In the same way, when applied to the life of the mind, the Christian insight identifies purity with the union of mind and truth, not with a mind too full of fear of commitment to have contact with any truth at all. But as Chesterton observes, the point of an open mind, like an open mouth, is to bite down on something solid. That means that the exercise of reason ultimately depends on an act of faith. Indeed, the very possibility of any mental act going forward rests, ultimately, on an unprovable article of faith: the faith that our acts of intellect will actually correspond to the structure of the world.
All the sciences rest on this faith.
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We believe that we may understand. And in believing, we discover again that purity of intellect, like purity of body, results in fruitfulness, not sterility. One of the principal effects of purity and impurity is that it determines not only what we see, but the way we see it. This does not mean that the pure of heart are Pollyannas who wander through life blind to the evil in people around them and whistling happy tunes to their adorable forest friends like Snow White. They are even capable of seeing the good that still remains in lives corrupted by sin.
In contrast, the impure cannot see even the good that is there and his cynicism drives him to name even white as black. Dominated by pride and therefore closed to grace, the enemies of Jesus had only one way of dealing with impurity, whether ritual or moral: quarantine. But Jesus proposed a new way.
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You can see it in the signs he works in Matthew This is no grab bag of miracle tales thrown together at random by the Evangelist. A common thread connects them all. Now Matthew is going to show us the power of that law and the One who gives it. So, in a series of encounters, Jesus is shown meeting a leper, a gentile Centurion, demoniacs, the vile and despised tax collector Matthew, a bleeding woman and a dead girl.
What do they all have in common?
The fact that contact with them, according to the Pharisees, made you impure. But instead, Jesus remains pure and they are rendered, in various ways, clean and whole. For the same reason, Jesus had power to mix and mingle with tax collectors and whores and it was they, not he, who changed. He offers us this power as well by his Holy Spirit. Jesus gets at this need for a change in the heart—in the way we see as well as in what we see—when he tells us:. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness.
If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! Matthew We are born looking for something. But the surest proof this is not true is given us, not by those who never find these things, but by those who do. It is Ecclesiastes, who wins the lottery, not Job, who suffers in this world, who comes as close as any biblical author ever does to ice-cold despair and weeps over the vanity of the world.
Some people who achieve their earthly goals find they are miserable and blame the thing they sought. These despair and often die by their own hand.
Give to Where Most Needed
Others foolishly decide that if money or sex or food did not satisfy them, then more money or sex or food will. Meanwhile, those who are wise realize that whatever was good in what they achieved failed to satisfy, not because it was bad, nor because it was theirs in insufficient quantity, but because it merely reminded them of what they really wanted. These last, being wise, set about looking what they really want.
And they find, in the end, that what they want is to see the face of God. Like any trap, it is easy to enter but difficult to escape. Some rationalize that they can casually view pornography without suffering its adverse effects. Along with losing the Spirit, pornography users also lose perspective and proportion. Like King David, they try to conceal their sin, forgetting that nothing is hidden from the Lord see 2 Nephi Real consequences start to accumulate as self-respect ebbs away, sweet relationships sour, marriages wither, and innocent victims begin to pile up.
Finding that what they have been viewing no longer satisfies, they experiment with more extreme images. As popular culture across the world degenerates, sleaze increasingly saturates the media, entertainment, advertising, and the Internet. A movie or television show may be well known and well liked by millions of viewers and nevertheless portray images and conduct that are pornographic. The promises of the gospel are uplifting and ennobling, even exalting.
We receive those promises by covenants which are conditioned on our living lives of purity and morality. When we live right and seek to purify our hearts, we draw closer to God and the Spirit. Thus, the Apostle John wrote:.
If you are already caught in the pornography trap, now is the time to free yourself with the help of the Savior. There is a way out, but you will need His help to escape. Your complete recovery will depend upon your complete repentance. Go to your bishop immediately. Seek his inspired guidance. He will help you put in place a plan of repentance that will restore your self-esteem and bring the Spirit back into your life. The healing power of the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ reaches all afflictions, even this one.
If you will turn to the Savior with all of your heart and follow the counsel of your bishop, you will find the healing you need. The Savior will help you find the strength to resist temptation and the power to overcome addiction. As Moroni taught:. I testify of the redeeming love of the Savior and of the purifying power of His Atonement in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.