Two False God's: Pleasure and Security

Called Unto Liberty, Albert E. Bowen, 20th Century Sermons

Today, however, men are not building for durability either in their structures, their lives, their religious faiths, or their institutions. The result is a troubled world. Everywhere is anxiety and the dread arising from uncertainty which halts or stays all the normal processes of life. It all arises out of one cause—lack of fidelity to right principles—principles which are known and are not mysteriously hidden. Men have failed in allegiance to their religious principles and nations have not been true to their political principles. The two infidelities go together. When there is a breakdown of religious constancy, there inescapably follows deterioration in the political morality. Both have the same root cause, namely, the breaking away from or the compromising of sound principles. It amounts to a running away from reality and giving way to the urge for avoiding the hard and rigorous disciplines incident to meeting the issues of life, trying to reach goals without traveling the thorny road that lead to them.

We want to avoid all the disagreeable things. We are trying to live under a pleasure economy in a pleasure world. So we live, really, in nothing: for no God, for no piety towards the past, for no pride of race or personality. Once we lived for freedom, pledging “our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.” The very expression implies sacrifice and suffering, discipline of the soul to meet reality. Now we want to be spared suffering of any kind—physical, emotional, or mental. We seek security, a six-hour day, a car, and a pension. But all the time life eludes us, peace of mind eludes us, and we have dissatisfaction, turmoil, uncertainty, and dread.

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Source: Albert E. Bowen. General Conference Report October 1948, p. 87. Albert E. Bowen (1875–1953) was a mem­ber of the Quo­rum of the Twelve Apos­tles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Prior to his call to full time church ser­vice Albert Ernest Bowen taught at Brigham Young Col­lege, then grad­u­ated with hon­ors from Uni­ver­sity of Chicago law school, prac­ticed law in Logan, Utah, and later Salt Lake City, where he also became involved in many impor­tant busi­ness ven­tures such as the Utah Con­struc­tion Com­pany, the Amer­i­can Sav­ings and Loan Asso­ci­a­tion, and the Utah Fuel Company.

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