Today, it can seem like the most simple truths are complicated and obscured by the philosophies and ideologies of the world. There are many beguiling voices swirling around us that corrupt truth (2 Cor. 11:3).
Paul was concerned about the early Saints and feared that they, too, could be beguiled just as “the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty” (2 Cor. 11:3). “Beguiled” is a fascinating word. It means to be “interesting, artful, agreeably or charmingly attractive or pleasing.” In today’s context, perhaps we might consider the ways in which, for example, Instagram posts and stories are “beguiling.” But are they all entirely truthful? Could these “interesting, artful, agreeably or charmingly attractive” posts be, in actuality, very carefully curated and crafted to fit a narrative?
It certainly can be confusing to know what is true, but Paul gives us the ultimate antidote for clarity in our day:
“The simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3).
There is simplicity in Christ. Simplicity in Christ’s doctrine.
There is simplicity in our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ’s doctrine of the family. President Dallin H. Oaks teaches us about these simple truths:
“The family is ordained of God.” … We affirm the Lord’s teachings that “gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose” and that “marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan.”
But how do we teach this to children and youth when other voices are causing them to have so much confusion? President Julie Beck gives an incredibly important answer:
“Parents, teachers, and leaders: Live and teach with so much clarity that what you teach will cut through all the noise youth are hearing and so that it will pierce their hearts and touch them. We are preparing our youth for the temple and for eternal families. Many threats are coming to them that can discourage them from forming an eternal family. Our role in this is to teach them so they don’t misunderstand. We must be very clear on key points of doctrine, which we find in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” This generation will be called upon to defend the doctrine of the family as never before. If they don’t know it, they can’t defend it.”
In a world where simple truths are often complicated and obscured, it is crucial for us to hold fast to the simplicity found in Christ’s doctrine. In doing so, we empower the rising generation to embrace these eternal truths and prepare themselves for the blessings of the temple and the promise of eternal families.
art: Vickie Wade