Skip to main content

dispatching temptations; no immunity from trial or temptations (Maxwell)

Another advantage of dispatching temptations is this: The human mind is remarkably retentive. We must be careful of what we allow in our mind, for it will be there for a long time, reasserting itself at those very times when we may be most vulnerable. Just as harmful chemicals heedlessly dumped in a vacant lot can later prove lethal, so toxic thoughts and the mulching of the wrong memories in the vacant corner of the mind also take their toll.
What happens, of course, when we persist in savoring temptations, whether they are temptations of wealth, power, status, or sensuality, is well portrayed by what we read of another people in another time: "Now the cause of this iniquity of the people was this—Satan had great power, unto the stirring up of the people to do all manner of iniquity, and to the puffing them up with pride, tempting them to seek for power, and authority, and riches, and the vain things of the world." (3 Nephi 6:15. Italics added.)
This people actually lost both personal and social control, as these words vividly portray: "And thus, in the commencement of the thirtieth year—the people having been delivered up for the space of a long time to be carried about by the temptations of the devil whithersoever he desired to carry them, and to do whatsoever iniquity he desired they should—and thus in the commencement of this, the thirtieth year, they were in a state of awful wickedness." (3 Nephi 6:17. Italics added.)
Surely it should give us more pause than it does to think of how casually we sometimes give to him who could not control his own ego in the premortal world such awful control over our egos here. We often let the adversary do indirectly now what we refused to let him do directly then.
Thus we can expect no immunity from either trial or temptation, because these are the common lot of mankind. Mortality without the dimension of temptation or trial would not be full proving, it would be a school with soft credits and no hard courses. These features of mortality were among they very conditions we agreed to before we undertook this mortal experience. We cannot renege on that commitment now. We are encountering not only divine love but also divine determination concerning this plan of happiness, for "there is nothing that... God shall take into his heart to do but what he will do it." (Abraham 3:17.)
So it is that the real but unheralded heroes and heroines of our time are the men and women of the earth who uncommonly resist the world's common temptations, who surmount the common tribulations of the world and continue to the very end in righteousness, arriving home battered slightly, yet much bettered. Such individuals may get little mortal applause or recognition, but there is real rejoicing elsewhere by those who really know what a good performance is!
Neal A. Maxwell
We Will Prove Them Herewith, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1982, 44-45.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The God of the 4th Watch (S. Michael Wilcox)

The scriptures are our Father in Heaven’s letters; only He knows more than I did as a father what you and I would need.  There are times in our lives when we need to open the letter and communicate with our Father in Heaven, and understand what He is like and His concern for us.  I would like to share this morning, with you, four letters from my Father in Heaven that have been very important to me—that I hope will be indicative of the power that the scriptures can be for us as we face different trials and challenges of our lives.  The first letter is called "The Fourth Watch." That letter comes from the sixth chapter of Mark.  The Savior has fed the five thousand that day, and in the late afternoon, early evening, He is sending his apostles down into the ship. He will dismiss the multitude. He wishes to pray that evening, and then He will meet the apostles a little later on the shore and they are to pick Him up.  In late afternoon, early evening, the apostles get on the sh

The Exquisite Gift of the Son (Matthew S. Holland)

  For anyone today with pains so intense or so unique that you feel no one else could fully appreciate them, you may have a point. There may be no family member, friend, or priesthood leader—however sensitive and well-meaning each may be—who knows exactly what you are feeling or has the precise words to help you heal. But know this: there is One who understands perfectly what you are experiencing, who is “mightier than all the earth,” 17   and who is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that [you] ask or think.” 18   The process will unfold in His way and on His schedule, but Christ stands ready   always   to heal every ounce and aspect of your agony. As you allow Him to do so, you will discover that your suffering was not in vain. Speaking of many of the Bible’s greatest heroes and their griefs, the Apostle Paul said that “God … provided some better things for them through their sufferings, for without sufferings they could not be made perfect.” 19  You see, the very nature of

Bread or Stones: Understanding the God We Pray to (W. Michael Wilcox)

Amazing talk about the nature of God, answers to prayer, adversity, etc.: https://devotionalarchive.byuh.edu/node/332.html https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR2xdzkEIQk&feature=youtu.be Bread or Stones: Understanding the God We Pray to Devotional Talk Given at  Brigham Young University-Hawaii  March 31, 2009 S. Michael Wilcox  Religion Instructor & Author CES Institute of Religion A number of years ago when my daughter was about your age, she was just out of high school, she went to one semester at BYU and then she got an opportunity to go to the Soviet Union (former Soviet Union) and teach English in Russia. Now this was before e-mail and cell phones, and communications between the United States and the Soviet Union were not going to be really good. She was eighteen; we were a little bit worried that there might be moments or times when she would need to talk with a parent, and not be able to because of communication difficulties.  So I decided that I would write her a series