by Elder Ulisses Soares
"The words can at times be a frightening place in which to live. The moral fabric of society seems to be unraveling at an alarming speed. None - whether young or old or in-between - is exempt from exposure to those things which have the potential to drag us down and destroy us. . .
"But. . .we need not despair. ...We are waging a war with sin. ...It is a war we can and will win. Our Father in Heaven has given us the tools we need in order to do so. (quote from President Thomas S. Monson)
"All of us, young and old, are faced daily with the war mentioned by President Monson (see quote above). The enemy and his angels are trying to distract us. Their purpose is to encourage us to deviate from the covenants that we have made with the Lord, causing us to lose sight of our eternal inheritance. They know well our Heavenly Father's plan for His children, for they were present with us in that great Council in Heaven when it was all presented. They try to take advantage of our weaknesses and frailties. . . "
"Despite the opposition we face. . ., this is a war and we can and will win. The Lord trusts in our capacity and determination to do so.
Okay. Two things really stood out to me. First, Satan and his minions "know well our Heavenly Father's plan for [us] because they were present with us . . .when it was all presented." They remember everything and are using it to their advantage. That's why they are so good at what they do, BUT . . .
Second, Heavenly Father didn't leave us to fight this battle alone. "Our Heavenly Father had given us. . .TOOLS" to help us win this battle. And my favorite part - The Lord trusts us! He trusts in our capacity and determination. Doesn't that make you feel good? It does me.
What are these Tools?
Some of the tools listed in this talk are:
"The scriptures contain countless examples of those who have won their wars even in the midst of very hostile situations."
The pamphlet FOR THE STRENGTH OF YOUTH
"You are responsible for the choices you make. God is mindful of you and will help you make good choices, even if your family and friends use their agency in ways that are not right. Have the moral courage to stand firm in obeying God's will, even if you have to stand alone. . ." (from FTSOY pamphlet).
"The war of good against evil will continue throughout your lives since the adversary's purpose is to make all people as miserable as he is. Satan and his angels will try to shroud our thoughts and assert control by tempting us to sin. . . Nevertheless, it is essential to understand that they will have power over us ONLY if we allow it."
The world is getting more wicked every day. Some things are easily discerned as wicked (like murders, and bank robberies, etc), others have slowly leaked their way into society and are seen by many as the norm. For example, I've recently seen a television commercial for a popular bank that depicts a "women couple" adopting a baby together. May we courageously take a stand for what is right - turning off television shows, not reading popular books, and/or listening to certain Top 40 songs.
Gift of the HOLY GHOST
". . .the Lord, in His infinite mercy, "will manifest the truth unto [us], by the power of the Holy ghost. And by the power of the Holy ghost [we] may know the truth of all things."
"This knowledge acquired by the Holy Ghost is nothing more than our testimony, which propels our faith and determination to follow the teachings of the restored gospel in these latter day, regardless of the popular messages we hear from the world."
"Our testimony must be our shield to protect us against the fiery darts of the adversary in his attempts to attack us. It will guide us safely through the darkness and confusion that exist in the world today."
". . .because of the wave of confusion and doubt spreading throughout the world today, we must hold ever more tightly to our testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then will our ability to defend truth and justice greatly increase. . . "
"I invite all to find safety in the teachings of our current prophets."
As the popular children's song goes: Follow the prophet. He knows the way.
He sees what is coming, what new tricks Satan has up his sleeve, and he warns us. If we obey, we will stay safe.
The Atonement of Jesus Christ
". . .trust in the merits and power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Through His atoning sacrifice, we can gain the courage to win all the wars of our time, even in the midst of our difficulties, challenges, and temptations. Let us trust in His love and power to save us."
If we use the TOOLS Heavenly Father has provided to help us, "We will win the daily battles against evil, and, rather than fall on the battlefields of life, we will rally others to the Master's standards."