What I’m listening to

The-Lessons-of-HistoryI really missed listening to books, so I resubscribed at a special price to be able to use Audible again. Listening to books is a great way for me to keep reading when I don’t always have time to sit down and read. I listen when I work, exercise, or try to get back to sleep–when it’s too early for me to get up. (I can often fall asleep before the 15-minute sleep timer is up–I LOVE that!)

Today, as I turned on this book, The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant, I heard a part that is worth sharing. It reminds me of why the recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage will have such a negative impact on society. One of the consequences of legalizing same-gender marriage is that it will appear to justify immorality, and I believe the people who will suffer the most will be our children and youth. It is a lie to say that doing wrong is or will feel right, particularly when it comes to how we use or abuse their powers of procreation and physical intimacy. There is so much joy and enjoyment to be had in using those gifts as God intended, and so much sorrow when we abuse them. You don’t even need a social science study or history lesson to teach you that (although you can find them if you look). If you have ever been connected to anyone who has abused their gift, you know that it hurts.

Will and Ariel Durant devoted their lives to the study of history and civilization (or lack thereof). They wrote volumes about it. This book summarizes their studies. I want to read it when I am done listening to it to get the most out of it. Here is what they wrote that I heard this morning:

No man, however brilliant or well-informed, can come in one lifetime to such fullness of understanding as to safely judge and dismiss the customs or institutions of his society, for these are the wisdom of generations after centuries of experiment in the laboratory of history. A youth boiling with hormones will wonder why he should not give full freedom to his sexual desires; and if he is unchecked by custom, morals, or laws, he may ruin his life before he matures sufficiently to understand that sex is a river of fire that must be banked and cooled by a hundred restraints if it is not to consume in chaos both the individual and the group. (12:08, Chapter 2, Audible edition)

(Note: This book is available at the OPL. Also, I knew I had heard this quote before. I searched and found it in Elder Holland’s talk, “Personal Purity.”)

In that same stream of thought, here is a video that my daughter posted on Facebook recently:

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