Give not into temptation


“It must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves; for if they never should have bitter they could not know the sweet”
-Joseph Smith-


As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe we were sent to earth to receive a body; and to be tried and tested through our life. Trials come in all shapes and sizes; but all of us will experience one trial that will be the same and that will always be lurking: Temptation.

"And the mists of darkness are the temptations of the devil, which blindeth the eyes, and hardeneth the hearts of the children of men, and leadeth them away into broad roads, that they perish and are lost." (1 Nephi 12:17) 


Temptation comes in many forms, from pornography to alcohol, drugs to even technology. So many things can turn us away from the gospel path and make us lost. In order to combat temptation, we have to fill our lives with things that are good. We have to study the scriptures, pray to our Heavenly Father for guidance and help, attend our church meetings to be edified by the Spirit, study the words of the prophet and apostles, go to the temple. If we do these things, we will have the guidance of the Holy Ghost to help us know right from wrong; and to help us resist the wiles of the adversary. 

Y'all, I'm just like everybody else in the world. I've messed up in a manner of ways; and given into temptation. I will tell you; when I look back at my mistakes, I can pinpoint something I wasn't doing that I should have been. When I gave into those temptations, I usually wasn't attending church regularly, I wasn't praying, I wasn't studying the scriptures or studying conference talks. 

But when I do the things I should be doing; I am so much more happy. I feel stronger, I feel the guidance of the Spirit. The temptations don't stop; but I am more able to resist those temptations when living my life in accordance with the gospel.  

"Many think that the Devil has rule and power over both body and spirit. Now, I want to tell you that he does not hold any power over man, only so far as the body overcomes the spirit that is in a man, through yielding to the spirit of evil... The spirit is influenced by the body, and the body by the spirit." (Brigham Young)

"Our mind, throughout the day, is continually active. We choose the avenues of thought that our mind travels. Allowing worldly thoughts to enter your mind can lead to unrighteous acts.... When evil thoughts arise-Stop! Think! Control your mind! Visualize a large EXIT sign in your mind's eye. Immediately change your thoughts. Get off of that avenue of thinking." (Rulon Craven, April 1996 General Conference) 


By doing the things I mentioned earlier: scripture study, attending church meetings, praying, among others; you will become spiritually strong and will have more power to resist temptation. But that doesn't stop temptation completely. The mists of darkness will always be in the world; and even the most faithful will be tempted. Heavenly Father wants to help us resist, but He only helps those who also help themselves. Take action, change your thoughts and behaviors, resist the temptation.

Many people think: I'm only going to do (insert temptation) just this once. After this time, I'll resist it for sure. When you start rationalizing in your head, to allow a sin, that is a dangerous territory; and one that can quickly lead to even worst sins. 


"Yielding to temptation can lead to the addiction of both body and spirit. Addiction can be overpowering and lead to enslavement, and enslavement leads to loss of freedom and inner peace." (Craven)

The world is becoming an even scarier place and as we are in the last days, the evil will increase and the temptation to do wrong will become stronger. Satan does not want us to hold to the gospel; he does not want us to be worthy to return to our Heavenly Father, and, he will do all he can to lead us away. "Temptation is like a magnetic force which holds a metal object in its power. It loses its magnetic force and power when you turn away from it. So we must turn away from temptation; then it will lose its power." (Craven)

But that doesn't mean we should be fearful of these days. We know the path we must follow to be strong against temptation; what we must to do turn away from it. We must be obedient to the principles and doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ; listen and heed the words of our Prophet and apostles; live our life in a manner that the Holy Ghost will influence and guide us. We know what we must do; it's just a matter of having faith and doing it. It's just a matter of following the example of the Savior, for "he suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them" (D&C 20:22)

Take comfort in the fact that Jesus Christ, our Savior, experienced everything we are experiencing. He knows how we feel when we mess up. And he knows our sorrow when we beg for forgiveness. He sacrificed his life for us, so that when we allow ourselves to slip into a temptations grasp, we can break free and pray for forgiveness. Our Heavenly Father knows we aren't perfect; He knows we will make mistakes; so He sent His son to die for our sins, so that we may be given another chance.

"Real repentance, real change may require repeated attempts, but there is something refining and holy in such striving. Divine forgiveness and healing flow quite naturally to such a soul, for indeed; 'Virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; and mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own"(D&C 88:22/Christofferson October 2011 General Conference)



"As we continually hold fast to the rod by keeping our covenants, we will be strengthened to resist the temptations and perils of the world."
-Elder Kevin S. Hamilton-



1 Corinthians 10:13 - There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Matthew 26:41 - Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

James 1:3 - Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.






Comments

  1. Another great entry. I agree with you that when I took look back and take stock of sins I've made in the past, it was always in times when I wasn't heeding to the commandments, or attempting to live the gospel as fully as I should have been. Excellent quotes and scriptures noted - thanks for reminder on the importance of being ever watchful.

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    1. Thanks so much for the comment! This one hit home for me on the importance of staying diligent in doing those those things that will keep me spiritually strong. It's so important in these last days!

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  2. This is some wonderful insights and study points. Nice work!

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    1. Thanks so much Lori! Glad you enjoyed it. 😊

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