There are too many among us who shake hands with the devil; and while this is so the Lord cannot bless this people as He wants to bless them. Were He to pour out the multiplicity of blessings He has in store upon them now, it would send many of them to destruction; otherwise His great blessings will save them when they understand them. It is necessary we should live near to the Lord.
I am not obliged to mingle with evil because it surrounds me. An Elder whose duty calls him into the Gentile world can keep himself as pure and as holy as he was in the midst of the Saints. He may enwrap himself as in a cloak against every evil that would surround his footsteps.
It is in the power of every man to resist the devil, and he will flee from him. He will not take possession of any man’s heart unless he makes him a welcome inhabitant and invites him to share in his affections.
It is in the power of every man and every woman not to give way to evil thoughts and speak evil against their neighbors. If they do this, the first thing they know they are overcome. They will think evil in the first place; and if they encourage the evil thoughts, they will finally give utterance to them; and when they do this, they are still further from the true path than before. And so they go on, until they are overtaken by apostasy, which they did not think of when they commenced this course.
Daniel H. Wells, Journal of Discourses 7:293