General Conference, April 2019 – Saturday Morning Session – “Careful versus Casual” by Sister Becky Craven, Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency
True happiness is found in living the gospel of Jesus Christ.
There is a careful way and a casual way to do everything, including keeping our covenants with the Lord. When we find ourselves rationalizing our behavior, we are being casual in our efforts to keep our covenants and we are, in effect, saying that certain counsel from the prophets doesn’t apply to us.
“[T]here is not a right way to do the wrong thing!”
I love that quote so much! It was one of my biggest takeaways from conference this year and I have found myself pondering it over and over again in the days since conference ended.
There is not a right way to do the wrong thing…
- Because the wrong thing is never right. (Colossians 3:25)
- Because the wrong thing can never be right no matter the mental gymnastics used to rationalize or justify it. (Proverbs 17:15)
- Because evil can never be good. (Isaiah 5:20)
- Because wickedness never was happiness (Alma 41:10).
- Because the wrong direction will never lead to the right destination. (1 Nephi 8)
The wrong thing is never right.
But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. (Colossians 3:25)
It doesn’t matter who you are or your position in society (or the church!), the Lord will not reward you if you do wrong.
The wrong thing can never be right no matter the mental gymnastics used to rationalize or justify it.
He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord. (Proverbs 17:15)
This verse could be interpreted a couple of ways. “He that justifieth the wicked [in other people]” or “He that justifieth the wicked [in himself].” Either type of person would be an abomination to the Lord, in addition to those who condemn the just.
Evil can never be good.
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)
I know it’s not a new thing, I know some people have always called evil “good,” celebrated it, glorified it even; turned things upside down and called darkness “light” and light “darkness.” Somewhere, the adversary is always trying to make evil sound new, trendy, and open-minded and good sound old, dated, and close-minded.
Because wickedness never was happiness.
Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness. (Alma 41:10)
The darkness that comes to the soul when we are in the midst of sin can blind us to our present unhappiness and we think we are having “fun.” But it isn’t the same as the joy and peace that comes with living according to the gospel principles, not even close.
Because the wrong direction will never lead to the right destination.
In her talk, Sister Craven said that in the vision of the tree of life, the river of water (which represents the filth of the world) passed near the tree of life but did not, like the iron rod (which represents the word of God) lead directly to it. (1 Nephi 8)
Lehi’s Dream, by Jerry Thompson (62620); GAB 69; Primary manual 4-12