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Intellect

#BYUDevo: Professor Kerry Muhlestein on worshiping the world

It only takes three easy steps to learn how two water ski: keep your arms straight, knees bent and skis together.

Even with such simple steps, most first-time skiers still crash into the water on their first run.

"Just as the boat pulls people up, most of them pull on the rope and push with their legs. Instead of being helpful, both of these actions tend to make you immediately fall," said Kerry Muhlestein, BYU professor of ancient scripture at the Devotional on Tuesday.  

As soon as the water-skiers forget about using their own strength to get up, and rely solely on the power of the boat to get them up, they will succeed.

Just as the water skiers fail if they rely on something other than the boat to get them up, Latter-day Saints can also fail by depending on something other than the Savior, Muhlestein said.

One of these temptations is succumbing to the world's views, continually seeking to fit in, and to think like everyone else does.

"We drink so heavily from the well of the world's influence that it can become a part of the fabric of who we are without us knowing it," Muhlestein said.

The world continually tells people who to believe in, how to focus time and what succeeding really means. As worldly aspirations sneak into our head without being acknowledged, Muhlestein said, people act and do according to the ideals of the world instead of the ideals of God.

"To the degree that we accept the world's way of setting values and priorities we will lose out on the ability to find contentment and satisfaction in doing things of God for Godly reasons," Muhlestein said.

Trying to worship both God and the ideas of the world, will surely result in failure. Muhlestein shared five tips to avoid being torn between the opinions of the world and the direction of God:

  1. Determine that you want to follow God's way of thinking more than the world's way.
  2. Ask yourself what worldly-influenced ideas you are clinging to, and then do everything you can to eradicate those ideas from your system.  
  3. Seek the help of God to see things as He would have you see them.
  4. Maintain a holy perspective rather than give into ever-encroaching ideas of the world.
  5. Remember what the Spirit feels like if drowning in the world's temptation.

"Our idolatry will have robbed us, and our spiritual progress will be stunted in comparison to what it could be, all because we are limping along following both God's and the world's ideas," Muhlestein said.  
Next Week's Forum

The next BYU Form address will be held on Tuesday, May 19, at 11:05 a.m., in the de Jong Concert Hall of the Harris Fine Arts Center. 

David Magleby, BYU professor of political science will deliver the Maeser Distinguished Faculty Lecture Forum. The Maeser Distinguished Faculty award is the highest honor given to faculty at BYU.

Contemporary American politics celebrates independence and punishes those who compromise.  In his forum address, in his Forum address Magleby will argue that partisans are more praiseworthy and compromise is necessary to a functioning democracy.

Magleby's remarks will be broadcast live on BYUtv, BYUtv.org, KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYU Radio.

Writer: Jenna Randle

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