Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Urim & Thummim Principle for Internet use


Now Ammon said unto him: I can assuredly tell thee, O king [Limhi], of a man that can translate the records; for he has wherewith that he can look, and translate all records that are of ancient date; and it is a gift from God. And the things are called interpreters, and no man can look in them except he be commanded, lest he should look for that he ought not and he should perish. And whosoever is commanded to look in them, the same is called seer. (Mosiah 8:13)

The context for this verse is Ammon telling King Limhi that there is a seer who can translate the gold plates that were found.  It is neat to think that we have prophets, seers, and revelators leading our church today, but I think there are principles here that can apply in our lives, particularly concerning our individual internet use and safety.

Note the danger that Ammon highlights—“lest he should look for that he ought not and he should perish”.  We don’t know how a seer might perish from wrong use of the Urim & Thummim, but the same danger certainly applies for internet use.  There is the danger of looking at thinks we ought not, as well as spending so much time looking at less consequential things that one fritters away their life.

The principle implied for wise use of the Urim & Thummim is to be purposeful about use, according to commandment. It doesn’t specify whether it is God’s commandment or man’s commandment, but you get the idea that since it is a gift from God, you would use it according to God’s commandment. I think the same is true for use of the internet.

The situations seem a bit different in the frequency of use. The Urim & Thummim seems like something that would be used rarely (except we don’t have record of all the times it was used), whereas the internet is so embedded in our society now. Still, the principle of purposeful use according to God’s commandment (or following God’s commandments) is useful for keeping us out of trouble when we use the internet today.