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Religious Education Student Symposium: Light is eternal

Only a clear view of light and truth

There is no gray area to be discerned by wisdom, only a clear view of light and truth contrasted with everything else, first-year law student Timothy West argued in his paper presented at the BYU Religious Education Student Symposium.

Timothy West, a first year law student from Alaska, delivers his paper on "Wisdom: Good vs. Everything Else."
Timothy West, a first year law student from Alaska, delivers his paper on "Wisdom: Good vs. Everything Else." Photo: Photo by R. Scott Lloyd

Drawing upon Book of Mormon scripture such as Moroni 7:15, he observed that "traditional moral beliefs are often decried by the world because they do not give place for immoral behavior."

He added, "Political and moral commentators often name supposedly complex issues as 'gray,' thereby softening the impression of bad. Eventually the bad that is called gray becomes not bad; not bad is implicitly good, though the rationalizer might not directly claim that. And thus Satan carefully leads down to hell those who would justify evil."

Brother West said wisdom is "to recognize and discern good and bad, not create them by discourse and reasoning."

"There is a preexisting apportionment of good and bad, light and dark, in every case before a judge; in every trouble presented to a parent; in every moral dilemma faced in the workplace. Light — or truth— is eternal, as are God's laws, unlike the laws made by man which are often subject to change and modification to follow the growth or shift in popular opinion. The wisdom that God would have us seek is that of discernment and identifying eternal truth and then acting upon it."

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