Confusion, Marshmallow Men and God’s Way

I came across an address that really stood out to me and wanted to share it with you. It is by Neal A. Maxwell and it is titled “But for a Small Moment.” Here is a link to the full address: https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/neal-a-maxwell_small-moment/

Elder Maxwell said: “I am surprised (I would be amused if the cost were not so great) that people think they can remove the foundations of our social structure—things like work, chastity, and family and then wonder why other things crumble. You can’t remove the foundation of a building while standing inside and not be hit with falling plaster. We are now in the interesting position in the kingdom of trying to warn about what is happening in the world and, at the same time, of keeping ourselves personally secure. We must be Christ-centered individually. We must have his and God’s power to do our work, and we must take seriously the challenge of becoming more Christlike. You’re soon going to go out into a world full of marshmallow men. Like the act of putting a finger into a marshmallow, there is no core in these men, there is no center, and when one removes his finger, the marshmallow resumes its former shape. We are in a world of people who want to yield to everything—to every fad and to every fashion. It is incredibly important that we be committed to the core—committed to those things that matter, about which our Father in heaven has leveled with us through his Son, Jesus Christ, and his prophets…

Of course the world is going through an identity crisis. Of course it’s adrift: it’s got no anchor. It does not have core principles upon which to decide all other things. I am grateful that our beliefs are related to the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am grateful that God has told us that we must be ready for the trials that life will bring our way.”

As I look around at society, although there is so much good and so many people serving one another, I also see that many many people are really confused and insecure. They are confused about gender, sex, marriage, family, happiness and so many other foundational aspects of human life and society. Every few decades society changes its views on what is wrong and right. People aren’t sure what is the right way or if there is even a right way.

Elder Maxwell went on to say: “I am so grateful that God loves us enough to teach us specifically. Had secularists written the Ten Commandments, they might have said, “Thou shalt not be a bad person.” Note what the Ten Commandments say: “Thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not covet, thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, thou shalt not commit adultery,” and so on. The gospel of Jesus Christ is specific because God cares specifically for each of us and, caring for us, will mark the way carefully lest we fall out of happiness.”

I believe that God gave us commandments not to restrict us but to protect us. I believe He knows better than society’s latest experts or research findings what brings true and eternal happiness. It takes faith and a willingness to trust God over mankind’s current philosophies and trends, but I believe that if we follow what God has said through His prophets, the confusion will clear and we can walk the best way, the right way, the way that leads to what God has for us.

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