The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.
President Ezra Taft Benson, "Born of God", Ensign, July 1989
I've used this quote a long while ago on a thought I had written. But I came across it again today and got me thinking again about the need to fix ourselves internally, especially myself, before we can even begin to fix society.
There is a lot wrong with the world, with society, right now. But there is also a lot right. There are still good, genuine people everywhere. Members and non-members are holding this world together. Afterall, we are all children of our Heavenly Father and He loves us as only a Father can, a love even mortal parents do not understand. Because of these good, genuine people, our Father allows us the opportunity to better ourselves still and, by so doing that, better the world.
But it begins with us individually. Granted, most of us are not bad people, but we have something that every single person needs....the Gospel, the truth. But there is always room for improvement. So, first, we need to improve ourselves internally before we can exert a positive influence on others. Remember, others see what lives we live through our actions, our behavior, even our countenance.
And, come final judgment day, our lives will no longer be hidden from everyone. The lives we have lived on this earth will be written in our countences, in our actual beings surrounding our us, written in our physical bodies, our auras, if you will. Christ can tell just by looking at us (as if He didn't already know us) if we have bodies celestial or bodies terrestrial, or neither.
So, to have a Christlike society, we first need to be Christlike ourselves.
FYI, that picture is from the slums (the favelas) of Sao Paulo, Brazil. I served in many areas like this.