Wednesday, August 17, 2016

M. Russell Ballard on Satan's tactic of blinding our eternal perspective

Elder M. Russell Ballard (1928- ) was called as a Seventy in 1976, and has served as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles since 1985.
"One of Satan's clever tactics is to tempt us to concentrate on the present and ignore the future. The Lord warned Joseph Smith that 'Satan seeketh to turn their hearts away from the truth, that they become blinded and understand not the things which are prepared for them.' (D&C 78:10.) The 'things which are prepared for them' are the promised rewards of eternal life, which come as a result of obedience. The devil attempts to blind us to these rewards.
"President Heber J. Grant said that 'if we are faithful in keeping the commandments of God His promises will be fulfilled to the very letter.... The trouble is, the adversary of men's souls blinds their minds. He throws dust, so to speak, in their eyes, and they are blinded with the things of this world.' (Gospel Standards, pp. 44-45.) He tempts us with the transitory pleasures of the world so that we will not focus our minds and efforts on the things that bring eternal joy. The devil is a dirty fighter, and we must be aware of his tactics."
- M. Russell Ballard, "Purity Precedes Power," Ensign, Nov 1990, p. 35
Click here to read the full talk

In a battle or conflict, it's helpful to identify enemy tactics so you can recognize them and respond to them. Elder Ballard mentions some of the "clever tactics" Satan uses against us. He tempts us to "concentrate on the present and ignore the future"—seeing only the immediate challenges and not the future success and peace.

I was intrigued by the interesting phrase used by Heber J. Grant to describe the tactic: our adversary throws dust in our eyes to blind us from seeing clearly; we see only the things of this world and not the eternal perspective. Tempted greatly with "the transitory pleasures of the world" we lose the ability to "focus our minds and efforts on the things that bring eternal joy." How important it is to know that tactic, so we can recognize when it is employed against us and strive to resist it!

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