Tuesday, August 15, 2017

President Spencer W. Kimball on Satan's work of deception and counterfeit

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895-1985) was ordained an apostle in 1943 and served as President of the Church from 1973 to 1985.
"Satan can perhaps give us examples of efficiency. He really motivates. He has established and stated his overall objective. It is his plan to divert every soul, and to degrade him and enslave him to that end, the arch deceiver has studied every way possible to achieve his ends, using every tool, every device possible. He takes over, distorts, and changes and camouflages everything created for the good of man, to make it desirable to men so he may take over their minds and pervert their bodies and claim them his.
"He never sleeps—he is diligent and persevering. He analyzes carefully his problem and then moves forward diligently, methodically to reach that objective. He uses all five senses and man's natural hunger and thirst to lead him away. He anticipates resistance and fortifies himself against it. He uses time and space and leisure. He is constant and persuasive and skillful. He uses such useful things as radio, television, the printed page, the airplane, and the car to distort and damage. He uses the gregariousness of man, his loneliness, his every need to lead him astray. He does his work at the most propitious time in the most impressive places with the most influential people. He overlooks nothing that will deceive and distort and prostitute. He uses money, power, force. He entices man and attacks at his weakest spot. He takes the good and creates ugliness. He takes beautiful art and gives it sensualness. He takes divine music and changes it to excite passion and lewdness. He uses sacred things to divert. He uses every teaching art to subvert man."
- Spencer W. Kimball, "How to Evaluate Your Performance," Improvement Era, Oct. 1969, pp. 12-16

President Kimball had a wonderful way of organizing thoughts, considering aspects of a subject that were unusual. In this excerpt he pondered Satan's techniques and abilities as he attempts to "degrade and enslave" them: "He takes over, distorts, and changes and camouflages everything created for the good of man." Every powerful took, every development of technology, every positive instrument gets counterfeited by the adversary:

Truly Satan "takes the good and creates ugliness" in his attempts to lead us astray and drag us to destruction. He is practiced and skillful.

In the face of such masterful opposition, we can't ignore Satan's efforts or pretend they don't matter. It becomes critical that we safeguard the tools and gifts we have, and exercise vigilant care to use them only in proper ways. We must seek always for the things that are "virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy."

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

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