We are always more powerful than satan. So why don’t we speak like we are?
In this episode, I give you my thoughts on how we got here talking as if satan is “trapping” and “getting” our children. And I give two suggestions on what to do about it.
Full Show Notes
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I want to preface this episode by encouraging you to listen (or read) with an open heart and notice that these are just my thoughts. Adopt what feels good and right to you and leave the rest. I guess this is my way of saying this feels vulnerable to speak, and I am certainly no authority.
The main thing I want to say is that we are always more powerful than satan. (And I decided his name doesn’t deserve capital letters.)
In a recent podcast episode I listened to, an experience was shared in which a sister stood up in Relief Society and read an excerpt of a book about a transgender person and their experience. And then she followed that up with “This is how Satan is getting into the hearts of our children!” I audibly gasped when I heard that. So I wanted to address this sentiment in this podcast episode.
Satan is not “getting” our children. Our children are choosing to separate themselves from the Lord. It is an important difference. Agency trumps satan.
Words are powerful. And I think we are giving satan a little too much power by how we talk about him.
It kinda reminds me of not saying the “the brethren” are the priesthood. The brethren are the bearers of the priesthood, not the priesthood itself. Or how we’ve been asked to refer to ourselves not as “mormon” but as members of the Restored Church of Jesus Christ. Or even how we’ve been instructed that when we separate “the Atonement” from Jesus Christ, it is not proper. How we speak about things makes a difference.
One of the issues here is the use of metaphor. Metaphor is an amazing way to make connections and understand things in a new light. However, I think sometimes we can subconsciously believe the metaphor is no longer metaphor, skewing our understanding.
Example: a fishing lure as a metaphor for how satan works. It’s a powerful metaphor to help us understand how Satan uses imitation. BUT the image of a fish on a hook, being dictated by the fisherman (satan) makes it seem like once we are “hooked” by satan, we are powerless over him. This is just simply not true.
The Snares of Satan
I am in no way saying that Satan isn’t real. That we shouldn’t be aware of his tactics. Of course we should. What I want to consider, and what I’m inviting you to consider, is that HOW we talk about satan is important. We don’t want to give him more power than he deserves.
3 Nephi 6:15 Now the cause of this iniquity of the people was this—Satan had great power, unto the stirring up of the people to do all manner of iniquity, and to the puffing them up with pride, tempting them to seek for power, and authority, and riches, and the vain things of the world.
16 And thus Satan did lead away the hearts of the people to do all manner of iniquity; therefore they had enjoyed peace but a few years.
17 And thus, in the commencement of the thirtieth year—the people having been delivered up for the space of a long time to be carried about by the temptations of the devil whithersoever he desired to carry them, and to do whatsoever iniquity he desired they should—and thus in the commencement of this, the thirtieth year, they were in a state of awful wickedness.
And these verses we can’t overlook:
19 For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be stirred up to anger, and perish;
20 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.
21 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 away carefully down to hell.
22 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
We are more powerful than Satan- we always maintain our agency
The difficulties of our times have not come upon us unawares. A hundred and forty years ago the Lord clearly revealed the tenor of our times. We know that as the second coming of the Savior approaches, the tempo of Satan’s campaign for the souls of men is being and will continue to be accelerated. We know that the experiences of the intervening years will try men’s souls.
We also know that God lives; that his “eternal purposes … shall roll on.” We know that to qualify us to prevail against Satan and his wicked hosts, we have been given the gospel of Jesus Christ. We know that the Spirit of Christ and the power of his priesthood are ample shields to the power of Satan. We know that there is available to each of us the gift of the Holy Ghost—the power of revelation which embraces the gift of discernment by which we may unerringly detect the devil and the counterfeits he is so successfully foisting upon this gullible generation. Our course is clear and certain. It is to strictly obey the commandments of the Lord, as they are recorded in the scriptures and as they are being given by the living prophets.Marion G. Romney
What we can do instead
So what do we do as concerned parents of the rising generation?
- Always come from LOVE instead of fear. When I heard that podcast episode, I felt the fear. This is not Christ’s way.
- We remind them continually of who they are. It is more powerful to focus on their identities as children of God than try to persuade them to take or avoid any specific action. This reminds me of Moses’ exchange with satan:
15 Blessed be the name of my God, for his Spirit hath not altogether withdrawn from me, or else where is thy glory, for it is darkness unto me? And I can judge between thee and God; for God said unto me: Worship God, for him only shalt thou serve.
16 Get thee hence, Satan; deceive me not; for God said unto me: Thou art after the similitude of mine Only Begotten.Moses 1: 12-16
Our power comes from our identities of sons and daughters of God. Let’s not overlook this important truth.
O That Cunning Plan of the Evil One
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