Quotes on Satan

See also: D&C 76:26; 93:25; 123:7; 129:8; 130:20; Moses 4:4; Moses 1:15; 3; 4

D&C 6:16 – “Yea, I tell thee, that thou mayest know that there is none else save God that knowest thy thoughts and the intents of thy heart.”

It is clear, then, that Satan and his followers, who have been cast out of God’s presence and are dead to His spirit, are excluded from those who, by the spirit of prophecy and revelation, may know the thoughts and the intents of our hearts.  So, in his wisdom and mercy, God has provided a channel of communication between him and his children on earth that Satan, our common enemy, cannot invade.  This is the channel of secret prayer.  The significance of this to the Latter-day Saint is profound, for by this means we are able to communicate with our Heavenly Father in secrecy, confident that the adversary cannot intrude. . . . — Elder Francis M. Gibbons, Ensign, November 1991, pp. 78-79

No wonder the adversary steadily promotes all the ancient sins, not because he is uninventive but because his harvest is so constant. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1993, p. 76

We should never let Satan fool us into thinking that all is lost.  Let us take pride in the good and right things we have done; reject and cast out of our lives those things that are wrong; look to the Lord for forgiveness, strength, and comfort; and then move onward. — President Howard W. Hunter, October 1983 General Conference

We need to take a bold and determined stand against Satan.  “He has to leave when you say, ‘Depart from me, Satan.’  Every soul who has mortality is stronger than Satan, if that soul is determined.”  (Spencer W. Kimball, “The Blessings and Responsibilities of Womanhood,” Ensign, March 1976, p. 71) — Relief Society Personal Study Guide 1, p. 70

Members of the church may have the blessings of the Holy Ghost, the prompter, as a companion as well, and when the Holy Ghost is really within us, Satan must remain without. — Elder ElRay L. Christiansen, Ensign, November 1974, p. 24

All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not.  The devil has no power over us only as we permit him.  The moment we revolt at anything which comes from God, the devil takes power. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 181

No one knows how to work a crowd better than the adversary. — Elder Neal Maxwell, Ensign, November 1989, p. 84

If Satan can weaken or destroy the loving relationships among members of families, he can cause more misery and more unhappiness for more people than he could in any other way. — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, Ensign, May 1993, p. 69

The punishment of the devil was that he should not have a habitation like men.  The devil’s retaliation is, he comes into this world, binds up men’s bodies, and occupies them himself.  When the authorities come along, they eject him from a stolen habitation. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 306

The devil has no power over us only as we permit him.  The moment we revolt at anything which comes from God, the devil takes power. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 181

Lucifer (which means “lightbearer”) was the premortal name of Satan.  Because of his rebellion against God he fell from his position of “authority in the presence of God” and “was called Perdition” which means “destruction.”  (See D&C 76:25-28.)  The title Lucifer is used only in Isaiah 14:12 and 2 Nephi 24:12. Book of Mormon Student Manual, p. 34

Isn’t that just exactly what the devil says to the children of men today as plainly as it is written here?  [2 Nephi 28:8]  Oh, commit a little sin, that won’t do any harm, lie a little, that won’t do any particular damage, the Lord will forgive that and you will only be beaten with a few stripes and at last you shall be saved in the kingdom of God.  That is what he says to the man or the woman who has been taught the Word of Wisdom when he says, oh, drink a little tea, that won’t hurt you; use a little tobacco, that won’t make any difference; a little liquor won’t do any harm.  These are little things; he always does it a little at a time, not all at once.  That is what I would like us to remember this morning.  It is these insignificant insidious whisperings that betray mankind and that place us in the power of the devil.  I want to say to you, in my judgment, that the use of tobacco, a little thing as it seems to some men, has been the means of destroying their spiritual life, has been the means of driving from them the companionship of the Spirit of our Father, has alienated them from the society of good men and women, and has brought upon them the disregard and reproach of the children that have been born to them, and yet the devil will say to a man, Oh, it’s only a little thing!”  (George Albert Smith, Conf. Report, April 1918, pp. 39-40) Book of Mormon Student Manual, p. 39

Now, I want you to note that:  “And thus the devil cheateth their souls and leadeth them away carefully down to hell” [2 Nephi 28:21].  And that is the way he does it, that’s exactly the way he does it.  He does not come and grab you bodily and take you into his territory, but he whispers, “Do this little evil,” and when he succeeds in that, another little evil and another, and, to use the expression quoted, “He cheateth their souls.”  That’s what he does.  He makes you believe that you are gaining something when you are losing.  So it is every time we fail to observe a law of God or keep a commandment, we are being cheated, because there is no gain in this world or in the world to come but by obedience to the law of our heavenly Father.  Then again, that peculiar suggestion, “And he leadeth them carefully away down to hell” is significant, that is his method.  Men and women in the world today are subject to that influence, and they are being drawn here and there, and that whispering is going on and they do not understand what the Lord desires them to do, but they continue in the territory of the evil one, subject to his power where the Spirit of the Lord will not go.  (George Albert Smith, Conf. Report, April 1918, p. 40) Book of Mormon Student Manual, p. 40

The tempter is intent on making public your most embarrassing acts at the most harmful time.  Lies weave a pattern that is ever more confining and becomes a trap that Satan will spring to your detriment. — Elder Richard G. Scott, Ensign, May 1995, p. 77

By every possible means he seeks to darken the minds of men and then offers them falsehood and deception in the guise of truth.  Satan is a skillful imitator, and as genuine gospel truth is given the world in ever-increasing abundance, so he spreads the counterfeit coin of false doctrine.  Beware of his spurious currency, it will purchase for you nothing but disappointment, misery and spiritual death.  The “father of lies” he has been called, and such an adept has he become through the ages of practice in his nefarious work, that were it possible he would deceive the very elect.  (“Witchcraft,” Juvenile Instructor, Sept. 1902, p. 562) Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 23

Satan will use his logic to confuse and his rationalizations to destroy.  He will shade meanings, open doors an inch at a time, and lead from purest white through all the shades of gray to the darkest black.  (Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, p. 152; Moroni 7:17) Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 23

There is a line of demarcation well defined between the Lord’s territory and the devil’s territory.  If you will remain on the Lord’s side of the line, the adversary cannot come there to tempt you.  You are perfectly safe as long as you stay on the Lord’s side of the line.  But if you cross onto the devil’s side of the line, you are in his territory, and you are in his power, and he will work on you to get you just as far from that line as he possibly can, knowing that he can only succeed in destroying you by keeping you away from the place where there is safety. — President George Albert Smith, Conference Report, October 1945, p. 118

We are in a war.  This is the same war that raged in the premortal world.  Lucifer and his followers are committed in their evil direction.  But we must never forget this about Lucifer: he is a liar.  He is the father of all lies and has been from the beginning.  He was cast out of Heavenly Father’s premortal kingdom because of his disobedience, and now he has one goal, one eternal commitment that has never changed from the time of the war in heaven until the present day.  His sole purpose is to make you and me as miserable as he is, and the best way for him to accomplish that is to entice us into disobedience. . . .

Pray regularly.  Serve faithfully in whatever capacity a call is extended. . . . Establish a time and place to study the scriptures on a daily basis, even if its only for a few minutes at a time.  In the great scheme of things, these things take so little time.  But the long-term benefits are infinite and eternal.  It takes faith – real faith, unequivocal and unreserved –  to accept and attempt to live prophetic counsel even when you don’t completely understand it.  Such simple faith has the power to guide you safely through every challenge you may face in your life.

Of course, Lucifer doesn’t want us to feel or exhibit that kind of faith, and so he makes us feel uncomfortable with obedience.  He plants defiance in our hearts with justification and rationalization, subtly convincing us that it is possible to live the spirit of the law even if we are in violation of its letter.

But to each of you I have only one question: are you going to follow the true and living prophets or not?  It really isn’t any more complicated than that.  Keep your eyes riveted on the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  We will not lead you astray.  We cannot. — Elder M. Russell Ballard, “How to Find Safety and Peace,” BYU Devotional, March 12, 1996; see New Era, November 1997, p. 4

Lucifer means light-bearer, shining one, morning star.  We just recently heard President Ernest LeRoy Hatch of the Guatemala City Temple say, “The devil is not smart because he is the devil; he is smart because he is old.”  Indeed, the devil is old, and he was not always the devil. Initially, he was not the perpetrator of evil. He was with the hosts of heaven in the beginning.  He was “an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God. . . .

Because of his rebellion, Lucifer was cast out and became Satan, the devil, “the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.”  And so this personage who was an angel of God and in authority, even in the presence of God, was removed from the presence of God and his Son.  This caused great sadness in the heavens, “for the heavens wept over him-he was Lucifer, a son of the morning.”  Does this not place some responsibility on the followers of Christ to show concern for loved ones who have lost their way and “are shut out from the presence of God”?” — Elder James E. Faust, Ensign, November 1987, p. 35

The single purpose of Lucifer is to oppose the Great Plan of Happiness, to corrupt the purist, most beautiful and appealing experiences of life: romance, love, marriage and parenthood. — Elder Boyd K. Packer, Conference Report October 1993, pp. 27-28

Bishop Richard C. Edgley (of the Presiding Bishopric), quoting 2 Nephi 28:20-21, said the day shall come when Satan will rage in the hearts of the children of men and stir them up to anger against that which is good.  “I believe this scripture is true.  I believe the time is now.  And I believe that target is you. . . . We see cultures infested with drugs, sex, alcohol, pornography, laziness, and many other spiritually devastating practices.  But that does not have to be you.”  (Bishop Richard C. Edgley, CES Fireside, Nov. 3, 2002) — Church News, November 9, 2002

I am concerned about what I see happening with some of our young women.  Satan would have you dress, talk, and behave in unnatural and destructive ways in your relationships with young men.  The adversary is having a heyday distorting attitudes about gender and roles and about families and individual worth.  He is the author of mass confusion about the value, the role, the contribution, and the unique nature of women.  Today’s popular culture, which is preached by every form of media from the silver screen to the Internet, celebrates the sexy, saucy, socially aggressive woman.  These distortions are seeping into the thinking of some of our own women. — Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Here Am I, Send Me,” BYU Devotional, March 10, 2001, p. 3

Never forget that Satan stands at the very elbow of each of your sons and daughters, he awaits outside the threshold of every home, every minute of the day, waiting for, seeking for the slightest weakness in the armor of righteousness with which you have clad your loved ones, with which you have surrounded your home; so that against that weakness he may bring to bear every vile, every stratagem, every base feeling and appeal – and he has every evil at his command . . . . — President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Relief Society Magazine, December 1952, p. 794

Lucifer and his followers know the habits, weaknesses, and vulnerable spots of everyone and take advantage of them to lead us to spiritual destruction.  (Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 218-19) — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall,” Speeches, June 7, 1992, p. 108

Every person who desires and strives to be a Saint is closely watched by fallen spirits that came here when Lucifer fell, and by the spirits of wicked persons who have been here in tabernacles and departed from them. . . . Those spirits are never idle; they are watching every person who wishes to do right, and are continually prompting them to do wrong.  (President Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 7:239) The Pearl of Great Price Student Manual, p. 12

Let it not be forgotten that the evil one has great power in the earth, and that by every possible means he seeks to darken the minds of men, and then offers them falsehood and deception in the guise of truth.  Satan is a skillful imitator, and as genuine gospel truth is given the world in ever-increasing abundance, so he spreads the counterfeit coin of false doctrine.  Beware of his spurious currency, it will purchase for you nothing but disappointment, misery and spiritual death.  The “father of lies” he has been called, and such an adept has he become, through the ages of practice in his nefarious work that were it possible he would deceive the very elect” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 376).

Now, those “who are the elect according to the covenant” are members of the Church, so we ourselves are on notice to beware (President Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, Apr. 1956, 70; also D&C 29:7-9). The Pearl of Great Price Student Manual, p. 47

You must know that Lucifer will oppose you, and be prepared for his opposition.  Do not be surprised.  He wants you to fail.  Discouragement is one of the devil’s tools.  Have courage and go forward.  Recognize that the gospel has been preached with some pain and sorrow from the very beginning of time.  Do not expect that your experience will be otherwise. — President James E. Faust, “What I Want My Son to Know before He Leaves on His Mission,” Ensign, May 1996, p. 42

Wicked spirits have their bounds, limits and laws, by which they are governed; and it is very evident that they possess a power that none but those who have the Priesthood can control. — Joseph Smith, History of the Church 4:576

. . . how would Satan strive to lead you from the path to happiness?  Surely he would not be successful by tempting you to commit serious transgression – at least not initially.  He would more likely fill your mind and heart with visions of many, many worthwhile things, none of which could be criticized as being wrong, but, taken together, they would so occupy your time that you would not do those things that are absolutely essential for eternal life. . . . Nephi warned of this approach: “And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well, and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.”  (2 Ne 28:21-22) — Elder Richard G. Scott, “Finding Happiness,” BYU Education Week Devotional, 1997

The best time to resist temptation is early. — Elder Henry B. Eyring, “Spiritual Preparedness: Start Early and Be Steady,” Ensign, November 2005, p. 40

Who can describe an angel of light?  If Satan should appear as one in glory, who can tell his color, his signs, his appearance, his glory, or what is the manner of his manifestation? . . . Who can drag into daylight and develop the hidden mysteries of the false spirits that so frequently are made manifest among the Latter-day Saints?  We answer that no man can do this without the Priesthood, and having a knowledge of the laws by which spirits are governed; for as no man knows the things of God, but by the Spirit of God, so no man knows the spirit of the devil, and his power and influence, but by possessing intelligence which is more than human, and having unfolded through the medium of the Priesthood the mysterious operations of his devices; without knowing the angelic form, the sanctified look and gesture, and the zeal that is frequently manifested by him for the glory of God, together with the prophetic spirit, the gracious influence, the godly appearance, and the holy garb, which are so characteristic of his proceedings and his mysterious windings.   

A man must have the discerning of spirits before he can drag into daylight this hellish influence and unfold it unto the world in all its soul-destroying, diabolical, and horrid colors. — Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 204-5

The nearer a person approaches the Lord, a greater power will be manifested by the adversary to prevent the accomplishment of His purposes. — Joseph Smith, as quoted in Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, p. 32

 Your greatest weakness will be the point at which Satan will try to tempt you, will try to win you; and if you have made yourself weak, he will add to that weakness.  Resist him, and you will gain in strength.  If he tempts you in another way, resist him again and he will become weaker.  In turn, you become stronger, until you can say, no matter what your surroundings may be, “Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”  (Luke 4:8; see also Moses 1:20.)

Remember, you cannot tamper with the evil one.  Resist temptation, resist Satan, and he will flee from you. — President David O. McKay, Improvement Era, July 1968, p. 3

Satan can be resisted.  You know the evil one has opposed us all the way from before the beginning.  He has promised himself that he is going to disturb every person in this earth and try to get him to do evil.  But remember that the evil one is a spirit only. He has no body.  Therefore, every one of you is stronger than Satan.  If you will exercise your brain, your morals, your teachings, you can be superior to him. Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 33

In these days of sophistication and error men depersonalize not only God but the devil.  Under this concept Satan is a myth, useful for keeping people straight in less enlightened days but outmoded in our educated age. Nothing is further from reality.  Satan is very much a personal, individual spirit being, but without a mortal body.  His desires to seal each of us his are no less ardent in wickedness than our Father’s are in righteousness to attract us to his own eternal kingdom. Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 35

Lucifer has great influence over the children of men; he labors continually to destroy the works of God in heaven, and he had to be cast out.  He is here, mighty among the children of men.  There is a vast number of fallen spirits, cast out with him, here on earth.  They do not die and disappear; they have not bodies only as they enter the tabernacles of men.  They have not organized bodies, and are not to be seen with the sight of the eye.  But there are many evil spirits among us, and they labor to overthrow the church and kingdom of God. . . .

Do you suppose these devils are around us without trying to do something? . . . I say . . . we have got a mighty warfare to wage with these spirits.  We cannot escape it.  What will they do to you?  They will try to make us do anything and everything that is not right. The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, pp. 238-40

We need to remember that the adversary sponsors a cunning plan of his own.  It invariably attacks God’s first commandment for husband and wife to beget children.  It tempts with tactics that include infidelity, unchastity, and other abuses of procreative power. Satan’s band would trumpet choice but mute accountability. Nevertheless, his capacity has long been limited, “for he knew not the mind of God” (Moses 4:6). — Elder Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, November 1993, p. 34

Who is it that whispers so subtly in our ear that a gift given to another somehow diminishes the blessings we have received?  Who makes us feel that if God is smiling on another, then He surely must somehow be frowning on us?  You and I both know who does this – it is the father of all lies.  It is Lucifer, our common enemy, whose cry down through the corridors of time is always and to everyone, “Give me thine honor.”  — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, May 2002, p. 63

One way Satan can get to people is by keeping them really busy. — Elder Richard G. Scott

But we hear other voices.  Paul said, “There are . . . so many kinds of voices in the world” that compete with the voice of the Spirit.  The Spirit’s voice is ever present, but it is calm. Said Isaiah, “The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.”  The adversary tries to smother this voice with a multitude of loud, persistent, persuasive, and appealing voices: 

1. Murmuring voices that conjure up perceived injustices.

2. Whining voices that abhor challenge and work.

3. Seductive voices that offer sensual enticements.

4. Soothing voices that lull us into carnal security.

5. Intellectual voices that profess sophistication and superiority.

6. Proud voices that rely on the arm of flesh.

7. Flattering voices that puff us up with pride.

8. Cynical voices that destroy hope.

9. Entertaining voices that promote pleasure seeking.

10. Commercial voices that tempt us to “spend money for that which is of no worth, [and our] labor for that which cannot satisfy.”

11. Delirious voices that spawn the desire for a “high.” I refer not to a drug- or alcohol-induced high, but to the pursuing of dangerous, death-defying experiences for nothing more than a thrill. Life, even our own, is so precious that we are accountable to the Lord for it, and we should not trifle with it. Once gone, it cannot be called back. — President James E. Faust, “Voice of the Spirit,” Ensign, June 2006, p. 4

Today we are barraged by multitudes of voices telling us how to live, how to gratify our passions, how to have it all.  At our fingertips we have software, databases, television channels, interactive computer modems, satellite receivers, and communications networks that suffocate us with information.  There are fewer places of refuge and serenity.  Our young people are bombarded with evil and wickedness like no other generation.  As I contemplate this prospect, I am reminded of the poet T. S. Eliot’s words: “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?  Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”

It may be harder for our rising generation to be faithful, perhaps in some ways even more challenging than pulling a handcart across the plains.  When someone died in the wilderness of frontier America, that person’s physical remains were buried and the handcarts continued west, but the mourning survivors had hope for their loved one’s eternal soul.  However, when someone dies spiritually in the wilderness of sin, hope may be replaced by dread and fear for the loved one’s eternal welfare.

Many in the younger generation have been conditioned by the world to want it all and to want it now.  They do not want to save or work.  Such self-centered, impatient desires make them susceptible to temptation. . . .

Satan’s tactic is 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)  He creates a smoke screen that obscures our vision and diverts our attention. — President James E. Faust, “Voice of the Spirit,” Ensign, June 2006, p. 4

“Whenever darkness fills our minds, we may know that we are not possessed of the Spirit of God, and we must get rid of it.  When we are filled with the Spirit of God, we are filled with joy, with peace and with happiness no matter what our circumstances may be; for it is a spirit of cheerfulness and of happiness.”  (Gospel Truth, 1:19-20) Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 161

President George Q. Cannon, commenting on Satan’s title as a son of the morning, said: “Some have called him the son of the morning, but here it is a son of the morning – one among many, doubtless.  This angel was a mighty personage, without doubt. The record that is given to us concerning him clearly shows that he occupied a very high position; that he was thought a great deal of, and that he was mighty in his sphere, so much so that when the matter was debated concerning the earth and the plan of salvation, he was of sufficient importance to have a plan, which he proposed as the plan by which this earth should be peopled and the inhabitants thereof redeemed.  His plan, however, was not accepted; but it was so plausible and so attractive that out of the whole hosts of heaven one-third accepted his plan and were willing to cast their lot with him. [Moses 4:1–4; D&C 29:36–37.]  Now, the difference between Jesus and Lucifer was this: Jesus was willing to submit to the Father.” Doctrine & Covenants Student Manuel, p. 160; Millennial Star, 5 Sept. 1895, pp. 563–64

The Prophet Joseph Smith asked, concerning those who become sons of perdition, “What must a man do to commit the unpardonable sin? He must receive the Holy Ghost, have the heavens opened unto him, and know God, and then sin against Him.  After a man has sinned against the Holy Ghost, there is no repentance for him. He has got to say that the sun does not shine while he sees it; he has got to deny Jesus Christ when the heavens have been opened unto him, and to deny the plan of salvation with his eyes open to the truth of it; and from that time he begins to be an enemy. This is the case with many apostates of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” (Teachings, p. 358)

Elder Spencer W. Kimball wrote: “The sin against the Holy Ghost requires such knowledge that it is manifestly impossible for the rank and file to commit such a sin.”  (Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 123) Doctrine & Covenants Student Manuel, p. 1

. . . As your testimony is fortified, Satan will try harder to tempt you.  Resist his efforts.  You will become stronger and his influence on you weaker.

Satan’s increasing influence in the world is allowed to provide an atmosphere in which to prove ourselves.  While he causes havoc today, Satan’s final destiny was fixed by Jesus Christ through His Atonement and the Resurrection.  The devil will not triumph.  Even now he must operate within the bounds set by the Lord.  He cannot take away any blessing that has been earned.  He cannot alter character that has been woven from righteous decisions.  He has no power to destroy the eternal bonds forged in a holy temple between a husband, wife, and children.  He cannot quench true faith.  He cannot take away your testimony.  Yes, these things can be lost by succumbing to his temptations.  But he has no power in and of himself to destroy them. — Elder Richard G. Scott, “The Transforming Power of Faith and Character,” Ensign, November 2010, pp. 43-46

It has seemed strange to me that a third of all the spirits that could have been born into this world would have favored a plan that would cause them to have forced obedience.  Most of us do not like to be forced.  As I see it, the real issue was not so much one of force as it was that Lucifer said he would guarantee their salvation.  He promised salvation without excellence, without effort, without hard work, without individual responsibility. That is the lie he promulgated in the pre-earth councils.

That so-called shortcut to salvation captivated many gullible and lazy spirits.  They wanted something for nothing.  We have certain aspects of that in our life today where something is offered for nothing (a free lunch we sometimes call it), with certain kinds of subsidies that promise to guarantee the reward without the effort.  On that basis, Lucifer led away many spirits, but individual progress does not come that way.

Only by serious and strenuous exertion do we improve in character and in spiritual growth. In our society we still come in contact with many who are influenced by this erroneous philosophy.  They think they can achieve salvation and exaltation without a struggle.  We are still fighting the War in Heaven with the same participants and the same issues, but we are fighting it on new territory and on a different battleground. — Robert Matthews, “Why a Savior is Necessary,” Devotional Address, BYU, December 4, 1984

Number one, Satan, or Lucifer, or the father of lies – call him what you will – is real, the very personification of evil.  His motives are in every case malicious, and he convulses at the appearance of redeeming light, at the very thought of truth. Number two, he is eternally opposed to the love of God, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and the work of peace and salvation.  He will fight against these whenever and wherever he can.  He knows he will be defeated and cast out in the end, but he is determined to take down with him as many others as he possibly can.

So what are some of the devil’s tactics in this contest when eternal life is at stake? Here again the experience in the Sacred Grove is instructive.  Joseph recorded that in an effort to oppose all that lay ahead, Lucifer exerted “such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak.”  (Joseph Smith – History 1:15.)

As President Boyd K. Packer taught this morning, Satan cannot directly take a life. That is one of many things he cannot do.  But apparently his effort to stop the work will be reasonably well served if he can just bind the tongue of the faithful.  Brethren, if that is the case, I am looking tonight for men young and old who care enough about this battle between good and evil to sign on and speak up. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “We Are All Enlisted,” Ensign, November 2011, p. 44

When evil wants to strike out and disrupt the essence of God’s work, it attacks the family.  It does so by attempting to disregard the law of chastity, to confuse gender, to desensitize violence, to make crude and blasphemous language the norm, and to make immoral and deviant behavior seem like the rule rather than the exception. — Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Let Our Voices Be Heard,” Ensign, November 2003, p. 18

It surely is a good time for every man and woman to examine themselves and discover whether we are on the Lord’s side or not.  I should like to say to you, my brethren and sisters, that all the assaults that the enemy of our souls will make to capture us will be through the flesh, because it is made up of the unredeemed earth, and he has power over the elements of the earth.  The approach he makes to us will be through the lusts, the appetites, the ambitions of the flesh. All the help that comes to us from the Lord to aid us in this struggle will come to us through the spirit that dwells within this mortal body.  So these two mighty forces are operating upon us through these two channels. — Elder Melvin J. Ballard, “Struggle for the Soul,” New Era, March 1984, p. 32; Delivered in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, May 5, 1928

I feel certain that the devil chuckles whenever this false opinion is expressed, for it pleases him that the minds of men have been so blinded to revealed truth by his cunning craftiness and deceit that they will believe any religion to be acceptable to God regardless of its tenets and ordinances or how or by whom those ordinances are administered. — Elder Delbert L. Stapley, Conference Report, April 1958, p. 115

I am not prepared to say who will be on his side or how many he will have, but I am as sure as I live, by the inspiration of the Almighty, that the end of the conflict is as certain as the result at the beginning.  That he fell in the beginning and was routed from heaven is a fact, and it also is a truth that no matter how many he shall gather on his side nor how bitter the conflict, he shall be defeated and banished from the earth and cast out of his own place.  Christ will come to claim his own, to rule and reign. — Elder Melvin J. Ballard, “Struggle for the Soul,” New Era, Mar 1984, 32; Delivered in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, May 5, 1928

Much of the misery encouraged by Satan comes from losses.  Satan experienced that kind of misery when he lost his first estate.  Now he tries to inflict similar losses on those who have proceeded to mortality, the second estate.  Satan encourages a loss of virtue, a loss of integrity, a loss of reputation, a loss of ideals, a loss of wholesome associations, and even a loss of life. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, November 1991, p. 73

As your testimony is fortified, Satan will try harder to tempt you.  Resist his efforts. You will become stronger and his influence on you weaker.  Satan’s increasing influence in the world is allowed to provide an atmosphere in which to prove ourselves.  While he causes havoc today, Satan’s final destiny was fixed by Jesus Christ through His Atonement and Resurrection.  The devil will not triumph.  Even now, he must operate within bounds set by the Lord.  He cannot take away any blessing that has been earned.  He cannot alter character that has been woven from righteous decisions.  He has no power to destroy the eternal bonds forged in a holy temple between a husband, wife, and children.  He cannot quench true faith.  He cannot take away your testimony.  Yes, these things can be lost by succumbing to his temptations.  But he has no power in and of himself to destroy them. — Elder Richard G. Scott, General Conference, October 2001

The Devil cannot exercise his influence over us, only as we permit him to do so. . . . In the first place the spirit is pure, and under the special control and influence of the Lord, but the body is of the earth, and is subject to the power of the Devil, and is under the mighty influence of that fallen nature that is of the earth.  If the spirit yields to the body, the Devil then has power to overcome the body and spirit of that man, and he loses both. . . . When you are tempted . . . stop and let the spirit, which God has put into your tabernacles, take the lead.  If you do that, I will promise that you that you will overcome all evil, and obtain eternal lives. — Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, pp. 69-70

The devil now has power over his dominion, and the Lord has power over his saints. The day approaches when he will “come down in judgment upon . . . the world” and reign in the midst of his people.

Between now and then, however, if men and nations continue on their present course, great tribulation will come upon us.  There shall be more “wars and rumors of wars, . . .  there shall be earthquakes also in divers places, and many [other] desolations. . . . the whole earth shall be in commotion. . . .” (D&C 45:26, 33.)  Those are the words of the Lord himself.

The Lord foresaw the coming of these calamities and gave warning of them.  He restored his gospel and reestablished his church as a means of escape therefrom. — President Marion G. Romney, “Why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Ensign, January 1973, p. 30

Gadianton robbers fill the judgment seats in many nations.  An evil power seeks to overthrow the freedom of all nations and countries.  Satan reigns in the hearts of men; it is the great day of his power. — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “The Coming Tests and Trials and Glory,” Ensign, May 1980, p. 73

 “The spirit of the adversary is the spirit of destruction.  There are two influences in the world.  The one is the influence of our Heavenly Father and the other is the influence of Satan.  We can take our choice which territory we want to live in, that of our Heavenly Father or that of Satan.”

President Smith then said, quoting his grandfather:  “‘There is a line of demarcation, well defined.  On one side of the line is the Lord’s territory.  On the other side of the line is the devil’s territory. . . . If you will stay on the Lord’s side of the line, you are perfectly safe, because the adversary of all righteousness can not cross that line.’  What does that mean?  It means to me that those who are living righteous lives, striving to keep all of the commandments of our Heavenly Father are perfectly safe, but not those who trifle with his advice and counsel.” — President George Albert Smith, Conference Report, October 1949, pp. 5-6

Let us not forget that Satan, a spirit brother of ours, is here on earth with a myriad of other spirit brothers.  They are among us for a purpose – they are doing all in their power to destroy us and handicap the work of the Lord.  Satan knows us – our desires, our weaknesses, our secrets.  He tempts us in a multitude of ways.  He attacks us where we are weak, not where we are strong.  He stirs us up to doubt, to question, to criticize, to hate, to be slothful, discouraged, sinful, and wicked.  He is at the bottom of dissension among the Saints.  He is ever near at hand to make attempts to overcome and lead us away.  I have in mind not only us in this meeting but people generally.  Undoubtedly Satan’s influence and power in the world today is greater than ever before. — Elder Joseph F. Merrill, Conference Report, April 1945

We must remember that whenever God places the true priesthood on the  earth, there is always present a false priesthood, pretending the powers of the true priesthood. By faith and prayer and the witness of  the Holy Spirit, we can distinguish the truth. — President N. Eldon Tanner, “The Priesthood of God,” Ensign, June 1973, p. 3

We need not become paralyzed with fear of Satan’s power.  He can have  no power over us unless we permit it.  He is really a coward, and if we  stand firm, he will retreat.  The Apostle James counseled:  “Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from  you” (James 4:7).  He cannot know our thoughts unless we speak them.   And Nephi states that “he hath no power over the hearts” of people who are righteous (see 1 Ne. 22:26). — President James E. Faust, “The Great Imitator,” Ensign, November 1987, p. 33

One does not really need to fear the angels of evil.  They are essentially cowardly. They fear light and truth.  Darkness and untruth are their native habitats.  Their successes always come when the mind of man is darkened by unbelief or unholy practices.  A resolute determination to have nothing to do with them drains their strength.  They are mortally afraid of the power of the Priesthood. — President John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, p.109

It is Lucifer, on the other hand who seeks the overthrow of free institutions, free churches, free government, and who saps wherever he can the foundation of the rights of man.  That same fallen being, once called the Morning Star, presented himself before the Father, at the beginning, and offered himself as a candidate for the saviorship of this world. He declared – had the audacity to declare – that his purpose was to save man in his sins. “Not one soul shall be lost.”  He proposed to compel all to be saved, and sought to destroy the free agency of man.  But his plan was rejected, and he and all who followed him were cast out of heaven, because they were the enemies of freedom and sought the overthrow of that freest of institutions, the Gospel of salvation.  Therefore they were rejected, and one was chosen as the Redeemer who avowed it to be His purpose to maintain the free agency of man.  This One sought not His own honor, his own glory, as Lucifer had done – who demanded as a reward for his proposed service that he might dethrone the Father and reign as God in his stead, but that other Being said: “Father, let me be thy Son; I will go down; I will die for the world, and thine be the honor and the glory.”  He proposed to save man from his sins to make salvation a free gift, to leave all men at liberty to accept or reject the Gospel, and the purpose of his mission was to break the bands of death, to redeem man from bondage, and therefore His plan is known, and truly known, as the perfect law of liberty. — Elder Orson F. Whitney, Conference Report, October 1906

My purpose now in reminding you of them is to call your attention to the fact that Satan, a spirit brother of ours, is a real existent personal being with a spirit body and is here among us with a multitude of helpers.  He is infinitely more than a mere idea, a thought, or figment of the imagination.  Now a thing sad to see is that Satan has enormous influence and power among men which he exercises to their hurt, sorrow and death.  What makes this particularly sad to see is that it is wholly unnecessary for men to yield to Satan’s power.  God has given each one of us the strength, with His help, to put Satan behind us. In yielding to him men do not live up to their high privileges.  They seem not to remember who they are – sons of a royal Father, the supreme commander of the universe, a Father who loves them so much that He gave Jesus Christ, His greatly beloved, first-born and only begotten Son in the flesh, to die a tortuous, ignominious death that they might have the opportunity of being redeemed and live again forever in His glorious presence.  Yes, brethren and sisters, God has given us the power and clearly indicated the way to overcome Satan. — Elder Joseph F. Merrill, Conference Report, October 1940

If we can banish Satan from our presence, we shall do a good work; for he it is who steps in and causes bickerings and strife.  But if we will be wide awake, and not let the enemy come in, there will be no bickerings or strife, and we will be able to move the heavens and the earth if necessary; we will be able to drive Satan from our midst, with all the kindred spirits that are seeking our destruction. — Elder Daniel H. Wells, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols., 5:43

Satan tempts me, as I suppose he does you all; but I tell Satan that I have nothing to do with him.  I tell him that he is a rebel, that he has tried to ruin the purposes of our Father, and I want nothing to do with him; I will try and not listen to any of his blandishments, nor let him whisper anything into my ear or my heart that would weaken my attachment and my devotion to my Father and to His Kingdom.  That is the way I feel.  I want nothing to do with Satan in any form.  I believe it is the duty of all of us, as the children of God, to be in this condition, and then, as far as we are concerned, Satan will be bound. — Elder George Q. Cannon, General Conference, October 1896

The hatred of the wicked always has and always will follow the Priesthood and the Saints.  The devil will not lose sight of the power of God vested in man – the Holy Priesthood.  He fears it, he hates it, and will never cease to stir up the hearts of the debased and corrupt in anger and malice towards those who hold this power, and to persecute the Saints, until he is bound. — President Joseph F. Smith, at St. George, Utah, April 2, 1877, Journal of Discourses 19:24

I think we will witness increasing evidence of Satan’s power as the kingdom of God grows stronger.  I believe Satan’s ever-expanding efforts are some proof of the truthfulness of this work.  In the future the opposition will be both more subtle and more open.  It will be masked in greater sophistication and cunning, but it will also be more blatant.  We will need greater spirituality to perceive all of the forms of evil and greater strength to resist it. — President James E. Faust, “The Great Imitator,” Ensign, November 1987, p. 33

We generally think of Satan attacking us at our weakest spot.  But weakness is not our only vulnerability. Satan can also attack us where we think we are strong in the very areas where we are proud of our strengths. He will approach us through the greatest talents and spiritual gifts we possess.  If we are not wary, Satan can cause our spiritual downfall by corrupting us through our strengths as well as by exploiting our weakness. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, October 1994, p. 12

Let us not forget that Satan, a spirit brother of ours, is here on earth with a myriad of other spirit brothers.  They are among us for a purpose – they are doing all in their power to destroy us and handicap the work of the Lord. Satan knows us, our desires, our weaknesses, our secrets.  He tempts us in a multitude of ways.  He attacks us where we are weak, not where we are strong.  He stirs us up to doubt, to question, to criticize, to hate, to be slothful, discouraged, sinful, and wicked.  He is at the bottom of dissension among the Saints.  He is ever near at hand to make attempts to overcome and lead us away.  I have in mind not only us in this meeting but people generally.  Undoubtedly Satan’s influence and power in the world today is greater than ever before. — Elder Joseph F. Merrill, Conference Report, April 1945

When evil wants to strike out and disrupt the essence of God’s work, it attacks the family.  It does so by attempting to disregard the law of chastity, to confuse gender, to desensitize violence, to make crude and blasphemous language the norm, and to make immoral and deviant behavior seem like the rule rather than the exception. — Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Let Our Voices Be Heard,” Ensign, November 2003, p. 18

Satan tempts me, as I suppose he does you all; but I tell Satan that I have nothing to do with him.  I tell him that he is a rebel, that he has tried to ruin the purposes of our Father, and I want nothing to do with him; I will try and not listen to any of his blandishments, nor let him whisper anything into my ear or my heart that would weaken my attachment and my devotion to my Father and to His Kingdom.  That is the way I feel.  I want nothing to do with Satan in any form.  I believe it is the duty of all of us, as the children of God, to be in this condition, and then, as far as we are concerned, Satan will be bound. – President George Q. Cannon, General Conference, October 1896

I think we will witness increasing evidence of Satan’s power as the kingdom of God grows stronger.  I believe Satan’s ever-expanding efforts are some proof of the truthfulness of this work.  In the future the opposition will be both more subtle and more open.  It will be masked in greater sophistication and cunning, but it will also be more blatant.  We will need greater spirituality to perceive all of the forms of evil and greater strength to resist it. — President James E. Faust, “The Great Imitator,” Ensign, November 1987, p. 33

As your testimony is fortified, Satan will try harder to tempt you.  Resist his efforts. You will become stronger and his influence on you weaker.  Satan’s increasing influence in the world is allowed to provide an atmosphere in which to prove ourselves.  While he causes havoc today, Satan’s final destiny was fixed by Jesus Christ through His Atonement and Resurrection.  The devil will not triumph.

Even now, he must operate within bounds set by the Lord.  He cannot take away any blessing that has been earned.  He cannot alter character that has been woven from righteous decisions.  He has no power to destroy the eternal bonds forged in a holy temple between a husband, wife, and children.  He cannot quench true faith.  He cannot take away your testimony.  Yes, these things can be lost by succumbing to his temptations.  But he has no power in and of himself to destroy them. — Elder Richard G. Scott, General Conference, October 2001

President David O. McKay has said that he has always thought that the purpose of the book of Job was to emphasize the fact that the testimony of the spirit, the testimony of the Gospel, is beyond the power of Satan’s temptation or any physical influence.  — Dedication of the Salt Lake Temple Annex in 1963, Deseret News

The hatred of the wicked always has and always will follow the Priesthood and the Saints.  The devil will not lose sight of the power of God vested in man – the Holy Priesthood.  He fears it, he hates it, and will never cease to stir up the hearts of the debased and corrupt in anger and malice towards those who hold this power, and to persecute the Saints, until he is bound. — President Joseph F. Smith, at St. George, Utah, April 2, 1877; Journal of Discourses 19:24

Satan from the first has been a great imitator; he is an experienced strategist.  Never has the Lord set his hand to do a specific thing for the good of his people upon the earth, of outstanding feature, but that Satan has attempted to imitate it in some degree. — Elder James E. Talmage, Conference Report, April 1931, p. 27

Satan is evil; totally and always. He ever seeks to defeat the gospel plan and destroy the souls of men.  Satan is irrevocably committed to countering and overcoming the influence of the Spirit of Christ upon men. — President Marion G. Romney, Conference Report, April 1971, p. 24

Every influence for peace ought to be exercised.  Lucifer is exercising every means to destroy the souls of the human family.  He is more active than he has ever been and he works in such an insidious way.  I will not take time to enumerate the many ways he employs but there is one way in which he operates, and has operated from the beginning of the world, and that is to tempt one individual to destroy the reputation of another by saying unkind things of them.  (“To the Relief Society,” Relief Society Magazine, Dec. 1932, 704.) . . .

As a people we are advised not to be critical, not to be unkind, not to speak harshly of those with whom we associate.  We ought to be the greatest exemplars in all the world in that regard.  Consider the criticism today.  Pick up your newspapers and see the unkind things that are being said by individuals about others, and yet many times the individual who is criticizing has a beam in his own eye and does not see at all clearly, but he does think his brother has a mote in his eye.  (In Conference Report, Oct. 1949, 168–69.) Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, pp. 225-26

The spirits in the eternal world are like the spirits in this world.  When those have come into this world and received tabernacles, then died and again have risen and received glorified bodies, they will have an ascendency [sic] over the spirits who have received no bodies, or kept not their first estate, like the devil.  The punishment of the devil was that he should not have a habitation like men.  The devil’s retaliation is, he comes into this world, binds up men’s bodies, and occupies them himself.  When the authorities come along, they eject him from a stolen habitation.

The design of the great God in sending us into this world, and organizing us to prepare us for the eternal worlds, I shall keep in my own bosom at present.

We have no claim in our eternal compact, in relation to eternal things, unless our actions and contracts and all things tend to this.  But after all this, you have got to make your calling and election sure.  If this injunction would lie largely on those to whom it was spoken, how much more those of the present generation!

            1st key:  Knowledge is the power of salvation.

            2nd key: Make your calling and election sure.

            3rd key:  It is one thing to be on the mount and hear the excellent voice, etc., and another to hear the voice declare to you, You have a part and lot in that kingdom. — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, May 21, 1843; History of the Church 5:401-403

There is an adversary who has his own channels of spiritual communication.  He confuses the careless and prompts those who serve him to devise deceptive, counterfeit doctrine, carefully contrived to appear genuine.  I mention this because now, as always, there are self-appointed spokesmen who scoff at what we believe and misrepresent what we teach. — Elder Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, November 1984, p. 66

If the Devil says you cannot pray when you are angry, tell him it is none of his business – and pray until that species of insanity is dispelled and serenity is restored to the mind. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 10:175

Do not get so angry that you cannot pray; do not allow yourselves to become so angry that you cannot feed an enemy – even your worst enemy, if an opportunity should present itself.  There is a wicked anger – and there is a righteous anger.  The Lord does not suffer wicked anger to be in his heart. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 5:228-29

Those who are covetous and greedy, anxious to grasp the whole world, are all the time uneasy, and are constantly laying their plans and contriving how to obtain this, that, and the other. . . . How the Devil will play with a man who so worships gain! Discourses of Brigham Young, 306

Reason as to why it is that you can remember an injury better than a kindness; why you can retain hatred longer than love . . . is it rather because the power of the tempter has control over you, and because the world is full of evil principles, and you have adhered to them?  Yes, this is the cause, and you must acknowledge it.  The whole world is contaminated with a spirit to remember evil and forget the good. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 3:356

When truth comes, error comes also.  The good spirit tries to over come the wayward will of the flesh, and the flesh, aided by the cunning and power of the devil, maintains a strong warfare; but notwithstanding this great power against which the spirit has to contend, the power of God is greater than the power of the wicked one. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 11:237

Has the devil power to afflict, and cast the spirit into torment?  No!  We have gained ascendency over him.  It is in this world only he has power to cause affliction and sickness, pain and distress, sorrow, anguish, and disappointment; but when we go there, behold!  The enemy of Jesus has come to the end of his chain; he has finished his work of torment; he cannot come any further; we are beyond his reach. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 3:95

Salvation is nothing more nor less than to triumph over all our enemies and put them under our feet.  And when we have power to put all enemies under our feet in this world, and a knowledge to triumph over all evil spirits in the world to come, then we are saved, as in the case of Jesus, who was to reign until He had put all enemies under His feet, and the last enemy was death. — “The Doctrine of Calling & Election,” Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 297-98

Perhaps there are principles here that few men have thought of.  No person can have this salvation except through a tabernacle.

Now, in this world, mankind are naturally selfish, ambitious and striving to excel one above another; yet some are willing to build up others as well as themselves.  So in the other world there are a variety of spirits.  Some seek to excel.  And this was the case with Lucifer when he fell.  He sought for things which were unlawful.  Hence he was sent down, and it is said he drew many away with him; and the greatness of his punishment is that he shall not have a tabernacle.  This is his punishment.  So the devil, thinking to thwart the decree of God, by going up and down in the earth, seeking whom he may destroy – any person that he can find that will yield to him, he will bind him, and take possession of the body and reign there, glorying in it mightily, not caring that he had got merely a stolen body; and by and by some one having authority will come along and cast him out and restore the tabernacle to its rightful owner.  The devil steals a tabernacle because he has not one of his own; but if he steals one, he is always liable to be turned out of doors. — “The Doctrine of Calling & Election,” Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 297-98

The spirits in the eternal world are like the spirits in this world.  When those have come into this world and received tabernacles, then died and again have risen and received glorified bodies, they will have an ascendency over the spirits who have received no bodies, or kept not their first estate, like the devil.  The punishment of the devil was that he should not have a habitation like men.  The devil’s retaliation is, he comes into this world, binds up men’s bodies, and occupies them himself.  When the authorities come along, they eject him from a stolen habitation.

The design of the great God in sending us into this world, and organizing us to prepare us for the eternal worlds, I shall keep in my own bosom at present.

We have no claim in our eternal compact, in relation to eternal things, unless our actions and contracts and all things tend to this.  But after all this, you have got to make your calling and election sure.  If this injunction would lie largely on those to whom it was spoken, how much more those of the present generation! — “The Doctrine of Calling & Election,” Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 305; History of the Church 5:401-403, May 21, 1843

God has commenced to set up his kingdom on the earth, and all hell and its devils are moving against it.  Hell is yawning and sending forth its devils and their imps. What for?  To destroy the kingdom of God from the earth.  But they cannot do it. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 5:74, 75

Satan works upon the opposite principle; he seeks to destroy, would annihilate if he could, but only decomposes, disorganizes.  Permit me to inquire what was his cures?  It was, that he should not increase any more, but come to an end. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 1:116

If we live so as to enjoy the spirit of the faith that we embraced, there is no danger of our being deceived. Discourses of Brigham Young, 71

The power of the Devil is limited; the power of God in unlimited. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 3:267

Show me one principle that has originated by the power of the Devil.  You cannot do it.  I call evil inverted good, or a correct principle made an evil use of.Discourses of Brigham Young, 69

Who owns this earth?  Does the Devil?  No, he does not, he pretended to own it when the Savior was here, and promised it all to him if he would fall down and worship him; but he did not own a foot of land, he only had possession of it.  He was an intruder, and is still; this earth belongs to him that framed and organized it, and it is expressly for his glory and the possession of those who love and serve him and keep his commandments. Discourses of Brigham Young, 68

 When the Devil cannot overcome an individual through temptation to commit wickedness, when he sees that a person is determined to walk in the line and travel straight forward into the celestial kingdom, he will adopt a course of flattery, will strive to exercise a pleasing influence and move along smoothly with him, and when he sees an opportunity he will try to turn him out of the way, if it is only to the extent of a hair’s breadth. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 3:318

Another strength Satan can exploit to seek our downfall is a strong desire to understand everything about every principle of the gospel.  How could that possibly work to our detriment?  Experience teaches that if this desire is not disciplined, it can cause some to pursue their searchings past the fringes of orthodoxy, seeking answers to mysteries rather than a firmer understanding and a better practice of the basic principles of the gospel.  Some seek answers to questions God has not chosen to answer.  Others receive answers – or think they receive answers – in ways that are contrary to the order of the Church.  For such searchers, Satan stands ready to mislead through sophistry or spurious revelation. Persons who hunger after a full understanding of all things must discipline their questions and their methods or they can get close to apostasy without even knowing it.  It may be just as dangerous to exceed orthodoxy as it is to fall short of it.  The safety and happiness we are promised lies in keeping the commandments, not in discounting them or multiplying them. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall,” BYU Fireside, June 7, 1992

When you are tempted, buffeted, and step out of the way inadvertently; when you are overtaken in a fault, or commit an overt act unthinkingly; when you are full of evil passion, and wish to yield to it, then stop and let the spirit, which God has put into your tabernacles, take the lead.  If you do that, I will promise that you will overcome all evil, and obtain eternal lives.  But many, very many, let the spirit yield to the body, and are overcome and destroyed. Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 69-70

. . . we live in an age when access to the scriptures is unprecedented.  Never in the history of the world have God’s children had the opportunity to enjoy these sacred materials as they do now.  Written copies of the scriptures can be readily purchased in bookstores or online.  Electronic copies can be accessed instantaneously through the World Wide Web and downloaded to numerous devices.  Preparing talks, writing articles, and searching for information has never been easier.

God has given us this new technology for a wise purpose.  The adversary, however, has stepped up his offensive and uses technological advancements – intended by God to help us – to further his purpose of making us “miserable like unto himself” (2 Nephi 2:27). — Elder Michael John U. The, “The Power of the Word of God,” Ensign, March 2013, p. 52

Now, in this world, mankind are naturally selfish, ambitious and striving to excel one above another; yet some are willing to build up others as well as themselves.  So in the other world there are a variety of spirits. Some seek to excel.  And this was the case with Lucifer when he fell.  He sought for things which were unlawful.  Hence he was sent down, and it is said he drew many away with him; and the greatness of his punishment is that he shall not have a tabernacle.  This is his punishment.  So the devil, thinking to thwart the decree of God, by going up and down in the earth, seeking whom he may destroy – any person that he can find that will yield to him, he will bind him, and take possession of the body and reign there, glorying in it mightily, not caring that he had got merely a stolen body; and by and by some one having authority will come along and cast him out and restore the tabernacle to its rightful owner.  The devil steals a tabernacle because he has not one of his own; but if he steals one, he is always liable to be turned out of doors. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 297-98

The devil is ready to blind our eyes with the things of this world, and he would gladly rob us of eternal life, the greatest of all gifts.  But it is not given to the devil, and no power will ever be given to him to overthrow any Latter-day Saint that is keeping the commandments of God.  There is no power given to the adversary of men’s souls to destroy us if we are doing our duty. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant, p. 27