we are adhering to godly judgment and right doing. It is the God-given power to become who he created us to be and so to share eternal union with him. . The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. He tries to palm off lust as love. Alma, his father, put it in perspective: “Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord?” (Alma 39:5). Without God, objective morality would not exist. He declared, “The rebellious shall be pierced with much sorrow; for their iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed” (D&C 1:3; emphasis added). Every time we argue over right and wrong, we appeal to a higher law that we assume everyone is aware of, holds to, and is not free to arbitrarily change. In the parallel, Christ is not inferior to God the Father. How? Christian morality and God's law are not arbitrary, but specifically given to us for our happiness. It is almost unbelievable to think that God has given to His children the power that is most prized and sacred to Him—the power to create life. Please see my video on the punishment for adultery for more details. John W. Ritenbaugh I now cite some of the Lord’s standards of morality so as to minimize any misunderstanding or ambiguity. To all honest souls who change their hearts and forsake their sins, He has promised, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). The most common verbal root in Hebrew for the noun sin literally means "to miss, to fail, to err, or to be at fault," and it is often translated by these terms depending upon context. See Handbook 2: Administering the Church (2010), 21.4.6. …, “… It is not pleasing to the Lord, nor is it pleasing to you. Now we go on to chapter nineteen to consider another point. None of us should think we are too powerful or too immune to succumb. God will know, and you will know if you violate His moral law. Answer: The moral argument begins with the fact that all people recognize some moral code (that some things are right, and some things are wrong). The apostle Paul states an order of authority established by God that we need to understand. It is therefore each person's responsibility to preserve the body's sexual purity for the one he or she will marry. Men and women can look sharp and be fashionable, yet they can also be modest. God’s standard of morality cannot be dismissed; it cannot be diluted or compromised; it can only be obeyed or disobeyed. In reality, moral irrelevance actually drives marriages apart. Now I share some danger signals that precede some of the sins I have mentioned. Some people refer to such people as “secularists.” Most of them claim atheism. The dress of a woman has a powerful impact upon the minds and passions of men. The argument, succinctly, is that for an objective moral system to exist, God must exist. Just as darkness flees at the presence of light, so evil flees at the presence of good. Self-abuse is the act of stimulating the procreative power of one’s own body. Before attempting to explain and assess moral arguments for theexistence of God, it would be helpful to have some perspective on thegoals of arguments for God’s existence. The Lord promised us, “For if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them” (Ether 12:27). Accordingly, any conscious thoughts or voluntary actions that stimulate or result in the expression of the procreative power outside the marriage relationship are disapproved by the Lord. The sin is not in involuntarily seeing something improper; the sin is in entertaining the thought once it comes. Good and evil thoughts cannot coexist in our minds any more than light and dark can exist at the same time and in the same place. Is the God of the Old Testament a moral monster? The English Romantic poet, William Wordsworth, poignantly expresses the mood of this menacing memory: “From the body of one guilty deed a thousand ghostly fears and haunting thoughts proceed.”. Love is so much greater in importance than sex that there is no adequate comparison. This happens when we consistently choose ways that are in harmony with God's plan. By means of the parallel between deity and mankind in God's order, Paul shows that a wife's submission to her husband in marriage does not imply her inferiority. Question: "What is the Moral argument for the existence of God?" Society decides what is right and wrong. But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a … Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2), and guilt is the result of that separation. We recognize that everyone is a son or daughter of God and deserves to be treated as such. We may try to ignore it and we may try to suppress it, but we cannot escape it. It attempts to challenge the claim that an external standard of morality prevents God from being sovereign by making him the source of morality and his character the moral law. “Humanist” is a descriptor given to those who have abandoned a belief in God and religion. But in the widest sense of the word, man's relationship to God, affected by sin, is what constitutes guilt. Abimelech charges Abraham as having missed the standard of behavior against him and his nation. In God's standard of morality, He is quite specific. God is ultimate authority. Even so, it in no way tempered the effect of them as minor. The formal moral argument for God goes like this: If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist. Isaiah 28:16-17 In verse 17, the plumb line is defined as justice and righteousness. David writes in Psalm 58:3-4: "The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born speaking lies. (I shallgenerically term arguments for God’s existence “theisticarguments.”) Of course views about this are diverse, but mostcontemporary proponents of such arguments do not see theistic argumentsas attempted “proofs,” in the sense that they are supposedto provide valid arguments with premises that no reasonable personcould deny. Leviticus 4:2 presents us with a different situation: "If a person sins unintentionally against any of the commandments of the LORD in anything which ought not to be done, and does any of them. There are no exceptions. A same-gender relationship is inconsistent with God’s eternal pattern that husbands and wives not only have children in mortality but also have eternal increase in their exalted condition. God's Standard of Morality, Guilt as the Result of Separation from God, Parallel between Deity and Mankind in God's Order. In this progressive culture, people believe that morality changes from age to age and culture to culture. It will result in a clear conscience. With God, objective morality finds its roots. Jesus said, “No one is good, except God … 2 Timothy 3:1-5. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent; they are like the deaf cobra that stops its ear." For example, within marriage, sex is totally, completely, and absolutely limited to one's legal partner in that specific marriage. Why is that? #TenCommandments #morallaw #BibleA short video about God's standard of morality. We do have the power within us to take control of our lives and our thoughts. This is why the standard of right and wrong can only come from one who is perfect—our Creator, the Almighty God. We all struggle with imperfections, some not of our choosing. God created us, so He has the right to hold us to His moral standard. They are the proven standards for happy marriages and stable communities. See what over 150,000 subscribers are already receiving each day. The person is failing to live up to the moral or ethical standard. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. At certain times and places, no matter how strong we are, we have less resistance. The first is “I loved her.” Satan is the great counterfeiter. See Richard G. Scott, “The Power of Righteousness,” Ensign, Nov. 1998, 69. It may require confession, intense prayer, fasting, immersion in the scriptures, replacing idle time with constructive time, putting strict boundaries on Internet usage, professional counseling, and the like, but you can overcome it. However, within any given context, the deviation and especially the attitude involved in the conduct are often revealed more specifically by other terms. John W. Ritenbaugh Then that moral nature issues in divine commandments to us. In the kingdom we should not insist on any legality, but we must maintain high moral standards. The Bible displays the Father's and the Son's standard in a multitude of word-pictures that reveal their nature and characteristics in word and deed. Eventually we either fight it or embrace it. “Where there is no revelation [divine vision], the people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the law” (Proverbs 29:18). Martin G. Collins Such a st… Alma taught, “Wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10). In the end, most women get the type of man they dress for. His opponent cited a number of lower-court decisions of more recent vintage. From a devotional address given at Brigham Young University–Idaho on January 22, 2013. In truth, the Lord’s standard of morality is not so much a list of do’s and don’ts as it is a principle, which can be expressed as follows: The procreative power is to be exercised in the marriage relationship for two key reasons: (1) to bind and strengthen ties between spouses and (2) to bring souls into the world. A HIGH STANDARD OF MORALITY. It is a poisonous, venomous, unforgiving snake that will strike the moment you take your first look and will continue to strike with a full portion of venom with each look thereafter. In marriage, the submission of a woman to her husband is also intended to be voluntary. Satan, using the humanists' influence, has convinced a large percentage of the public that sex and love are the same, a major departure from what was once generally believed in American culture. Therefore, God exists. Those with same-gender tendencies have a duty to (1) abstain from immoral relationships and (2) do all within their power to avail themselves of the refining, perfecting powers of the Atonement. Why condemn the earth you may ask? This, too, is untrue, but many fail to think it through. Government is merely a system of operation, a means of directing and controlling so that the purposes of an organization are achieved. In some regards, Satan is like an octopus trying to capture us. Bible Verses about Standards of Morality. In essence, our thoughts become the seeds of our actions. Contrary to much public sentiment, there is nothing negative or restraining about God’s moral standards. The average person, however, considers laws as strictly physical guidelines that were invented to restrict him. Sometimes people do not realize the seriousness of these transgressions or, in some cases, rationalize it away. At some point willpower will be an indispensable ingredient—there is not a pill or counseling technique to solve every addiction. The Lord condemns self-abuse. Moreover, God depends for his goodness on the extent to which he conforms to an independent moral standard. In the interim, however, those who have same-gender tendencies but do not act on them are worthy to hold Church positions and receive a temple recommend.3. Even before marriage, both the man's and the woman's body belongs to their future spouses. What the Bible says about From its first verse, the Bible asserts, “ In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth ” ( Genesis 1:1 ). They may be is accelerated when we are not legally married and he alone, has a! 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