Having been raised in the LDS church, I learned at a young age how to access the connection to our Divine Creator who wishes for us to call Him Father. My connection to Him has been deep, I do not doubt His presence, and I am drawn to the light of His love. Despite this strong positive influence throughout my life, or perhaps because of it, I have also felt a strong opposing force that has sought to draw me away from the light into a swirling pit of darkness and despair. This voice says I am not good enough, that I am not strong enough, that I am not worth enough, tells me to give up on reaching my full potential… but this voice is wrong.
In the book of scripture, The Pearl of Great Price (part of LDS standard works), in Moses 1, Moses has a big spiritual moment actually speaking to God, only to be faced with Satan right after. In these verses, I have found much comfort and many answers to my own experiences. In Satan’s attempt to tempt Moses, he calls him “son of man,” denying Moses’ divine inheritance of the Father, and seeks for Moses to worship him instead of God. Moses’ response to this effort is a perfect example to me. He says, “Who art thou? For behold, I am a son of God, in the similitude of his Only Begotten; and where is thy glory,that I should worship thee? … I can judge between thee and God; for God said unto me: Worship God, for him only shalt thou serve. Get thee hence, Satan; deceive me not; for God said unto me: Thou art after the similitude of mine Only Begotten.” Despite this bold reproach, Satan does not let up, as often he continues to pester and push until we feel we cannot go on. In this moment of deepest despair, Moses cries out to the Lord, and pulls on the strength of the Only Begotten to remove the fearsome forces of the adversary. I am so comforted to know that this is here, available for me. That while I may feel like I can do this alone, the only sure way to overcome is through our Savior Jesus Christ, on borrowed strength. I often have to remind myself that borrowed strength is still strength, and there is absolutely no shame in asking for help.
To be clear, I do not believe in the adage “the devil made me do it.” I believe in my own free agency, and not every inclination to act against the commandments or to be unkind comes from the devil. Sometimes it comes from me and what I want at the time, or I’m grumpy and upset because I’m hangry or tired, not because I’m being attacked by angels of darkness. However, I do believe he is a real being, with real influence, and that he will try to push thoughts and feelings of darkness and despair into our lives when we are trying our hardest to do what is right. I have felt some of these attacks, especially when I am trying to make the decisions that will take me closest to God. Again though, I, like Moses, can determine the difference between God and Satan. I can know what is from my loving Heavenly Father to lift me up into a better person, and what is the buffeting of an angry, miserable being who seeks to tear me down, or even what is coming from myself. Every time I stick to my faith and don’t let the adversary get to me, I come out stronger and gain access to even greater light. This is the message that offers hope, that helps me to stay strong and dependent on the Lord, when I could be led to believe that all is lost.
I am a daughter of a Heavenly Father who knows me, and knows what I am capable of, which I honestly do believe is an astounding amount – IF I am willing to lean on the Lord. The more I recognize I am wholly and completely dependent on Christ, the more I am able to overcome the doubts and fears instigated by the adversary and recognize my true potential as a daughter of God.
To wrap this up, Satan is weak compared to Christ, who is begging to help. So don’t let the devil get you down!