The Book of Helaman

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(This is an excerpt from the chapter "The Book of Helaman" in the book Verse by Verse: The Book of Mormon, volume 2.)

It is a frightening prospect that those who choose evil will be more numerous than they who choose good. Are we there yet? Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin offered the following example of how the deterioration of a society’s standards can be measured:

“Mr. Frank Stanton, CBS president emeritus, told a Brigham Young University audience that network television standards will continue to decline because they are based on society’s standards. He said, ‘Standards come from the audience . . . ; the audience determines the programming and program content.’ Further, he said, ‘I believe there will be more infractions with respect to [immorality] and violence and it will get a lot worse before it gets better because of the changing standards of our society.’ (The Daily Universe, 2 Feb. 1989, p. 1.)

“What a sad commentary on our society! Again we can learn a great principle from the Book of Mormon. When King Mosiah proposed that judges should rule instead of kings, he said:

“‘ . . . if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you.’ (Mosiah 29:26–27.) That time of iniquity came about sixty years later and at several other times. In the book of Helaman we read that ‘they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good.’ (Hel. 5:2.) If television viewing choices serve as a valid measure of our society, they who choose evil surely are more numerous than they who choose good.”

We maintain high moral standards regardless of what the world does. President Thomas S. Monson counseled: “Don’t be afraid to walk out of a movie, turn off a television set, or change a radio station if what’s being presented does not meet your Heavenly Father’s standards. In short, if you have any question about whether a particular movie, book, or other form of entertainment is appropriate, don’t see it, don’t read it, don’t participate.”

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