General Conference Book Club Week 12
In Elder Holland’s talk, “Place No More for the Enemy of My Soul,” he addresses the deadly sin of lust. I attended this session of General Conference, and it actually brought tears to my eyes when he began to speak because I just felt that it was a topic that Heavenly Father wants his children to better understand. Of all the “deadly sins,” I think none is more widely peddled and embraced than lust. Men and women are force-fed titillating images and messages at every turn, and the “enemy of our souls” deceives many with unhealthy attitudes about relationships, expectations, and appropriate standards. As Elder Ballard pointed out in his conference talk, this same enemy tries to convince women that their power lies in their sensuality and that they deserve “exciting” lives of promiscuous adventure. Elder Holland states the danger:
“In addition to the completely Spirit-destroying impact [lust] has upon our souls, I think it is a sin because it defiles the highest and holiest relationship God gives us in mortality—the love that a man and a woman have for each other and the desire that couple has to bring children into a family intended to be forever.”
When we consider the great power and influence that can come from virtue, it’s no wonder that Satan has chosen lust as one of his central platforms in the campaign for men’s souls. What principles stand out to you as you study his talk?
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5 thoughts on “GCBC Week 12: Place No More for the Enemy of My Soul”
This was a good talk. I like the way that it wasn’t sugar coated and to the point. I enjoyed what Elder Holland said about love: —the love that a man and a woman have for each other and the desire that couple has to bring children into a family intended to be forever. Someone said once that true love must include the idea of permanence. True love endures. But lust changes as quickly as it can turn a pornographic page or glance at yet another potential object for gratification walking by, male or female. True love we are absolutely giddy about—as I am about Sister Holland; we shout it from the housetops. But lust is characterized by shame and stealth and is almost pathologically clandestine—the later and darker the hour the better, with a double-bolted door just in case. Love makes us instinctively reach out to God and other people. Lust, on the other hand, is anything but godly and celebrates self-indulgence. Love comes with open hands and open heart; lust comes with only an open appetite.
Such a powerful talk–and so timely.
What a powerful talk, direct and to the point.
I know–a little late…. But I love how Elder Holland brought the sacrament into this. “Most people in trouble end up crying, ‘What was I thinking?’ Well, whatever they were thinking, they weren’t thinking of Christ. Yet, as members of His Church, we pledge every Sunday of our lives to take upon ourselves His name and promise to ‘always remember him.’ So let us work a little harder at remembering Him….” I know I can do better in this area not just on Sunday, but throughout the week.
I’ve also been thinking about the following sentence: “Many of these influences, at least initially, may not technically be evil, but they can blunt our judgment, dull our spirituality, and lead to something that could be evil.” Sometimes we justify our watching or listening to certain things thinking that we can do so yet stay above it all. Elder Holland warns us that this rationalization is not true.
Loved this talk. So much power from Elder Holland. For me, I thought of my kids as I watched. What am I doing to protect them? How I am helping them to avoid these things? Also wondering if I’m doing all I can to “cultivate and be where the Spirit of the Lord is…(my) own home.”
Thanks so much for choosing this one. I needed to hear it this morning.