For our home evening last night, we brought up pinterest. In conjunction with that, I went over some of the verses of Alma 32. One of them was:
Alma 32:28 Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves – It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious t o me.
We spoke about planting the seed of following Christ through faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. I read the verses where Joshua stopped the sun and the moon in the sky and pointed out that is an example of something that seed could grow up into.
And that is where pinterest was useful. We looked up “inspirational quotes” and “positive quotes” and “motivational quotes”. Then we would consider, one at a time, what you would get if instead of planting following-Christ-through-faith-repentance-baptism-and-the-gift-of-the-Holy-Ghost, you instead planted one of those pinterest quotes in your heart. After all, there are plenty of people who do exactly that. We talked about what different quotes could grow and develop into. Could they grow into something much more powerful and potent and alive than what they started as? Of course, no matter how good they sounded, none of them could grow into something much.
One example was the teaching “Be a pineapple: stand tall, wear a crown, and be sweet on the inside”. If we planted that in our hearts would it begin to swell and prove to be a living principle that could enlarge our soul and enlighten our understanding? Of course, the answer is no. It has no real power to it. It isn’t even just “religion minus God” like a lot of those quotes are.
I intentionally discussed one which had several gospel sounding traits: “Be humble, work hard, be kind”. What if we planted that? I told the kids that it could grow only a little, but then it must stop. It has not the power of following Christ through faith, repentance, baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. It cannot really grow into something much more powerful than what it started as, even though it sounds like gospel stuff. A few gospel attributes without the defining aspects of the gospel has not the power or life.
We also took fluffy doctrines from pinterest and compared them to scripture. We took “You are braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think” and compared it with the Book of Mormon teachings on trusting in the arm of flesh as opposed to trusting in God.
I compared the pinterest meme “Beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from negativity” to these profound verses (with a note from one child that destroying nations might be considered “negative”):
Joshua 5:13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand; and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?
15 And the captain of the Lord’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.