Friday, October 18, 2013

Wanting to be anonymous is a sign of danger

"In our day, when being anonymous is easier than ever, there are important principles involved in not wearing a mask and in being 'true to the faith … for which martyrs have perished.'

"One of your greatest protections against making bad choices is not to put on any mask of anonymity. If you ever find yourself wanting to do so, please know it is a serious sign of danger and one of the adversary’s tools to get you to do something you should not do.

"It is common today to hide one’s identity when writing hateful, vitriolic, bigoted communications anonymously online. Some refer to it as flaming.

"The Apostle Paul wrote:

"'Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

"'Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God' (1 Corinthians 15:33–34).

"It is clear that evil communications are not just a matter of bad manners. If practiced by Latter-day Saints, they can adversely affect those who do not have knowledge of God or a testimony of the Savior.

"Any use of the Internet to bully, destroy a reputation, or place a person in a bad light is reprehensible. What we are seeing in society is that when people wear the mask of anonymity, they are more likely to engage in this kind of conduct, which is so destructive of civil discourse. It also violates the basic principles the Savior taught.

"The Savior explained that He had not come to condemn the world but to save the world. He then described what condemnation means:

"'And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

"'For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

"'But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God' (John 3:19–21; see also verses 17–18).

"The righteous need not wear masks to hide their identity."

- Elder Quentin L. Cook, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "Act Well Your Part," Ensign, Oct 2013, p. 26

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