Have you ever just stopped and watched people in a skating rink? I find it fascinating and quite interesting. Almost without fail everyone is going the same direction. They are all facing the same way. Look at this picture how many people can you see that are looking away from the direction of the group. I only found 1 that was looking in a different direction from the group. This group think mentality shows a nearly unconscious and imperceptible mode of thinking in people in that we follow the crowd or what seems right at the time without conscious thought. We don’t think about it, it just happens. Are we even consciously aware of it? This video on you tube show’s this effect but in this case with elevator crowd http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPobACr9oL4
It’s interesting to note that we tend to follow the crowd in all that we do. We watch the same TV shows, read the same books, cheer for the same teams. Sure a few people stand out and go against the grain. Some people believe they are being different but in reality are actually just repeating the same things using different tools, different objects or saying different words that in reality send the same message.
This is the devils plan for us. He wants everyone to be the same. Everyone to do the same things. Say the same things. Think the same things. He wants us to just follow the crowd. In the pearl of great price from the book of Moses we read of the devils downfall in Moses chapter 4.
3 Wherefore, because that aSatan brebelled against me, and sought to destroy the cagency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should bedcast down;
Satan, also know as the devil, father of lies etc, plan for us was to make sure that we would have no agency. We would all do the same thing. Follow the same path. Never thinking for ourselves. We would be all subject to the devils will power never being free to choose for ourselves. We live in a very secular world where the masses of sheeple follow the same path. Embrace the same philosophy’s. Follow the same people. The same ideology. We are swept along a river of deceit and corruption believing we are actually free to make our own choices. If that is true why do so many people follow what is considered to be politically correct and those that don’t follow the crowd are shamed. Reviled against. Hated. Despised. ostracized. Torn down and degraded. vilified. To go against worldly wisdom often makes us victims of intolerance and hateful backlash. This is the plan of the devil. We would be forced to accept his will and have no free agency. The fact that these are often the reactions of the mob mentality to those who go against worldly wisdom is evidence of the free agency that we do have. The Devil would and is doing his best to implement his plan but because of mankind’s free agency he would use guilt, shaming and public pressure to convince us to go along with his will.
This article from the Hollywood reporter is an example of this. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/duck-dynastys-phil-robertson-indefinite-666808. Phil Robertson was effectively fired from his job on the duck dynasty show for expressing his personal beliefs in a interview with a magazine which has nothing to do with the show or the network which he was employed by. So because he expressed an opinion contrary to the devils plan which is the destruction the agency of man, he is being shamed, fired and publicly persecuted by his previous employer and all those that disagree with him all for expressing an opinion that is contrary to devilish wisdom.
Earlier in Moses chapter 4 we read Christs plan for us. verse 2 states “2 But, behold, my Beloved aSon, which was my Beloved and bChosen from the beginning, said unto me—cFather, thy dwill be done, and the eglory be thine forever.” Christ said that he would be our savior and would follow the fathers will. His will was to give us free agency. The ability to choose for ourselves what path we would take. How we would get there. The lord has said in D & C 101:78 “78 That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.” God’s plan was to allow us to choose for ourselves and we would be judged according to the choices we make in this life.
Of course with our agency comes responsibility. While we can choose to do or say anything we want, we have the agency to do so. We do not have the agency to choose the consequences of our actions. D & C 101:2 states “2 I, the Lord, have suffered the affliction to come upon them, wherewith they have been afflicted, in consequence of their transgressions;” We learn from this that while the lord will give us the agency to choose, we cannot escape the consequences of our choices. We will suffer or succeed and have joy based on the choices that we make in this life.
With this agency however comes an obligation to support the cause of truth. We have been warned in the scriptures of the serious consequences of using our agency for evil and sin. In Alma 50:32 we read “32 Now behold, the people who were in the land Bountiful, or rather Moroni, feared that they would hearken to the words of Morianton and unite with his people, and thus he would obtain possession of those parts of the land, which would lay a foundation for serious consequences among the people of Nephi, yea, which consequences would lead to the overthrow of their liberty.” This warning makes it clear that if we unite ourselves with evil or the “worldly” view of things we risk loosing our liberty and freedoms. Moroni feared for the people united with morianton and loosing there liberty as a consequence of uniting with evil and false ideology.
We need to Avoid the skating rink affect where ever possible in our lives. We must dare to stand out and speak for truth and righteousness wherever we are. We must dare to suffer worldly consequences for speaking out against evil and sin rather than embracing it because of worldly pressures. If we do this we will be blessed not just in this life but in the world to come. By standing up for truth and daring to go against worldly wisdom the consequences will be that of eternal salvation. We are blessed to have the truth of the gospel with us today and apostles and prophets that can guide and direct us in the truth. May we always choose the gospel truth.