Temptation

“One speaker in Church directs, “You can’t do everything. Don’t run faster than you have strength”. The next says, “Push yourself. You can always do more.” One person advises, “Don’t worry about what you can’t do” at the same time someone else says, “You can do anything you put your mind to.” In one hymn we sing, “I need thee every hour,” and in another we sing, “We will work out our salvation”. In this world of mixed messages, I never can seem to escape the nagging though, “If only I were better organized or if only I tried harder.” Satan tempted Christ with the word, ‘if.’ He often comes to me with the words, ‘if only.’”

Brad Wilcox  |  The Continuous Atonement

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No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you do not find out the strength of the German army by fighting it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try and fight it: and Christ, because he was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who know to the full what temptation means – the only complete realist.”

CS Lewis  |  Mere Christianity

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Richard G. Scott Portrait

“It is not good practice to become intrigued by Satan and his mysteries. No good can come from getting close to evil. Like playing with fire, it is too easy to get burned. … The only safe course is to keep well distanced from him and any of his wicked activities or nefarious practices. The mischief of devil worship, sorcery, casting spells, witchcraft, voodooism, black magic, and all other forms of demonism should be avoided like the plague.

“However, Brigham Young said that it is important to ‘study … evil, and its consequences’. Since Satan is the author of all evil in the world, it would therefore be essential to realize that he is the influence behind the opposition to the work of God.” —James E. Faust, “The Great Imitator”
“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.”

Richard G. Scott  |  “The Power of a Strong Testimony”

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“Every temptation proves a crossroad where we must choose between the high road and the low road. On some occasions it is a trial of agonizing frustration. On other occasions, it is a mere annoyance, a nuisance of minor proportions. but in each case there is some element tot uneasiness, anxiety, and spiritual tugging–ultimately a choosing that forces us to take sides. Neutrality is a nonexistent condition in this life. We are always choosing, always taking sides. That is part of the human experience–facing temptations on a daily, almost moment-by-moment basis–facing them not only on the good days but on the days we are down, the days we are tired, rejected, discouraged, or sick. Every day of our lives we battle temptation–and so did the Savior. It is an integral part of the human experience, faced not only by us but also by him. He drank from the same cup.”

Tad R. Callister  |  The Infinite Atonement

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“Part of the human experience is to confront temptation. No one escapes. It is omnipresent. It is both externally driven and internally prompted. It is like the enemy that attacks from all sides. It boldly assaults us in television shows, movies, billboards, and newspapers in the name of entertainment or free speech. It walks down our streets and sits in our offices in the name of fashion. It drives our roads in the name of style. It represents itself as political correctness or business necessity. It claims moral sanction under the guise of free choice. On occasion it roars like thunder; on others it whispers in subtle, soothing tones. With chameleon-like skill it camouflages its ever-present nature, but it is there–always there.”

Tad R. Callister  |  The Infinite Atonement

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“Do not expect to become perfect at once. If you do, you will be disappointed. Be better today than you were yesterday, and be better tomorrow than you are today. The temptations that perhaps partially overcome us today, let them not overcome us so far tomorrow. Thus continue to be a little better day by day; and do not let your life wear away without accomplishing good to others as well as to ourselves.”

Lorenzo Snow  |  Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow, p. 103

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When temptation besets us, we experience pain of conscience. A sensitive conscience is the evidence of a healthy spirit. The pain or guilt we feel is the spirit’s reaction to temptation, imperfection, or sin. Conscience is the companion of every traveler (Moro. 7:16–19), it can also make the trip very uncomfortable, since “all have sinned” and “the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance” ( Rom. 3:23 D&C 1:31). Thanks be to God for this supernal gift, for it can lead us to repentance and peace of conscience (Mosiah 4:1–3).

Keith B. McMullin  |  Welcome Home

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“Doesn’t the Atonement really begin to mean something to a person when he or she is trying to face down the challenges of living, whether they be temptations or limitations? The willingness to turn to the Savior, the opportunity of going to sacrament service on a Sunday, and really participating in the ordinance of the sacrament… listening to the prayers, partaking of those sacred emblems. Those are opportunities that really help us to come within the ambit of the Savior’s Atonement.”

Lance B. Wickman

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“Part of the human experience is to confront temptation. No one escapes. It is omnipresent. It is both externally driven and internally prompted. It is like the enemy that attacks from all sides. It boldly assaults us in television shows, movies, billboards, and newspapers in the name of entertainment or free speech. It walks down our streets and sits in our offices in the name of fashion. It drives our roads in the name of style. It represents itself as political correctness or business necessity. It claims moral sanction under the guise of free choice. On occasion it roars like thunder; on others it whispers in subtle, soothing tones. With chameleon-like skill it camouflages its ever-present nature, but it is there–always there.”

Tad R. Callister  |  The Infinite Atonement

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“It will take unshakable faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to choose the way to eternal life. It is by using that faith we can know the will of God. It is by acting on that faith we build the strength to do the will of God. And it is by exercising that faith in Jesus Christ that we can resist temptation and gain forgiveness through the Atonement. We will need to have developed and nurtured faith in Jesus Christ long before Satan hits us, as he will, with doubts and appeals to our carnal desires and with lying voices saying that good is bad and that there is no sin. Those spiritual storms are already raging. We can expect that they will worsen until the Savior returns. However much faith to obey God we now have, we will need to strengthen it continually and keep it refreshed constantly.”

Elder Henry B. Eyring  |  Spiritual Preparedness: Start Early and Be Steady, October 2005 General Conference

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