Placing thoughts of discouragement in our minds.
SATAN IS POWERFUL
Part of the reality of eternity is Satan. Since before the days of Adam, Satan and his large army of followers, have done all in their power to stop you and I from hoping and faithing in Jesus Christ. This is Satan’s Mission. His mission is part of the Plan of Salvation. See Satan Exposed.
(Many of the miracles and forms of revelation that we might consider acts of God can be counterfeited by Satan. For example see how the Pharaoh’s magicians and wisemen imitated Moses’ miracles. See Exodus 7 & 8.)
SATAN CAN INFLUENCE OUR THOUGHTS
Most messages, impressions, suggestions, urges encouragements or discouragements, temptations and warnings sent from the other side of the veil whether from God or Satan, are communicated to the Mind located inside the Spirit Body. (See: Anatomy of a Soul).
“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….” (2 Nephi 28:22)
If we are ever to conquer evil and break free of our weaknesses or bad habits, it is vital to understand – Satan has the ability “to whisper in our ears” and tempt and deceive us by direct, personal, and individual communication between our spirits and his.
Check out this quote from Joseph Fielding Smith said:
“We should be on guard to resist Satan’s advances. He has the power to place thoughts in our minds and to whisper to us in unspoken impressions to entice us to satisfy our appetites or desires, and in various other ways he plays upon our weaknesses and desires. .”(Answers to Gospel Questions, 3:81).
(However, remember Satan cannot KNOW our thoughts – D & C 6:15)
SATAN’S FAVORITE “WHISPER” IS DISCOURAGEMENT
As a psychologist I understand that “discouragement” (also known as despair, depression etc etc.) comes from many sources – sin, mental illness, inadequate self-care, thyroid problems etc etc- but “whispers of discouragement“ can (and do) ALSO come from Satan and his followers.
“We live in an age when, as the Lord foretold, men’s hearts are failing them, not only physically but in spirit. (See D&C 45:26.) Many are giving up heart for the battle of life. Suicide ranks as a major cause of the deaths of college students. As the showdown between good and evil approaches with its accompanying trials and tribulations, Satan is increasingly striving to overcome the Saints with despair, discouragement, despondency, and depression.” (Ezra Taft Benson, Do Not Despair, Ensign, Nov. 1974, p. 65.)
In fact it has been my experience the worst case scenario occurs when an individual is suffering from the mental illness of depression AND Satan recognizing this weakness adds his personal evil “whispers of discouragement.”
Let me share excerpts from one young man’s texts dealing with pornography:
I am so close to giving up on myself I feel like I already have. I feel like I was born with the devil in me… I feel completely wicked … I feel so isolated and withdrawn… worthless… I am always pulled in the negative… I don’t know if I can go on any longer…
This is a very talented young man- at one time he had thoughts to go on a mission, was going to church and meeting weekly with his bishop, reading his scriptures, etc etc. After months of dealing with his mental illness of depression and his porn addiction he now has a third problem – EVIL! He has been listening to the “still small voice” of Satan’s discouragement he is now experiencing the most damaging event that can occur in anyone’s life:
When Satan successfully removes Hope from our life, he has successfully changed our eternity.
“One of the most lethal weapons used by Lucifer against the first offender (or any offender) is the disarming implication that, having once sinned, there is no hope and that therefore he might just as well surrender and sample all the other ‘scented poisons’ prepared for his complete destruction” (Purity Is Power, Hugh B. Brown p. 31).
Take a look at this video “Men’s Hearts Shall Fail them.”
Can’t you sometimes in your own life just hear Satan and his followers whispering in your ear: “You can’t do it, you are no good, you’ll never make it, this marriage will never work…” —sometimes he says that right to your mind. See: Tell Me Your Thoughts. I’ll Tell You Your Future.
How can we limit the adversary’s ability to influence our thoughts? (Ensign, Sept 1995)
In the next 24 hours identify a personal thought that was likely “whispered” by Satan.
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