Which do you value more, a beat up old car or a pristine, new model? Do you enjoy getting that crisp new dollar bill over that old wrinkly, torn one? Can you appreciate the fresh cleanness of a country meadow right after a cleansing rain? Or do you prefer the stale recycled air of an office building? We are hard-wired to like the fresh, the new, the pristine, even in the mundane things of life. What even greater value, then, is a clean and pure spirit.
Satan is the great deceiver, liar, and enemy to all that is good, including our happiness and our well-being. Mormon beliefs teach that his great desire is to thwart our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness and make us “miserable like unto himself” (2 Ne. 2:27.) Satan is adept at making things look fun and desirable, but his promises are as illusions. What he really offers are lies, misery, spiritual degradation, and loss of self-worth.
Among the things Satan tempts us with is to “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die” (2 Ne. 28:7.) His invitation may seem enticing and convincing. Nephi, a Book of Mormon prophet, describes his sales techniques as pacifying, flattering, and lulling as he declares, “All is well” (2 Ne. 28:21-22.) Satan would have us embrace immorality in all its forms, including pornography, language, dress, and behavior. But such behavior brings emotional distress, loss of spirituality, loss of self-respect, and lost opportunities.
Our loving Heavenly Father has provided us with the ability to recognize Satan’s deceit and thwart his efforts to ruin our souls. Paul taught: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy” (1 Cor. 3:16-17.)
Heavenly Father asks that we return to Him with clean hands and pure hearts. Jacob warned the Nephites of old: “But, wo, wo, unto you that are not pure in heart, that are filthy this day before God” (Jacob 3:3.) Alma reminded his wayward son, Corianton, regarding sexual impurity: “Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord?” (Alma 39:5.) And then further to Corianton, “Wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10.)
Desire to be that child of God that your Father in Heaven created you to be. Resolve to keep your spirit clean and pure. The worlds’ modern-day prophet, the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (or Mormon Church), Gordon B. Hinckley, has said:
“Notwithstanding the so-called ‘new morality,’ notwithstanding the much-discussed changes in moral standards, there is no adequate substitute for virtue. God’s standards may be challenged everywhere throughout the world, but God has not abrogated his commandments” (“With All Thy Getting Get Understanding,” Ensign, Aug. 1988, 4.)
Because of our heavenly lineage, we are royalty. You and I have the potential to inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9.) We have the power to discern between Satan’s lies and God’s true principles of happiness. Richard C. Edgley, says in his article “Satan’s Bag of Snipes” (Liahona, Jan 2001, 52–53:)
“Because we know who we are and because we are endowed with the Holy Spirit and empowered with His priesthood, we have the power to just say no. “No, Satan, I will not be a victim of your deceitful, vicious, and often deadly snipe hunt.” I testify that “wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10) and wickedness never will be happiness. I further testify that happiness and self-worth will come only from living the principles of Him who created the plan of happiness.”
Believe in yourself and in who you are. You are a child of God. Live so you are worthy of every great blessing that your Father has in store for you. (The Living Christ.)