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'No adequate substitute for virtue'

The story of Joseph resisting the advances of Potiphar's wife stands as an example through the ages of moral integrity and purity. In 1964, while a member of the Council of the Twelve, Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, now first counselor in the First Presidency, said in his October general conference address:

"One of our great national magazines stated the following: `We are witnessing the death of the old morality. The established moral guidelines have been yanked from our hands. . . . We are left floundering in a money-motivated, sex-obsessed, big-city dominated society. We must figure out for ourselves how to apply the traditional moral principles to the problems of our times. Many find this burden too heavy.' (Look Magazine, September, 1963, p. 74.)"Heavy though it be, there is a way to apply traditional moral principles in our day. For some unknown reason there is constantly appearing the false rationalization that at one time in the long-ago, virtue was easy and that now it is difficult. I would like to remind you that there has never been a time since the creation when the same forces were not at work which are at work today. The proposal made by Potiphar's wife to Joseph in Egypt is not essentially different from that faced by many a young man and woman in our day.

"The influences today may be more apparent and more seductive, but they are no more compelling. You cannot be shielded entirely from these influences. They are all about us. Our culture is saturated with them. But the same kind of self-discipline exercised by Joseph will yield the same beneficial result. Notwithstanding the so-called `new morality,' notwithstanding the much-discussed changes in our moral standard, there is no adequate substitute for virtue. The old standard is challenged on every campus in America as it is in Europe. But God has not abrogated His commandments."

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