Apr 13, 2014

Lamentations of Jeremiah: Beware of Bondage

Lamentations of Jeremiah:  Beware of Bondage
By Elder Quentin L. Cook

Bond' age  (noun) -  the state of being under control of another person or thing

"Turning from the worship of the true and living God and worshipping false gods like wealth and fame and engaging in immoral and unrighteous conduct results in bondage in all its insidious (subtle but harmful) manifestations.  These include spiritual, physical, and intellectual bondage and sometimes destruction." 

"Bondage, subjugation, addictions and servitude come in many forms." 

Elder Cook shares four examples:

1. "Addictions that impair agency, contradict moral beliefs, and destroy good health. . . The impact of drugs and alcohol, immorality, pornography, gambling, financial subjugation. . ."

I have a friend whose brother (an active member of The Church) use to be addicted to alcohol.  He was an alcoholic by every definition of the word.  Wondering when he was going to be able to get his next drink always consumed his thoughts, and once he finally did get his drink, he wasn't able to stop with just one.  He would have many drinks which would cause his judgement to be impaired and he no longer had control over his thinking, actions, etc.  

One afternoon, on his way home from the bar, he hit a parked trailer right in front of the town's police station.  He was arrested and convicted with a DUI and sentenced to attend an alcohol rehab program, and his license was suspended.  He lost the freedom to drive.  Once his rehab program was finished and he developed a pattern of sobriety, he was given back his license, but the steering wheel of his car was fitted with a breathalyzer lock.  Before his car will even start, he has to blow into this lock.  If his blood alcohol level is within limit, his car will start, if it's over, it won't.  Every so often while driving, he'll be prompted to blow into the breathalyzer to retest his levels.  He has basically become a slave to this breathalyzer lock.   

It has been almost two years since his sentencing.  He has remained sober, and in a few more months, he will regain all of his driving privileges and freedoms back.

2. Addictions that use up our "precious allotment of time which could be used to accomplish virtuous objectives. . . These can include excessive use of social media, video and digital games, sports, recreation, and many others.

I talked about my addiction to social media and the bondage I felt because of it here.

Last night we had some friends over.  While we were visiting, one of our friends mentioned his addiction to Clash of Clans.  He loves that game and can't wait until he gets off work everyday so he can spend his evening plotting and playing.  His confession reminded me of a news story I had heard on the radio.  The story talked about how people are severely addicted to the online game candy crush.  Last year users spent a whopping $493 million dollars on the game.  If you type in Candy Crush Addiction into Google there are 1,220 search results.

In an October 2010 Ensign Article, President Boyd K. Packer said:
"Remember, brothers and sisters, any kind of addiction is to surrender to something, thus relinquishing agency and becoming dependent. Thus, video-gaming and texting on cell phones need to be added to the list. Some gamers claim to spend up to 18 hours a day going through level after level of video games, neglecting all other aspects of their lives."

3. Ideology or political beliefs that are inconsistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  "Substituting the philosophies of men for gospel truth. . . ."

"Gospel truths are often rejected or distorted to make them intellectually more appealing or compatible with current cultural trends and intellectual philosophies.  If we are not careful, we can be captured by these trends and place ourselves in intellectual bondage."

Elder Cook then used the modern-day philosophies that criticize women for choosing to be full-time "mothers, teachers, nurturers, or friends to children".

4.  Forces that violate sincerely held religious principles. 

"One of the most invidious forms is when righteous people feel accountable to God for their conduct are forced into activities that violate their conscience--for example, health providers forced to choose between assisting with abortions against their consciences or losing their jobs."  

This example reminds me of the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case.  The Affordable Care Act is forcing the Hobby Lobby Company to go against their beliefs by paying for emergency contraceptives, something they feel is morally wrong.

"We must do everything within our power to avoid the sin and rebellion that lead to bondage."
"The whole world lieth in sin, and groaneth under darkness and under the bondage of sin. . . because they come not unto me."  (D&C 84:49-50)

Next Week's Talk:

by Elder Russell M. Nelson