Sometimes I want to lament with Samwise Gamgee “…how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?” How do we find Good in an Evil World?
“Destructive Forces Of Evil That Are All About Us” –Spencer W. Kimball
As I go through my social and news feeds I sometimes wonder, how can there be any good in an evil world? I see videos of ISIS burning people alive, articles about political and corporate corruption, members of the faith speaking out against the Church, and people I used to love and respect leaving their families. It is overwhelming sometimes to think of the great hold Satan has on the hearts of men.
“And in that day… the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men’s hearts shall fail them” –Doctrine & Covenants 45:26
Will It Ever End?
During the end of The Two Towers Samwise Gamgee laments to Frodo about the hopelessness of their errand and compares it to “stories… full of darkness and . . sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass.”
We know how the fight with evil ends. Christ will ultimately be victorious. It can be hard to keep our focus when we are deep in the trenches, but we must hold on to hope. We cannot listen to the voices of “men [who] are saying that we will not live out the night. They say that it is hopeless.” We must look to Christ and our leaders as they reassure us, “there is always hope.”
“The final outcome is certain—the forces of righteousness will finally win. What remains to be seen is where each of us personally, now and in the future, will stand in this fight—and how tall we will stand. Will we be true to our last-days, foreordained mission?” –Ezra Taft Benson
How Do We Fight It?
What does it mean to wage this war with sin, how can we combat a world that has become so perverted in its messages of hedonism and instant gratification? Pippin personifies this overwhelming feeling when he resigns, “It’s too big for us. What can we do in the end?” The best answer I have found comes from the prequel (cinematically) to The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit. (I even included it in my movie review)
“Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.” A quote I found so poignant, I thought it was scripture! That is probably because Tolkien was a Christian and good friend of General Conference quote repository C.S. Lewis. In Romans we see this advice confirmed, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21) In fact, Abby Thorne wrote an article with many parallels between The Hobbit / LOTR Quotes and their Scripture Equivalents for LDS.net.
We must do good continually. In December I set a goal for myself to follow the Savior’s example and “[go] about doing good.” (Acts 10:38). I called it My Gift to Christ. There is a phrase I see on the internet encouraging people to “Be The Good.” I think it is a great reminder. Do the simple things to help another person in need. We all have our challenges in life, do something to lift the burden of another. Help someone with their groceries, shovel snow from the driveway of a single sister before church, smile and make eye contact with someone as they pass by, or give a heartfelt compliment. You will be amazed at the evil cloud of gloom you can dispel.
“That is a priceless promise. As you continue to center your mind and heart in Him, He will help you have a rich and full life no matter what happens in the world around you.” –Richard G. Scott
If it has been a while since you have watched The Lord of The Rings or Hobbit Trilogies, it might be time to dust them off and be inspired! What small task can you do today to keep the darkness at bay? How do you find Good in an Evil World?