Contemplation is the practice of tuning out the clamor of the world to tune into God. The world only wants to hear itself speak and drowns out all signals from the source of truth and light. So, one can say that contemplation leads one to Christ, whereas the world leads one away from Christ. It can be scary to seek God and the self-correction that accompanies such interaction, but the world displays cowardice by avoiding all acknowledgement of God despite evidence to the contrary.
There is a story in the Book of Exodus where the freed Israelites were impatient for Moses’ return from Mount Sinai. A minority rose up and demanded Aaron to mould a golden calf to worship. It seemed reasonable to worship an idol whom they believed helped them escape Egypt. This is the image I have whenever the world demands me to follow hedonistic behavior. How easy for the majority to dismiss God in order to pursue their own sensual pleasures. Yet, a contemplative ignores the whims and fancies of the spiritually immature to seek God’s will and God’s way which is not dancing around a golden calf.
But if God is so loving, surely he would allow free agency so people can make up their own mind about issues. However, scripture tells us that those who strayed from God’s ordinances and have broken His everlasting covenant of eternal marriage have become idol builders and worshippers which will lead to world calamity (D&C 1: 15-17). Who willfully chooses calamity? Those who openly rebel against God’s laws, ordinances, and teachings. Certainly on recent blogs and commentaries about same-sex marriage, proponents spew venom not only at opponents but at the very God who many believe defined marriage in the first place. The only adjective that describes such vitriol is blasphemy.
Those who believe that God’s love trumps disobedience do not have a complete picture of God. In modern scripture, again and again God reveals that His anger will only be stayed for so long. “And the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth.” (D&C 1:13). Why? Because the people will not ‘hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles…”(D&C 1:14) Certainly not heeding’ not obeying, not listening are all behaviors contrary to the contemplative life. A contemplative not only heeds the Lord but CRAVES to listen to all of His words be it through prayer, the scriptures, or His living servants.
The contemplative life is an anathema to the world. It has always been so from the desert hermits, to medieval monks and nuns, cloistered communities and a modern contemplatives who set themselves apart from the world to seek Wisdom, Truth, Love and Peace by drawing closer to the Author of all such–God.