I wanted to give you a little food for thought today. I was reading about Amlici in Alma 2 and came across this note in verse 4: “for it was his intent to destroy the church of God.” On the surface, Amlici wanted to be king and was willing to do anything to overturn the new system of government to get what we wanted. But with the piercing insight common to prophets, Alma pinpoints (or Mormon summarizes from Alma’s writings) that Amlici’s secret objective was to destroy the Church.
I couldn’t help but reflect on our modern society. There are a lot of forces at work in our society today that I don’t think come from God. Though these “forces” may not realize it nor acknowledge it, their end result is to bring people into bondage and destroy God’s work. Bondage takes many forms but its core effect is to limit our agency. Agency is a precious gift from God, one that is essential to our salvation because we have to choose salvation and work for it to actually achieve it. Satan wants to limit our agency in any way possible to prevent us from qualifying for and achieving eternal life.
I’ve been giving more thought lately to these societal forces and examining what effect they have on me. Some of these forces are universally acknowledged to have a terrible effect on people (like drugs), and some have varying effects on people. For me, I have noticed that media (all forms) impact me deeply. I have to regulate myself and be extremely picky about what I watch, listen to, and read. Two years ago I eliminated all live television programming from my life. I was in bondage to the television schedule. My viewing habits impacted how I treated my children and they ate up time I wanted to spend on church and personal projects. Not to mention how I obsessed over the content for days and my thoughts became absorbed by my media consumption.
I invite you examine the “hidden” forces in your life that are limiting your agency, prayerfully consider what you can do to free yourself, and take action. No matter how scary those changes may seem at the outset, you will be so much happier once you eliminate those influences from your life and free yourself.