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Recently I went with my family to get ice cream.
This ice cream shop is famous throughout the region. People will stand in line for up to thirty minutes waiting to choose from many dozens of flavors. The serving sizes are enormous. And of course, the pay-off is exactly what people expect, a creamy, flavorful, sweet sugar rush with every bite.
Of course, ice cream is not the way to find lasting health and happiness. Ice cream is counterfeit food. The immediate, superficial sensation of ice cream makes us feel momentarily good. But anyone living off ice cream will surely wreck their body.
As I read about Korihor’s false doctrine, I thought about that ice cream. Both please the carnal mind. Both are appealing. Both are popular. Both are easy, at a superficial level. Both sell us on the false idea that there is no need to do the hard work of preserving our health. Both lead us away into carnal security. Both ultimately fail to deliver on the most important promise—enduring goodness and strength.
Even Korihor acknowledged this:
“And I have taught [the devil’s] words; and I taught them because they were pleasing unto the carnal mind; and I taught them, even until I had much success, insomuch that I verily believed that they were true; and for this cause I withstood the truth, even until I have brought this great curse upon me.” (Alma 30:53)
What Did Korihor Teach?
No past wisdom.
No life after this one.
(My thanks to my friend Tyler Griffin for sharing this list with me.)
How Do We Avoid Modern Day Korihors?
The doctrine of Christ shows the way. There is none other way than Jesus Christ to find enduring peace and joy. That doctrine is sweet, pure, and simple.
Accept Jesus Christ.
Show faith by repenting.
Show repentance by being baptized or meaningfully partaking of the sacrament.
Receive the Holy Ghost. And be strengthened to endure to the end through the Holy Ghost and the atonement of Jesus Christ.
The world is full of doctrines that are carnally pleasing and popular. There are a multitude of worldly doctrines that promise us a life of ease and comfort with nearly no effort on our part.
The world invites us to believe that we are owed rights and privileges while requiring nothing from us in return. The world falsely preaches that we have no responsibility to ourselves, family, society, or God.
Just like Korihor, the world still sells for money the idea that “every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; and whatsoever a man did was no crime.” (Alma 30:17)
Where there is no responsibility, there is no crime. Where there is no crime, there is no need for Jesus, or so goes the false teaching of Korihors ancient and modern.
We don’t have to look hard to find ideas that promise us the world but are ultimately vain and empty.
Just like the popular ice cream shop that promises a quick and easy moment of pleasure without any real effort, a pleasure that does not endure and that if continuously pursued will lead to ruin, so too are the doctrines of Korihor.
We must avoid the carnally pleasing false promise that we can find enduring happiness without effort, without sacrifice, and without Jesus.
Only in and through Jesus can we find the lasting health of our spirits preserved for today and always.