40 Talks in 40 Days – The Lord is my Light, Quentin L. Cook

The Lord Is My Light

Our ability to stand firm and true and follow the Savior despite the vicissitudes of life is greatly strengthened by righteous families and Christ-centered unity in our wards and branches.

Especially if those changes of fortune (What a vicissitude is) come from the CPA of your hospital giving all the money to a private shell corporation so that your level of care is greatly diminished, eh?

The clamor that reverberates across the earth because of worldly wickedness creates feelings of vulnerability.

“Worldly Wickedness” is such an interesting choice of words.  Is there such a thing as “Heavenly Wickedness”?  I think most people would answer “of course not”, so then we can look at the Mountain Meadows Massacre, or Joseph Smith removing consent from relationships with women around him and quickly call that “worldly wickedness”, as murder of innocents and non-consensual relationships cannot be called anything but wickedness.  “Worldly Wickedness” is meant to claim everything done that is bad outside the church while at the same time implying everything inside the church is just fine.

With modern communication the impact of iniquity, inequality, and injustice leaves many feeling that life is inherently unfair.

Another fascinating line, as without modern communication I’m pretty sure that Hobbes still wrote that life was “nasty, brutish and short”.  I think he means that modern news outlets paint the world bleaker than it actually is, but that’s not what he said.


As significant as these trials can be, they must not distract us from rejoicing in and celebrating Christ’s supernal intercession in our behalf.

Eat, drink and be merry; for tomorrow, when we die it’ll be just fine because God.

Seriously though, this is a pretty good Easter talk for any Christian faith.  It is filled with hope, it focuses on Christ, it gives a nod to his wife and finding hope in unexpected and dreary places.  He seamlessly flows into a sweet story about family and faith.  His Jab at Ordain Women was so subtle it could be easily overlooked or missed

Husbands and wives are equal partners.13 They have different but complementary responsibilities. The wife may bear children, which blesses the entire family. The husband may receive the priesthood, which blesses the entire family. But in family council, wives and husbands, as equal partners, make the most important decisions.

He cites the handbook a number of times as though it were doctrine, moving Christ and Family to be all about the church:

“The Church provides the organization and means for teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to all of God’s children. It provides the priesthood authority to administer the ordinances of salvation and exaltation to all who are worthy and willing to accept them.”15

An interesting move from a doctrinal standpoint, but he stays well in safe zones of what the handbook says without touching controversial points.

In the world there is rampant contention and iniquity and a major emphasis on divergent cultures and inequality. In the Church, except for language units, our wards and branches are geographical. We don’t divide by class or rank.16 …Cultures often divide people and are sometimes a source of violence and discrimination.17

This is a fascinating statement, it makes it sound like culture is separate from church; and that the LDS church surpasses class and division.  The errors in the world come from people having “culture”, a statement I’ve never heard expressed that way before.  It ignores those who are “cultural mormons” and I would argue removes the often used excuse “The Church is true, the people are flawed” as here the people in the church are held up as classless, non-divided entities of perfect harmony.  One need only visit any ward or branch in the world and become friends with a relief society president to know this is not true.

But it also ignores a selection bias or two.  Missionaries almost always have success among the middle class in whatever country they are in.  The message itself speaks primarily to family-oriented individuals who have enough discretionary income to give 10% to the organization.  The anti-abortion and sexual fidelity stances of the church appeal to a more morally conservative group.  One of the reasons there are not more divisions of culture in the church is that it weeds out other cultures.

Further, the church just excommunicated a set of people who held a different culture.  You can’t honestly say there are no divisions in the church, if you just divided groups of people who don’t think like you.  That is the very definition of “division”.  And it was “in the church” until those people were thrown out.


Without the context of the contemporary events this talk is a decent Easter talk taking Christ’s sacrifice and using it to bolster family and church-first focus.  But with context, it becomes clear that this is a manipulation of telling anyone who believed that John Dehlin, Kate Kelly, Rock Waterman, or Denver Snuffer had a point, that they are in danger of losing family and ultimately rejecting Christ if they don’t comply.  It eliminates differences of opinion and sets any kind of individual thought as a “worldy culture” and equates worldliness with wickedness; while ignoring church-led crimes.  It is a 1984-style talk to bring compliance out of the membership and crush individuals who think differently.

And that’s a pretty awful way to use Easter celebration.

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Last edited by Mithryn on September 21, 2015 at 3:28 pm

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