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