When we act badly, we sometimes think we are bad. But more often than not, the root of our bad actions is misunderstanding. By increasing our knowledge, we increase our ability to do and be better.
Many people at the time of Christ thought the Messiah would save them from the Romans or other temporal challenges they faced. However, they did not understand he would save them spiritually, and this misunderstanding led them to miss the truth, even when it was right in front of them. They believed in a Messiah, but they didn’t follow Christ, and many even persecuted him just because they let their previous beliefs, which didn’t include the full picture, guide their actions. They were wrong to do what they did, and an understanding of the truth would have changed their lives.
In the BYU devotional “Stand Forever,” Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge talks about the difference truth makes in our lives. He says, for example, that people who view pornography may believe it is wrong but do it anyway because they think that it will make them happier, that they can’t help it, that it doesn’t hurt anyone, or that it isn’t a big deal. But the truth is that pornography is always wrong, and understanding that truth can help someone overcome their addiction.
Our intentions may not be to do bad, but when we are complacent and don’t put in the work for truth—for revelation—we may find ourselves doing bad things without understanding why they’re bad. Elder Corbridge explains, “The challenge is not so much closing the gap between our actions and our beliefs; rather, the challenge is closing the gap between our beliefs and the truth. That is the challenge.”
When we complete this challenge—when we seek truth on important matters—we can avoid being deceived. We can understand why something is wrong, and we can find greater strength to resist temptation.
Find out more about how we can close the gap between our beliefs and the truth by reading or watching Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge’s BYU devotional “Stand Forever.”
Source: BYU Speeches
FEATURE IMAGE BY RAMDLON
—Stacey Clark, Latter-day Saint Insights
Find more insights
Read more about what to do when you’re struggling to find truth by reading the Latter-day Saint Insights article “Four Questions to Ask When Doubt Persists” by Mikaela Wilkins.
To learn how to better recognize and avoid deception, take a look at the Ensign article “When Evil Appears Good and Good Appears Evil” by Elder Quentin L. Cook.