This week in Church history

50 years ago

People are influenced by their animal appetites, but must control passions in order to overcome evil, President David O. McKay said during the closing session of the MIA conference June 12, 1955.

According to the June 18, 1955, Church News, President McKay said, "Resistance of indulgence in appetite strengthens character. I believe that the Lord had that in mind and realized it — of course He did — when He said: 'I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that shouldest keep them from the evil.' Give them strength to resist! That is one of the purposes of our being here on earth. Not that we should be taken away from it, be protected and shielded, put in a glass cage, so that no influence can possibly lead us astray, but that we should exercise that God-like gift of strength which will lead us to approach the high character and strength and beauty and courage of the Lord, our Savior, the one Perfect Man who ever walked the earth — the one Perfect Gentleman."

Continuing, President McKay said, "One of the most effective forces in the world to lift the human soul from the animal level is love. God has implanted it in our souls. It is the divinest attribute of the human soul, but it is in that realm in this world where the evil one would lead us to prostitute it, to gratify passion, instead of lifting up towards God, who in His love has given us the privilege of exercising that in purity, nobility, chivalry on the part of the young man, beauty on the part of the young woman."

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