ANOTHER DAY AT WORK
Joe and his parents are in my office. He is 17, the First Assistant in the Priest Quorum, Eagle Scout, Duty to God recipient, 4.0 student, plays the piano, etc etc. (This isn’t a made up story!) Joe had a girlfriend. They’ve been going together for some time. They have had open discussions about touching boundaries and agreed they would only kiss, closed mouth – Nothing else! Joe was soon headed for his mission. I’m convinced Joe would have died before he smoked a cigarette, drank a beer, intentionally looked at porn, masturbated or inappropriately touched his girlfriend. Those behaviors were wrong and Joe knew it. Overall Joe was a mother’s dream….. Did I forget to mention Joe’s dad was also his Bishop.
Question: How did Joe end up with sexual criminal charges?
Answer: Satan’s Plan of Temptation was successful one more time.
PLAN: a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something.
We need to remember that from the beginning Satan has had a plan of his own.
Satan also has a plan. It is a cunning, evil, subtle plan of destruction. It is his objective to take captive the children of Father in Heaven and with every possible means frustrate the great plan of happiness. (The Joy of Living the Great Plan of Happiness, Richard G. Scott)
Satan’s plan of temptation is so effective that we all (except Christ) have been successfully “had” by it! (Romans 3:23)
Scriptures also point out Satan’s plan:
And thou seest that we know that thy plan was a very subtle plan, as to the subtlety of the devil, for to lie and to deceive this people that thou mightest set them against us, to revile us and to cast us out. Alma 12:4
O that cunning plan of the evil one! 2 Nephi 9:28
PLAN OF SALVATION-GOD’S PLAN
God is the Father of our spirits. We are created in His image. We have a divine nature and destiny. Before we were born, we lived with God, the Father of our spirits. All persons on earth are literally brothers and sisters in the family of God. Our life on earth has purpose. Coming to earth is part of God’s plan for us to gain a physical body and learn to choose between good and evil. Our Heavenly Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Savior and show us the way to live according to God’s plan. Following God’s plan for us is the surest way to find happiness and endure life’s challenges. Our lives will not end when we die. Our future lives are determined by the way we live our lives now. (Plan of Salvation)
PLAN OF TEMPTATION-SATAN’S PLAN
Moses 4:4 gives the details on how Satan’s Plan of Temptation works. Read it carefully.
And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice. Moses 4:4
These are the four phases of the Plan of Temptation. As in the scripture, they occur in sequence.
First: TO LIE
All of Satan’s efforts to tempt, begins with the use of lies. Lies about you, God, doctrine, or anything. It just needs to be a lie. Satan will use any delivery system possible to influence us with his lies: song lyrics, legislation, media of every kind, news, family members, propaganda, insert thoughts into our minds etc etc Lies are foundation of Satan’s success. Satan has perfected his ability create and repeatedly expose us to lies. See: WATCH What?
… the devil, … was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. John 8:44 Satan “… who was a liar from the beginning.” D & C 93:25
Second: TO DECEIVE
The intent and result of a lie is deception. Deception means: beguilement, deceit, bluff, distraction, camouflage, and mystification. Deception is the act of propagating beliefs in things that are not true, or not the whole truth as in half-truths or omission.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Revelation 12:9
That means the people of every nation around the world. That means you and me. We have all been deceived through some of Satan’s lies.
Once we are deceived by a lie,
Satan can blind us to a truth.
Third: TO BLIND
Once we begin to believe a lie associated with a particular true doctrine we experience a shade of darkness. It’s been my experience Satan does NOT blind an individual to “all truth.” That wouldn’t work. His approach is “line upon line precept upon precept.” See: The Safest Road to Hell
Satan uses a form of “color blindness.” I’ll call it “Sin Blindness“. Color blindness is the inability to perceive differences in various shades of colors, particularly green and red, that others can distinguish. People who are color blind usually have normal vision otherwise and can function well visually. Similarly, “Sin Blindness” is the inability to perceive differences between a specific sin and truth. Believing one of Satan’s lies causes a “thinking error” in our mind. A “thinking error” is a irrational pattern of thinking based on a strongly held “false belief.” The thinking error causes blindness in recognizing a particular truth. Individuals who have “Sin Blindness” to a specific truth usually have normal vision otherwise and initially can function quite well in other aspects of their lives. Speaking of Satan’s ability to cause spiritual blindness the scripture reads:
He (Satan) hath blinded their eyes, … they should not see with their eyes… John 12:40
An individual becomes “blinded” to a specific
gospel truth to the extent s/he
believes the lie associated with that truth.
Fourth: TO LEAD
In my years of working with members of the LDS Church (and members from every other church) I’ve been up close and personal with persons who have murdered, raped, molested children etc etc. I don’t recall a single case where they were forced, shoved, or pushed into the sinful behavior. They willing followed the sinful behavior. Usually with full steam ahead and typically no regrets until after. They wanted the sex. They wanted to hurt the other person. etc etc. It was as if they were being “lead” or “driven” by a very powerful force. As Moses 4:4 so clearly states: Satan lead them captive at his will. No shoving. No pushing. No force. They followed.
Once blinded to a truth
Satan can easily lead the individual.
SATAN’s PLAN OF TEMPATION AND JOE
Let’s take Joe’s example to illustrate Satan’s Plan of Temptation.
Joe through a series of tv shows and Youtube music videos repeatedly heard tthe following “lies:” “Being curious about sex was normal and healthy;” “Making-out was no big deal as long as the partner was consenting; ” and “And if something did happen I can always repent. Sin is no big deal.”
Over the months Joe began to believe these lies. Once Joe began to believe the lies he began acting as if they were true. Once lies are believed we call them Thinking Errors.
Once Joe’s thinking errors were established he was now blinded to this particular moral truth.
Treat others with respect, not as objects used to satisfy lustful and selfish desires. Before marriage, do not participate in passionate kissing, lie on top of another person, or touch the private, sacred parts of another person’s body, with or without clothing. Do not do anything else that arouses sexual feelings. Do not arouse those emotions in your own body. For the Strength of Youth
And of course part of the thinking error was the fact the sin occurred if you “made out” with a girlfriend. So, he called around and found another female texting her “Do you want to make out?” Her reply was “Yes.” Remember Joe wouild never masturbate or look at porn because they were wrong.
Now Joe has been exposed to the lies related to moral behavior and believed them. He was now blinded and ready to be “lead.” That afternoon, Joe had no car and had to ride his bike to the consenting female’s home.
You tell me how fast do you think Joe was peddling?
Things got a little out of hand and the girl pressed charges. Joe and his family are in my office.
Trees that can stand in the midst of the hurricane often yield to the destroying pests that we can scarcely see with a microscope. Likewise Satan’s greatest devices are usually the subtle and sometimes unseen temptations.