Sunday, June 8, 2014


Over the years, I’ve gradually come to know this crucial truth: each of us is better—kinder, more talented, more capable of good and noble actions—than we think we are.
My first memory of this developing understanding came when I was a young woman attending girls camp. I had decided I’d watch for the good in the other girls. I then reported to them during testimony meeting that I had found something good in each of them and they could ask me what I’d learned if they liked. After that meeting, a new Beehive asked me to tell her what was good about her. I answered her, and though I didn’t know how my words had affected her, I felt grateful—grateful I’d looked for the good in others and hopeful that I’d lifted her self-esteem.
I’ve had other similar experiences, such as the time I gave a Christmas gift to a girl who not only thought she’d been forgotten, but was perhaps the least accepted, most friendless young woman in the school. I wish I could describe to you how she beamed when I gave her that gift. I hoped—still hope—it made her feel some measure of worth.  
And yet, though I hope those things, and though I know, really know, that each of us is of more eternal worth that we believe we are, I’m still subject to thoughts of inadequacy, self-debasing depression, and hopelessness.
Why is that? I believe the answer can be summed up with these three words: Satan theDeceiver. In an article titled “Overcoming Feelings of Inadequacy,” from the August 2007 Ensign,David S. Baxter, said:
The Savior invites improvement to encourage us in reaching our potential(emphasis added). The adversary deploys derision to discourage us with feelings of worthlessness. Satan “seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself” (2 Nephi 2:27). He uses the circumstances of life to drag us down so that we think less of ourselves than we should. He would have us look at how far we have yet to travel and the challenges en route, in the desire that we might give up in a state of discouragement and hopelessness.

            Please do not misunderstand me. I fully realize there are biological, emotional, and psychological reasons people become depressed and require medical attention; however, for the majority of us, I believe the fallen Son of the Morning is the main perpetrator. In fact, I recently attended a young women’s camp where we had a special speaker, a Seminary teacher, who taught us about Satan’s tempting devices. One of his statements, which I’ll paraphrase here, made a lasting impression on me. “Think about it. Satan resentfully attacks us through our bodies. He does this because he is forever banned from having such a precious gift.”
Isn’t that exactly what Satan’s doing when he whispers demeaning nothings in our ears? Words that lead us to believe ill of ourselves or slip into depression and/or laziness? I believe it is, but I also believe we do not have to be deceived. We can recognize and overpower Satan’s treachery. Consider Moroni’s counsel: “Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil . . . I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do (and believe) good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God. But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do (and believe) evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil (parenthesis added)”(Moroni 7:12-17).
            With that introduction, let’s look at a few of Satan’s lies and their corresponding, eternal truths. That way, we can judge for ourselves.
First, lets look at a few attacks against the body:
Satan’s Lie: You can’t because . . .
                      A. You’re incapable.

Christ’s Truth:
Matthew 19:26  “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”
President Harold B. Lee: “Whom the Lord calls He qualifies.”

                     B.  You’re too weak.
Christ’s Truth:
1 Cor 1:27  “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty . . ."
D&C 1:19  “The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh . . . ”
Ether 12:27  “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”

                     C.  You’re too out of shape.
Christ’s Truth:
D&C 89:3  The Word of Wisdom was “Given for a principle with promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints, who are or can be called saints.”
1 Cor 9:25, 27  “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. . . But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

Satan’s Lie: You have no worth to anyone.

Christ's Truth:
D&C 18:10  “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. . .”
PS 8:5  “For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour”.
PS 82:6  “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.”
My Thought: An old adage of home organization is “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Since God’s house is a house of order, doesn’t that imply there’s “A place for everyoneand everyone is in his or her place?”
Satan’s Lie: Women have less value than men.

Christ's Truth:  President 
Howard W. Hunter, the 14th President of the Church, counseled: “A man who holds the priesthood accepts his wife as a partner in the leadership of the home and family with full knowledge of and full participation in all decisions relating thereto. … By divine appointment, the responsibility to preside in the home rests upon the priest-hood holder (see Moses 4:22). The Lord intended that the wife be a helpmeet for man (meet means equal)—that is, a companion equal and necessary in full partnership. Presiding in righteousness necessitates a shared responsibility between husband and wife; together you act with knowledge and participation in all family matters. For a man to operate independently of or without regard to the feelings and counsel of his wife in governing the family is to exercise unrighteous dominion” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 68; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 50–51).

My Thoughts: I recently attended a class titled “Enmity and the Mission of Mother Eve” by Cherie Burton at BYU-Idaho’s Education Week. There, she defined “helpmeet” from its Hebrew root word “ezer conegno” to mean in paraphrase, “one who has the power to give help—often someone in a superior position.” She further explained, as far as I understood it, that man and woman were equal in strength and “saving” power; they, together, through their differing roles and unique abilities, had the power to complete God’s purpose of bringing to pass the immortality of man. Some other notes I found both interesting and empowering: Adam’s abilities, as man, had obedience, a sense of divine duty, and a willingness (oath bound) to serve God. Eve, as woman, had wisdom, intuition into the mind and will of God, and the ability to see the “whole picture.”
Satan’s Lie: You’re unworthy, too imperfect, and unable to ever be good enough or “perfect.”

Christ’s Truth
Isaiah 1:18  “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be aswool.”

My thought:
 This is an obvious example of truth shrouded by evil. YES, we are unworthy, imperfect, and unable to reach perfection ALONE. We cannot cleanse ourselves of sin. We cannot do everything. Nor can we run faster than we are able. Each of these can only be tempered and accomplished through Christ and His Atonement. He’s our Savior. Remember that. He’s blessed us with the supreme gift of repentance. I hope we accept and use it. Remember, too, that Christ didn’t even refer to himself as perfect until after He’d completed His work on earth, been resurrected, and returned to The Father. All things were done in order for Christ just as they will be for us if we are obedient and rely on Him.

        I realize these are not all of Satan’s lies nor are they all of Christ’s truths related to those lies. It may also be that other scriptures will more powerfully help you combat Satan, but what I truly hope you’ll take away from this article is you can ignore Satan’s buffetings. Heavenly Father has blessed us with that ability. And even if we don’t yet know what Christ’s truth is connected with the lie Satan is currently hitting us with, we can and must do what Christ did when Satan tempted Him. He said, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” And obey. And believe.

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