Without commandments, we tend to confuse good and evil | Worship

By Bishop Gordon Nishimoto | Sep 06, 2017

With so many challenges in the world, the separation between wrong and right seems to be blurring.

Drug and alcohol abuse; the loss of civil discourse; hatred and animosity; selfishness and depravity – it seems this is becoming the way things are, the new normal.

“What's in it for me?” This and other self-centered attitudes are commonly seen in the news and in popular culture. Social media and the information society we live in are dictating how people must view any given topic.

What is good and what is evil seems to be obscured by what is popular, or what is most loudly proclaimed on the internet. A non-biased view is virtually impossible to find when it comes to current news information.

Isaiah, a prophet of the Old Testament, saw our day and warned, “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)

The Apostle Paul also saw our day, saying: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” (2 Timothy. 3:1–5)

It seems that many have forgotten that one of the main purposes of life is to come to this earth to be tested. They forget that there are commandments that if followed will bring happiness, freedom and peace.

In 1956, the American filmmaker Cecil B. Demille created the landmark film, “The Ten Commandments.” He said, “Our modern world defined God as a ‘religious complex’ and laughed at the Ten Commandments as old fashioned. Then, through the laughter came the shattering thunder of the World War. And now a blood-drenched, bitter world – no longer laughing – cries for a way out.

“There is but one way out. It existed before it was engraved upon Tablets of Stone. It will exist when stone has crumbled. The Ten Commandments are not rules to obey as a personal favor to God. They are the fundamental principles without which mankind cannot live together. They are not laws; they are the law.”

In 2017, do we still consider the Ten Commandments old fashioned?

Perhaps we should consider this life a homeward journey. The commandments are like guideposts and road signs that will lead us safely back to our Heavenly home.

Neil L. Andersen, a modern day apostle, recently stated: “The choices in life are not between prosperity and poverty, or between fame and anonymity, but between good and evil. We are here to learn about faith and obedience – to prove ourselves worthy to receive eternal life. We are here to learn how to live with faith.”

But, how do we know the difference between good and evil, and right and wrong?

An ancient prophet named Mormon stated: “Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually…

“But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, everything which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.” (Book of Mormon, Moroni 7:12,13)

As an interesting family activity, would you please consider asking yourself and/or your children to list all of the Ten Commandments. It might surprise you how many of them we have forgotten or don’t consider relevant any more.

The list, according to the Bible, goes like this: Thou shalt have no other Gods before me; thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image; thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy; honour thy father and thy mother; thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour; thou shalt not covet.

Lastly, may we consider the words of Mr. Demille: “We cannot break the Ten Commandments. We can only break ourselves against them – or else, by keeping them, rise through them to the fullness of freedom under God. God means us to be free. With divine daring, he gave us the power of choice.”


Bishop Gordon Nishimoto is a leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Mukilteo. The Mormon church is at 11001 Harbour Point Blvd. For more information, go to www.lds.org.

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