I have some thoughts on the verse of the day. I was actually thinking about it earlier as I was reading the book ‘Irreversible Damage’ by Abigail Shrier. I’ll get into that in a minute but first I’ll tell you a little bit about my childhood.
When I was younger and embarrassingly enough into my late teens, I had this distorted image of what life was. I thought that people were mostly good and that when you reached a certain age, you just suddenly knew everything. Maybe it’s why I didn’t really try very hard in high school. I lived in a bubble. I thought the grown ups would lead us in the right direction. I had complete faith in my parents, my leaders, teachers, and government. I didn’t think I needed to have an opinion on most things. I had everything I needed.
I was awkward. (still am) I never dated in high school. I never wore make up or did my hair. Little has changed there. I can’t say I was a tomboy because I don’t like sports. I was in interior design, AP studio art, painting, and photography. I didn’t really fit in.
The advantage I had over today’s teens that don’t fit in is that I didn’t have social media telling me over and over how I’m different. I’ve come to the conclusion that our society today is all about telling us (especially women) how we don’t compare to our friends or the many Instagram influencers who only post “perfection.” Perfection isn’t possible. Satan wants us to feel inadequate. He wants us to turn to social media for likes and ultimately acceptance.
This book ‘Irreversible Damage’ talks about how these awkward teens are turning to YouTubers to feel like they belong. I’ve come to realize that grown ups don’t know what they’re doing, and contrary to what teenagers might believe, they don’t know anything either. Just because your favorite YouTuber has a lot of followers does not make them wise. Every generation thinks they know more than the last, case in point Phil Collins. His lyric in ‘Land of Confusion’ is “our generation will put it right, we’re not just making promises that we know we’ll never keep.” Well did they keep their promises? No, they didn’t. With each generation the world just keeps getting worse and worse.
How this relates to the verse of the day is that we are turning to these other sources for comfort when we should be turning to God. We are worshiping false idols. I’ve been pretty much shunned for three years and I feel fortunate to have been able to break free of needing acceptance from other people. I’m used to nobody liking my posts. I don’t post to say that I have the answers, I post to say that God does.
The children of Israel needed to remove incorrect traditions and practices to avoid spiritual corruption. We too must avoid, change, or dispose of incorrect traditions that could draw us away from God.
What can you do to ensure that your traditions and habits are spiritually elevating and leading you closer to Him?
10 And he said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the Lord: for it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee.
11 Observe thou that which I command thee this day: behold, I drive out before thee the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite.
12 Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee:
13 But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:
14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
The power of tradition, however, poses a significant danger. It can cause us to forget our heavenly heritage. To achieve eternal goals, we must reconcile our earthly culture with the doctrine of the everlasting gospel. This process involves embracing all that is spiritually elevating in our family and societal traditions and discarding that which is a barrier to our eternal view and achievement….Unwanted traditions are those which lead us away from performing holy ordinances and keeping sacred covenants. Our guide should be the doctrine taught by the scriptures and the prophets. Traditions which devalue marriage and family, abase women or do not recognize the majesty of their God-given roles, honor temporal success more than spiritual, or teach that reliance upon God is a weakness of character, all lead us away from eternal truths.
Elder Donald L. Halstrom