I couldn’t believe my ears (again). Joe served an LDS mission, married in the temple, been in the bishopric, raised a good family…. Now he was on his way to prison for molesting the 6 year old neighbor. As we sat in jail he explained his behavior by saying – “The laws are too strict anyway. It’s not fair…. I asked the child if it was okay and he said it was … All I did was … I don’t think it was that wrong. I certainly don’t deserve prison… The laws are just wrong…” He went on and on.
Joe has a conscience.
His “inner voice” tells him pedophilia is “good” and the law is “bad.”
Joe’s “conscience” has changed …after a couple of years of viewing porn, being involved in private Internet sex chatrooms, using share ware, becoming less active in his church, etc etc – It just happens. (See: The Safest Road to Hell)
For most of Joe’s life, his conscience has been influenced by the Light of Christ and the Holy Ghost and resulted in Christ-like behavior. In recent years as he became less active in spiritual activities his conscience became influenced by the culture of particular group of pedophiles and the social media. His beliefs and attitudes had changed his perception of rightness and wrongness. His conscience has been distorted.
LIGHT OF CHRIST: INITIALLY IS A GIFT TO ALL
The inner sense of right and wrong, coming from the Light of Christ is in all men (Moro. 7:16). We are born with a natural capacity to distinguish between right and wrong because of the Light of Christ that is given to every person (D & C 84:45-48). This faculty is called conscience. The possession of it makes us responsible beings. (The Guide to the Scriptures: Conscience, LDS.org)
When the “conscience” is influenced by the Light of Christ or the Holy Ghost it automatically gives us the knowledge of right from wrong using God’s laws as the standard. Through neglect of our spiritual growth that “standard” can change. In time anyone of us can transform our conscience to “call evil good and good evil“ (Isaiah 5:20) and truly believe it!-like Joe. To call good evil we must distort the conscience.
LIGHT OF CHRIST: STRENGTHENS WITH EXERCISE
Each conscience is initially influenced by the Light of Christ. It is pure and clean at birth. If nurtured, the Light of Christ will strengthen with God’s laws as the standard. For those who our baptized and confirmed they receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and the conscience is transformed into a very powerful resource.
The Holy Ghost “witnesses of the Father and the Son” (2 Nephi 31:18) and reveals and teaches “the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:5). We can receive a sure testimony of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ only by the power of the Holy Ghost. His communication to our spirit carries far more certainty than any communication we can receive through our natural senses. As we strive to stay on the path that leads to eternal life, the Holy Ghost can guide us in our decisions and protect us from physical and spiritual danger. (Holy Ghost, LDS.org)
Our conscience becomes super powered with the Holy Ghost. When this happens you can be safe in letting “your conscience be your guide.“ It will be an excellent final authority for moral behavior.
CONSCIENCE CAN BE SEARED or DEFILED
WHEN LIGHT OF CHRIST OR HOLY GHOST
Each of us train our conscience by what we allow to influence it. The conscience can be eroded and deceive you.
Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. (Titus 1:15)
You can grow custom to evil. Your “heart can harden“. You can die the “Second Death/Spiritual Death.” Your conscience can learn to approve corruption and evil. God’s laws do not change. However, the “conscience” can and does.
Like Joe. 🙁
The Light of Christ prompts all rational individuals (conscience) throughout the earth to distinguish truth from error, right from wrong. It activates your conscience. Its influence can be weakened through transgression and addiction and restored through proper repentance. … It is a power and influence that comes from God and when followed can lead a person to qualify for the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Ghost. (Peace of Conscience and Peace of Mind, Richard G. Scott, Ensign, April 2004)
I have learned after thousands of interviews with “lost sheep” that a “conscience” can adopt false beliefs (thinking they are true) and justify their wrong behavior.
CHALLENGE: HOW IS YOUR CONSCIENCE DOING?
One can measure the conscience on a continuum of having “good—evil” as the “standard.”
Let’s try one of God’s Truths and listen to your conscience.
Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose….The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan….We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society... (The Family: A Proclamation To The World)
Is your “conscience” whispering-This I believe 100%. –You are on the mark.
Is your “conscience” whispering-I’m not so sure if I believe this because….gay marriage… —
Well, you are off the mark.
If you are off the mark you need to decide if that matters to you or not.
The same procedure can be used for any of God’s truth.
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