From time to time students express their frustration with those that ridicule them for their faith and for resisting temptation. Others tell them that they need to “get real” and learn to “live in the real world”. They are told that since everyone is committing sin, they might as well join the fray. I’m sure that Joseph faced similar annoyances through his interactions with Potiphar’s wife. She used her influence to attempt to get Joseph to sin. We can certainly imagine Potiphar’s wife telling Joseph that what happens between the two of them alone would have remained secret. To justify her actions she most certainly have come up with a number of reasons why her actions could be considered reasonable given her circumstances.
There is a great scripture in Jacob in the Book of Mormon that reminds us to “get real”. We read: “Behold, my brethren, he that prophesieth, let him prophesy to the understanding of men; for the aSpirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be; wherefore, these things are manifested unto us dplainly, for the salvation of our souls.” (Jacob 4:13 emphasis added)
I have found that if we as seminary teachers can help instill in the youth that they can resist the tide of filth coming at them, they will be stronger in the long run. They are incredible youth and they can overcome. The following by C.S. Lewis addresses the strength gained by resisting temptation:
“No man knows how bad he is until he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people in one sense know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it and Christ, because he was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the fullest what temptation means, the only complete realist.” (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, p. 124-25).