Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Elder Ulisses Soares on not allowing Satan's power in our lives

Elder Ulisses Soares (born October 2, 1958 in Brazil) has served as a Seventy since April 2005, and as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy since January 2013. He was sustained to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles on April 1, 2018.
"The war of good against evil will continue throughout our 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. If they can, they will corrupt all that is good. Nevertheless, it is essential to understand that they will have power over us only if we allow it.
"The scriptures also contain several examples of those who gave that permission to the adversary and ended up becoming confused and even destroyed, like Nehor, Korihor, and Sherem. We need to be alert to this danger. We cannot allow ourselves to be confused by popular messages that are easily accepted by the world and that contradict the doctrine and true principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many of these worldly messages represent nothing more than an attempt of our society to justify sin. We need to remember that, at the end, all will stand before Christ to be judged of our works, whether they are good or whether they are evil (see 3 Nephi 27:14). As we encounter these worldly messages, great courage and a solid knowledge of the plan of our Heavenly Father will be required to choose the right.
"All of us can receive the strength to choose the right if we seek the Lord and place all our trust and faith in Him. But, as the scriptures teach, we need to have 'a sincere heart' and 'real intent.' Then 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.' (Moroni 10:4-5.)"
- Ulisses Soares, "Yes, We Can and Will Win!", General Conference April 2015
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

In some of father Lehi's final counsel to his sons, he warned them that Satan "seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself" (2 Ne 2:27). Elder Soares counseled that Satan is very active in that ongoing endeavor in our time.

The broader context of Lehi's counsel also includes that caveat stated by Elder Soares—Satan has "power over us only if we allow it":
"Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself." (2 Ne 2:27)
When we exercise our agency to follow the Adversary's temptations, we find ourselves "becoming confused" and losing our power to choose. The eventual result result will be that we choose "captivity and death." It becomes critical that we not be misled by the messages of the world, but that we stay focused on the foundation of the Gospel message and the Savior.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)

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