Sunday, August 09, 2009

Sunday thoughts


Today I taught a most interesting lesson in Young Women. It was all about Satan. I have never taught a lesson like it before. We discussed why we need to acknowledge the existence of an adversary and how understanding his purposes and tactics can help us to better resist, and--even better--avoid temptation.

Some favorite quotes:

He persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him. Moroni 7:17

"Satan has no power over us except as we give it to him... God never forces us to do right, and Satan has no power to force us to do wrong." Sterling W. Sill

"In all his evil doings, the adversary can go no further than the transgressor permits him to go, and we can gain complete power to resist the evils caused by Satan through adherence to the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ... When the Holy Ghost is really within us, Satan must remain without." ElRay L. Christiansen

"An awareness of the existence, the power, and the plans of Satan--together with a compelling and vibrant testimony of God and of the gospel and of the plans of our Father... --can help them achieve unprecedented accomplishments, which may affect their lives eternally." Spencer W. Kimball

For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good. And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well--and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them carefully down to hell. And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none--and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance. 2 Nephi 28:19-22

And finally, I cannot tell you all the things whereby ye may commit sin; for there are divers ways and means, even so many that I cannot number them.

But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what you have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.
Mosiah 4:30

And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation... whereon if men build they cannot fall. Helaman 5:12

I believe absolutely that we have an adversary who is the father of all lies, that all evil springs forth from him, that he wants us to be as miserable as he is, and that he wants to thwart our every good desire and intention. I believe that he plants seeds of doubt, discouragement, and despair within our hearts to try and prevent us from reaching our full potential. He cannot foil God's purposes, but he can keep us from accomplishing much good, if we let him. I am glad that I know the source of all negative thoughts, and I'm learning to identify them and be able to cast them aside as the untruths that they are.

4 comments:

Jill said...

I find knowing this hugely comforting! I think it simplifies things tremendously, especially when looking at the world today. So much of it really is black and white, and not the many shades of gray we've let ourselves be talked into. Whenever I'm feeling unkind, unsettled, unspiritual and so I remind myself to question the source of those feelings, and I'm usually able to recover very quickly.

charlotte said...

What amazing quotes! I love the truth that because God will never force us to do right, Satan cannot force us to to wrong. I love knowing the source of negativity. I feel so much more in control.

shannon said...

I bet you are the most amazing teacher...

this is a powerful lesson, filled with very thought provoking quotes...

I agree with charlotte...reminding myself of the source of negativity makes me feel so much more in control...

thanks for sharing this...

rebekah said...

I need to recognize this more often. I have the power over my life, not Satan and his evil influences. I am not weak or a victim, I can chose the right if I want to.

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