On February 17, 1981 Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave a BYU devotional address called, The Three Pillars of Eternity. In it he expounds upon the doctrine of the three pillars, the creation, the fall and the atonement. He also beautifully connects three persons who are involved in all aspects of the three as Elohim, Michael, and Jehovah. These three are interconnected in a way that will ultimately “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” Leaving one part of the equation, or one of the three participants out, would thwart the plan of the Father. There is an additional one, we are taught of, who eternally will oppose the plan, although he has become an active participant through his opposition of it, for “he knows not the mind of God.”
According to the LDS Bible dictionary this slanderer, demon, adversary, and spoiler is the “enemy of righteousness and of those who seek to do the will of God.” “Latter-day revelation confirms the biblical teaching that the devil is a reality and that he does strive to lead men and women from the work of God. One of the major techniques of the devil is to cause human beings to think they are following God’s ways, when in reality they are deceived by the devil to follow other paths.”
I believe that one on the other paths that has been introduced to the world is that of Secular Humanism. Secular Humanism is a philosophy of man defined as “a way of thinking and living that aims to bring out the best in people so that all people can have the best in life. Secular humanists reject supernatural and authoritarian beliefs. They affirm that we must take responsibility for our own lives and the communities and world in which we live. Secular humanism emphasizes reason and scientific inquiry, individual freedom and responsibility, human values and compassion, and the need for tolerance and cooperation.”
Upon the surface the “fruit” of Secular Humanism looks, “good for food” and “becomes pleasant to the eyes” and comes from a “tree to be desired to make one wise” so that it might be easy enough to swallow, but the satisfaction given from partaking can only be temporal. This fruit has part of the ingredients for lasting sustenance missing and one will soon hunger again. The surface philosophies of tolerance, good will, and building a better world for our selves and our children are exactly what any “faithful” LDS member should desire. These are the truths that are mixed in with the errors, making the appearance desirable. But if we bite a little deeper we see the following teachings come to view about Secular Humanists:
They hold a world view which centers upon human concerns.
Secular humanists are generally nontheists.
They feel that many religious believers will no doubt share with us a belief in many secular humanist and democratic values, and we welcome their joining with us in the defense of these ideals.
Human beings are responsible for their own destinies.
They hold a conviction that dogmas, ideologies and traditions, whether religious, political or social, must be weighed and tested by each individual and not simply accepted on faith.
They advocate a commitment to the use of critical reason, factual evidence, and scientific methods of inquiry, rather than faith.
They have a primary concern with fulfillment, growth, and creativity for both the individual and humankind in general.
Secular humanists reject supernatural and authoritarian beliefs. They affirm that we must take responsibility for our own lives and the communities and world in which we live. Secular humanism emphasizes reason and scientific inquiry, individual freedom and responsibility, human values and compassion, and the need for tolerance and cooperation.
I believe that there is a vital ingredient missing in all these “visually appealing” ideals, and that is the presence of the Father. This way of thinking has also sought to usurp the place of the Son, requiring the honor for any achievement to be given solely to mankind. The story is the same and may sound familiar.
Moses 4:1 And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.
Again, the Father is left out of the equation, the desire for the elevated spot removes the Son from His place in the equation, and the “I” or “Me” mentality ascribes to the glory.
In the Garden Lucifer used “deductive reasoning” on Eve, suggesting for her to leave Father out of the whole decision regarding the partaking of the fruit. Eve then being taught the art of “deductive reasoning” from Lucifer used it on Adam. Adam acting on his own, in disobedience to the commands of the Father then partook of the fruit which facilitated the Fall.
The Atonement was the plan that the Father had in place “if they yielded to temptation” and the Son sustained that plan. The process of the Atonement has saved us from both spiritual deaths and physical death, placing us back in the Garden where we belong. We individually are now being offered the fruit. Will we partake?
Doctrine and Covenants 29:40 Wherefore, it came to pass that the devil tempted Adam, and he partook of the forbidden fruit and transgressed the commandment, wherein he became subject to the will of the devil, because he yielded unto temptation.
41 Wherefore, I, the Lord God, caused that he should be cast out from the Garden of Eden, from my presence, because of his transgression, wherein he became spiritually dead, which is the first death, even that same death which is the last death, which is spiritual, which shall be pronounced upon the wicked when I shall say: Depart, ye cursed.
42 But, behold, I say unto you that I, the Lord God, gave unto Adam and unto his seed, that they should not die as to the temporal death, until I, the Lord God, should send forth angels to declare unto them repentance and redemption, through faith on the name of mine Only Begotten Son.
43 And thus did I, the Lord God, appoint unto man the days of his probation—that by his natural death he might be raised in immortality unto eternal life, even as many as would believe;
I am thankful for our great leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who encourage us to remember the three pillars of eternity, and the three main players. All of the elements must be present to “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” If we choose to leave out any part of these three then we are simply choosing to oppose the plan the Father has for us and our eternal happiness. It is a scary thought to ponder that by opposing the plan we fall in to a crowd of individuals who made that same mistake before, and we know their fate.
“The Devil is miserable in his situation, and “stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness” (2 Ne. 9: 9). He tries to imitate the work of God by transforming himself nigh unto an angel of light (2 Cor. 11: 12-15; 2 Ne. 9: 9; D&C 128: 20). He is also a worker of miracles, by which he deceives many upon the earth (Rev. 13: 1-15). In fact, the scripture says he deceives the whole world (Rev. 12: 9). He can cite scripture to make his point seem plausible (Matt. 4: 1-11). All of this is his scheme to make man miserable like himself. Protection against the influence of the devil is found by obedience to the commandments and laws of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The message of all the prophets and apostles is that truth, righteousness, and peace shall in the end prevail over error, sin, and war; the faithful shall triumph over all their afflictions and enemies, and shall triumph over the devil. There shall be a complete and lasting victory of righteousness over wickedness on this earth, which will be done by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ.” LDS Bible Dictionary
For myself, I am waiting for Father to give me further instructions.