Thursday, May 19, 2011

Avoiding the Appearance of Evil

So the other day while on exchanges with Elder Adams, we decided to have a feast. We found some old steaks in the freezer, and decided to grill them up. Elder Adams had also brought us the gift of some Martinelli's sparkling cider. You just gotta love some bubbly apple juice. So the whole situation ends up looking like this:

Looks real good, right? Just the wonderful example a missionary should be. From far away and without close inspection, it looks like I'm the Elder with the alcohol problem. Which, of course I'm not, but is that the image that I want to have? Paul taught in 1 Thessalonians 5:22:

"Abstain from all appearance of evil."

Pretty simple right? As we avoid even the slightest appearance of evil, then its especially hard to let evil come into our lives! It creates that buffer zone between us and the things that Satan is trying to put into our lives. President James E. Faust said:

“My strong advice is, if there is any question about your personal conduct, don’t do it. It is the responsibility of prophets to teach the word of God—not to spell out every jot and tittle of human behavior. Our moral agency requires us to know good from evil and choose the good. If we are trying to avoid not only evil, but the very appearance of evil, we will act for ourselves and not be acted upon.”

As we avoid the appearance of evil, we become an example to everybody. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 5:14-16:

"14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

I know that as we put down these things that may simply "appear" evil, we can become great examples to those around us. Jesus Christ was the ultimate example. I know as we follow His footsteps and do the things He has asked us, we can find greater joy in this life and freedom from the evils of the world.

1 comment:

  1. Wait, so are you saying we shouldn't drink Martinelli's sparkling cider?

    I just ask because I've always wondered about that scripture in Thessalonians. The footnote says that it means "Avoid all kinds of evil." Haha, I don't want to start an argument or anything. It's just like...what's the evil in a bottle of Martinelli's? Or is it just a public relations thing? We don't want non-members to see us and think we're living below our standards?

    If that last statement describes it, then I agree. Otherwise, I don't know who I'm living to impress. God knows what I'm doing, I know what I'm doing.

    Oh by the way, I just stumbled on this blog because I googled "tennessee nashville mission blogs," and I served there several years ago. If this comment makes your blog look bad, you're welcome to delete it, haha.