Thursday, September 3, 2015

The High Importance of the Example of Every Person

In a previous post I have mentioned the wonderful discovery of Swiss philosopher Henri-Frederic Amiel. Here are some of his musings about the importance of the example of every person which reminds me very much of things President David O. McKay used to say. I thought readers of this blog would find it thought provoking.
Every life is a profession of faith, and exercises an inevitable and silent propaganda. As far as lies in its power, it tends to transform the universe and humanity into its own image. Thus we have all a cure of souls. Every man is the center of perpetual radiation like a luminous body; he is, as it were, a beacon which entices a ship upon the rocks if it does not guide it into port. Every man is a priest, even involuntarily; his conduct is an unspoken sermon, which is forever preaching to others; but there are priests of Baal, of Moloch, and of all the false gods. Such is the high importance of example. Thence comes the terrible responsibility which weighs upon us all. An evil example is a spiritual poison: it is the proclamation of a sacrilegious faith, of an impure God. Sin would be only an evil for him who commits it, were it not a crime toward the weak brethren, whom it corrupts. Therefore, it has been said: “It were better for a man not to have been born than to offend one of these little ones.(1)
Let's think together again, soon.


1.  Henri-Frederic Amiel, The Journal Intime of Henri-Frederic Amiel, trans., Mrs. Humphrey Ward, Project Gutenberg online version, under date of 2 May 1852, pp. 51-52.

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