Monday, January 9, 2017

Elder Eldred G. Smith on our personal ability to bind Satan

Eldred G. Smith (1907-2013) served as "Patriarch to the Church" from 1947 to 1979, during which time he was sustained as a prophet, seer, and revelator along with the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. He was then released and designated an emeritus general authority; he was not replaced as presiding patriarch. Elder Smith passed away on April 4, 2013 at age 106.
"Many other scriptures refer to the thousand years of wonderful, glorious conditions on the earth, because Lucifer, Satan, the devil, will be bound.
"The scriptures say he will be 'bound with a chain' and 'put into a bottomless pit.' To me, these are symbolical terms. I cannot quite conceive of steel chains or pits that could hold Satan. The only power I know of that will bind Satan, or render him powerless, is righteous living.
"The war that started in heaven has not ended yet and shall not end until everyone has proved the extent of his ability to resist Satan. Even Jesus Christ had to bind Satan when he was tempted in the wilderness. Satan had no power over him, because Jesus resisted his temptations. Then the record says, '...he departed from him for a season.' (Luke 4:13)
"When you have resisted a temptation until it no longer becomes a temptation, then to that extent, Satan has lost his power over you, and as long as you do not yield to him, to that degree he is bound.
"For instance, if you have learned to pay tithing until it is no burden or no real temptation anymore, then to that extent you have bound Satan. The same is true in keeping the Word of Wisdom or living the laws of chastity, or the other laws of the gospel. Satan becomes powerless to you in that field.
"Then step by step, you may bind Satan now; you don't have to wait for the millennial reign.
"This has to start first on an individual basis, each person individually; then a group, then several groups, and so on until the whole earth is full of righteousness.
"This is how I believe the conditions described during the millennial reign will be developed.
"Today is the time to prepare for the ushering in of that glorious time on the earth. This is why the gospel has been restored, with the plan, the keys, and the authority to administer therein.
"Then by each individual binding Satan through his righteous living, we can bring about the glorious conditions like those spoken of which will exist during the millennial reign."
- Eldred G. Smith, "Choose Ye This Day," Conference Report, April 1970, pp. 142-143
Click here to read the full talk

When the scriptures talk of Satan being bound during the Millenium, to what are they referring? Elder Smith gives a wonderful interpretation. Satan isn't bound by external force or physical restraint; he is bound when those he tries to influence refuse to allow him any power. It's "righteous living" that binds him. And we can begin that now, in our daily lives and challenges:

I also appreciate the insight that any "binding" happens first individually, then in groups, and then throughout the earth. Our individual efforts to bind Satan from our personal lives, through righteous living, are the first steps to "bring about the glorious conditions like those spoken of which will exist during the millennial reign."

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)


  1. This is a great perspective with detail and thoughtfulness that I hadn't considered at this level. Thanks for sharing it Dave.

  2. Thank you for sharing this answered my questions and understanding about Satan very grateful

  3. To know this changes our perspective about life.


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