A week ago I was reading in Alma 1 and came to a verse which caused me to ponder a lot. It's at the time when Nehor, the Antichrist, had been preaching. Many believed his words and fell away from the church. In v.5 it gives the reason why people believed him:
"....he did teach these things SO MUCH that many people did believe on his words".
In this case exposure = influence.
A couple of days later I was in Alma 3. Alma is teaching about the reason why the Lord God put 'a mark' upon the Lamanites for the sake of the Nephites:
"that they might not MIX and believe in incorrect traditions which would prove their destruction" (v8)
"....whosoever did MINGLE his seed with that of the Lamanites did bring the same curse upon his seed".(v9)
I thought back to the scripture I had read in Alma 1,about how exposure = influence, and began to see these verses in the same light.
There are many different areas which Satan would like us to 'mix' and 'mingle' with more. We may try to justify watching a film which has, we say, a poignant message at the expense of profanity. We may listen to music whose melody is beautiful, but lyrics vulgar. We may also listen to gossip, whilst saying that it is alright as long as we don't spread it, the list could easily go on and on.
Whilst the marks that are put on us are no longer physical, as with the Lamanites, when we sin we do become spiritually marked. Our countenance is darkened, our sensitivity to the enticings of the Spirit decreases until we become spiritually numb. We are only kidding ourselves if we think that we can do something, or be around something, 'so much' that it does not influence us.
Thankfully the Lord knows this and has given us plain criteria about what we should 'expose' ourselves to:
"Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things". (Phil 4:8).
I hope that we will continue to expose ourselves to things which will help us to love the Saviour more, and to serve Him, that through His mercy we can become clean.