By Alan on Jun 01 in Blog tagged a drug, a job, abilities, ability, academic, agent, blacks, character, choice, college, Commencement address, culture, deathly silent, diploma, distrust, education, faculty, failure, gender, government, health care, identity, individual identity, individual rights, interity, just begun, lawyer, learning, less fortunate, liberals, luck, minority, miserable, money, Neal Boortz, not to impress, Og Mandino, poor, poorer, Poverty, power, racial, real world, responsibility, rich, rights, standing ovation, students, success, teach, temptation, Texas A&M, Texas Aggie, The Family, welfare, work | 3 Comments
The students gave a standing ovation;
the faculty were deathly silent!
Neal Boortz is a Texan, a lawyer, a Texas Aggie (Texas A&M) graduate, and now a nationally syndicated talk show host from Atlanta . His commencement address to the graduates of a recent Texas A&M class is far different from what either the students or the faculty expected. Whether you agree or disagree, his views are certainly thought provoking.
BOLD AND BLUNT!
TESTED AND TRUE!
“I am honored by the invitation to address you on this august occasion. It’s about time. Be warned, however, that I am not here to impress you; you’ll have enough smoke blown up your bloomers today. And you can bet your tassels I’m not here to impress the faculty and administration. You may not like much of what I have to say, and that’s fine. You will remember it though. Especially after about 10 years out there in the real world. This, it goes without saying, does not apply to those of you who will seek your careers and your fortunes as government employees.
This gowned gaggle behind me is your faculty. You’ve heard the old saying that those who can – do. Those who can’t – teach. That sounds deliciously insensitive. But there is often raw truth in insensitivity, just as you often find feel-good falsehoods and lies in compassion. Say good-bye to your faculty because now you are getting ready to go out there and do. These folks behind me are going to stay right here and teach.
By the way, just because you are leaving this place with a diploma doesn’t mean the learning is over. When an FAA flight examiner handed me my private pilot’s license many years ago, he said, “Here, this is your ticket to learn.” The same can be said for your diploma. Believe me, the learning has just begun.
Now, I realize that most of you consider yourselves Liberals. In fact, you are probably very proud of your liberal views. You care so much. You feel so much. You want to help so much. After all, you’re a compassionate and caring person, aren’t you now? Well, isn’t that just so extraordinarily special. Now, at this age, is as good a time as any to be a liberal; as good a time as any to know absolutely everything. You have plenty of time, starting tomorrow, for the truth to set in.
Over the next few years, as you begin to feel the cold breath of reality down your neck, things are going to start changing pretty fast… Including your own assessment of just how much you really know.
So here are the first assignments for your initial class in reality: Pay attention to the news, read newspapers, and listen to the words and phrases that proud Liberals use to promote their causes. Then, compare the words of the left to the words and phrases you hear from those evil, heartless, greedy conservatives. From the Left you will hear “I feel.” From the Right you will hear “I think.” From the Liberals you will hear references to groups — The Blacks, the Poor, the Rich, the Disadvantaged, the Less Fortunate. From the Right you will hear references to individuals. On the Left you hear talk of group rights; on the Right, individual rights.
That about sums it up, really: Liberals feel. Liberals care. They are pack animals whose identity is tied up in group dynamics. Conservatives think — and, setting aside the theocracy crowd, their identity is centered on the individual.
Liberals feel that their favored groups have enforceable rights to the property and services of productive individuals. Conservatives, I among them I might add, think that individuals have the right to protect their lives and their property from the plunder of the masses.
In college you developed a group mentality, but if you look closely at your diplomas you will see that they have your individual names on them. Not the name of your school mascot, or of your fraternity or sorority, but your name. Your group identity is going away. Your recognition and appreciation of your individual identity starts now.
If, by the time you reach the age of 30, you do not consider yourself to be a conservative, rush right back here as quickly as you can and apply for a faculty position. These people will welcome you with open arms. They will welcome you, that is, so long as you haven’t developed an individual identity. Once again you will have to be willing to sign on to the group mentality you embraced during the past four years.
Something is going to happen soon that is going to really open your eyes. You’re going to actually get a full time job!
You’re also going to get a lifelong work partner. This partner isn’t going to help you do your job. This partner is just going to sit back and wait for payday. This partner doesn’t want to share in your effort, but in your earnings.
Your new lifelong partner is actually an agent; an agent representing a strange and diverse group of people; an agent for every teenager with an illegitimate child; an agent for a research scientist who wanted to make some cash answering the age-old question of why monkeys grind their teeth. An agent for some poor demented hippie who considers herself to be a meaningful and talented artist, but who just can’t manage to sell any of her artwork on the open market.
Your new partner is an agent for every person with limited, if any, job skills, but who wanted a job at City Hall. An agent for tin-horn dictators in fancy military uniforms grasping for American foreign aid. An agent for multi-million dollar companies who want someone else to pay for their overseas advertising. An agent for everybody who wants to use the unimaginable power of this agent’s for their personal enrichment and benefit.
That agent is our wonderful, caring, compassionate, oppressive government. Believe me, you will be awed by the unimaginable power this agent has. Power that you do not have. A power that no individual has, or will have. This agent has the legal power to use force, deadly force to accomplish its goals.
You have no choice here. Your new friend is just going to walk up to you, introduce itself rather gruffly, hand you a few forms to fill out, and move right on in. Say hello to your own personal one ton gorilla. It will sleep anywhere it wants to.
Now, let me tell you, this agent is not cheap. As you become successful it will seize about 40% of everything you earn. And no, I’m sorry, there just isn’t any way you can fire this agent of plunder, and you can’t decrease its share of your income. That power rests with him, not you.
So, here I am saying negative things to you about government. Well, be clear on this: It is not wrong to distrust government. It is not wrong to fear government. In certain cases it is not even wrong to despise government for government is inherently evil. Yes, a necessary evil, but dangerous nonetheless, somewhat like a drug. Just as a drug that in the proper dosage can save your life, an overdose of government can be fatal.
Now let’s address a few things that have been crammed into your minds at this university. There are some ideas you need to expunge as soon as possible. These ideas may work well in academic environment, but they fail miserably out there in the real world.
First is that favorite buzz word of the media and academia: Diversity! You have been taught that the real value of any group of people – be it a social group, an employee group, a management group, whatever – is based on diversity. This is a favored liberal ideal because diversity is based not on an individuals abilities or character, but on a person’s identity and status as a member of a group. Yes, it’s that liberal group identity thing again.
Within the great diversity movement group identification – be it racial, gender based, or some other minority status – means more than the individuals integrity, character or other qualifications.
Brace yourself. You are about to move from this academic atmosphere where diversity rules, to a workplace and a culture where individual achievement and excellence actually count. No matter what your professors have taught you over the last four years, you are about to learn that diversity is absolutely no replacement for excellence, ability, and individual hard work. From this day on every single time you hear the word “diversity” you can rest assured that there is someone close by who is determined to rob you of every vestige of individuality you possess.
We also need to address this thing you seem to have about “rights.” We have witnessed an obscene explosion of so-called “rights” in the last few decades, usually emanating from college campuses.
You know the mantra: You have the right to a job. The right to a place to live. The right to a living wage. The right to health care. The right to an education. You probably even have your own pet right – the right to a Beemer for instance, or the right to have someone else provide for that child you plan on downloading in a year or so.
Forget it. Forget those rights! I’ll tell you what your rights are. You have a right to live free, and to the results of 60% -75% of your labor. I’ll also tell you have no right to any portion of the life or labor of another.
You may, for instance, think that you have a right to health care. After all, President Obama said so, didn’t he? But you cannot receive health-care unless some doctor or health practitioner surrenders some of his time – his life – to you. He may be willing to do this for compensation, but that’s his choice. You have no “right” to his time or property. You have no right to his or any other person’s life or to any portion thereof.
You may also think you have some “right” to a job; a job with a living wage, whatever that is. Do you mean to tell me that you have a right to force your services on another person, and then the right to demand that this person compensate you with their money? Sorry, forget it. I am sure you would scream if some urban outdoors men (that would be “homeless person” for those of you who don’t want to give these less fortunate people a romantic and adventurous title) came to you and demanded his job and your money.
The people who have been telling you about all the rights you have are simply exercising one of theirs – the right to be imbeciles. Their being imbeciles didn’t cost anyone else either property or time. It’s their right, and they exercise it brilliantly.
By the way, did you catch my use of the phrase “less fortunate” a bit ago when I was talking about the urban outdoors men? That phrase is a favorite of the Left. Think about it, and you’ll understand why.
To imply that one person is homeless, destitute, dirty, drunk, spaced out on drugs, unemployable, and generally miserable because he is “less fortunate” is to imply that a successful person – one with a job, a home and a future – is in that position because he or she was “fortunate.” The dictionary says that fortunate means “having derived good from an unexpected place.” There is nothing unexpected about deriving good from hard work. There is also nothing unexpected about deriving misery from choosing drugs, alcohol, and the street.
If the Liberal Left can create the common perception that success and failure are simple matters of “fortune” or “luck,” then it is easy to promote and justify their various income redistribution schemes. After all, we are just evening out the odds a little bit. This “success equals luck” idea the liberals like to push is seen everywhere. Former Democratic presidential candidate Richard Gephardt refers to high-achievers as “people who have won life’s lottery.” He wants you to believe they are making the big bucks because they are lucky. It’s not luck, my friends. It’s choice. One of the greatest lessons I ever learned was in a book by Og Mandino, entitled, “The Greatest Secret in the World.” The lesson? Very simple: “Use wisely your power of choice.”
That bum sitting on a heating grate, smelling like a wharf rat? He’s there by choice. He is there because of the sum total of the choices he has made in his life. This truism is absolutely the hardest thing for some people to accept, especially those who consider themselves to be victims of something or other – victims of discrimination, bad luck, the system, capitalism, whatever. After all, nobody really wants to accept the blame for his or her position in life. Not when it is so much easier to point and say, “Look! He did this to me!” than it is to look into a mirror and say, “You X. X. X.! You did this to me!”
The key to accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that your choices, every one of them, are leading you inexorably to either success or failure, however you define those terms.
Some of the choices are obvious: Whether or not to stay in school. Whether or not to get pregnant. Whether or not to hit the bottle. Whether or not to keep this job you hate until you get another better-paying job. Whether or not to save some of your money, or saddle yourself with huge payments for that new car.
Some of the choices are seemingly insignificant: Whom to go to the movies with. Whose car to ride home in. Whether to watch the tube tonight, or read a book on investing. But, and you can be sure of this, each choice counts. Each choice is a building block – some large, some small. But each one is a part of the structure of your life. If you make the right choices, or if you make more right choices than wrong ones, something absolutely terrible may happen to you. Something unthinkable. You, my friend, could become one of the hated, the evil, the ugly, the feared, the filthy, the successful, the rich.
The rich basically serve two purposes in this country. First, they provide the investments, the investment capital, and the brains for the formation of new businesses. Businesses that hire people. Businesses that send millions of paychecks home each week to the un-rich.
Second, the rich are a wonderful object of ridicule, distrust, and hatred. Few things are more valuable to a politician than the envy most Americans feel for the evil rich.
Envy is a powerful emotion. Even more powerful than the emotional minefield that surrounded Bill Clinton when he reviewed his last batch of White House interns. Politicians use envy to get votes and power. And they keep that power by promising the envious that the envied will be punished: “The rich will pay their fair share of taxes if I have anything to do with it.” The truth is that the top 10% of income earners in this country pays almost 50% of all income taxes collected. I shudder to think what these job producers would be paying if our tax system were any more “fair.”
You have heard, no doubt, that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Interestingly enough, our government’s own numbers show that many of the poor actually get richer, and that quite a few of the rich actually get poorer. But for the rich who do actually get richer, and the poor who remain poor .. there’s an explanation — a reason. The rich, you see, keep doing the things that make them rich; while the poor keep doing the things that make them poor.
Speaking of the poor, during your adult life you are going to hear an endless string of politicians bemoaning the plight of the poor. So, you need to know that under our government’s definition of “poor” you can have a $5 million net worth, a $300,000 home and a new $90,000 Mercedes, all completely paid for. You can also have a maid, cook, and valet, and a million in your checking account, and you can still be officially defined by our government as “living in poverty.” Now there’s something you haven’t seen on the evening news.
How does the government pull this one off? Very simple, really. To determine whether or not some poor soul is “living in poverty,” the government measures one thing — just one thing. Income.
It doesn’t matter one bit how much you have, how much you own, how many cars you drive or how big they are, whether or not your pool is heated, whether you winter in Aspen and spend the summers in the Bahamas, or how much is in your savings account. It only matters how much income you claim in that particular year. This means that if you take a one-year leave of absence from your high-paying job and decide to live off the money in your savings and checking accounts while you write the next great American novel, the government says you are living in poverty.”
This isn’t exactly what you had in mind when you heard these gloomy statistics, is it? Do you need more convincing? Try this. The government’s own statistics show that people who are said to be “living in poverty” spend more than $1.50 for each dollar of income they claim. Something is a bit fishy here. Just remember all this the next time Charles Gibson tells you about some hideous new poverty statistics.
Why has the government concocted this phony poverty scam? Because the government needs an excuse to grow and to expand its social welfare programs, which translates into an expansion of its power. If the government can convince you, in all your compassion, that the number of “poor” is increasing, it will have all the excuse it needs to sway an electorate suffering from the advanced stages of Obsessive-Compulsive Compassion Disorder.
I’m about to be stoned by the faculty here. They’ve already changed their minds about that honorary degree I was going to get. That’s OK, though. I still have my PhD. in Insensitivity from the Neal Boortz Institute for Insensitivity Training. I learned that, in short, sensitivity sucks. It’s a trap. Think about it – the truth knows no sensitivity. Life can be insensitive. Wallow too much in sensitivity and you’ll be unable to deal with life, or the truth, so get over it.
Now, before the dean has me shackled and hauled off, I have a few random thoughts.
* You need to register to vote, unless you are on welfare. If you are living off the efforts of others, please do us the favor of sitting down and shutting up until you are on your own again.
* When you do vote, your votes for the House and the Senate are more important than your vote for President. The House controls the purse strings, so concentrate your awareness there.
* Liars cannot be trusted, even when the liar is the President of the country. If someone can’t deal honestly with you, send them packing.
* Don’t bow to the temptation to use the government as an instrument of plunder. If it is wrong for you to take money from someone else who earned it — to take their money by force for your own needs — then it is certainly just as wrong for you to demand that the government step forward and do this dirty work for you.
* Don’t look in other people’s pockets. You have no business there. What they earn is theirs. What you earn is yours. Keep it that way. Nobody owes you anything, except to respect your privacy and your rights, and leave you the ‘heck’ alone.
* Speaking of earning, the revered 40-hour workweek is for losers. Forty hours should be considered the minimum, not the maximum. You don’t see highly successful people clocking out of the office every afternoon at five. The losers are the ones caught up in that afternoon rush hour. The winners drive home in the dark.
* Free speech is meant to protect unpopular speech. Popular speech, by definition, needs no protection.
* Finally (and aren’t you glad to hear that word), as Og Mandino wrote,
1. Proclaim your rarity. Each of you is a rare and unique human being.
2. Use wisely your power of choice.
3. Go the extra mile, drive home in the dark.
Oh, and put off buying a television set as long as you can. Now, if you have any idea at all what’s good for you, you will get out of here and never come back. Class dismissed.”
“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8: 32
For The Family
(Anxious to see your comments!)
By Alan on May 18 in Blog tagged act immorally, adversary, agency, Apostle, Atonement is like an eraser, be clean, Bod K. Packer, cheat, choose, communication with Heavenly Father, enemy territory, entertainment, entitlement, gender, guilt, Holy Ghost, How to survive in enemy territory, in homes, infiltrated the world, influence of God, Jesus Christ, language, lie, pain, parents, pornography, prayer, pre-marital sex, righteousness, same-sex marriage, scriptures daily, self-control, self-dicipline, spirit, steal, tatoos, teasing, temptation, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the media, think a prayer | Comments Off
How To Survive In Enemy Territory
You are growing up in enemy territory. When you become mature spiritually, you will understand how the adversary has infiltrated the world around you. He is in homes, entertainment, the media, language — everything around you. In most cases, his presence is undetected. Pornography is just one example.
There are things that are the most desirable and of the most worth that youth can do to stay strong, even in enemy territory.
For young men and young women the process is the same. Discovering how the Holy Ghost operates in your life is the quest of a lifetime. Once you have made that discovery for yourself, you can live in enemy territory and will not be deceived or destroyed. No one will ever make a serious mistake without first being warned by the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
It is through using the Holy Ghost as a guide and protective influence that individuals are able to do good and stay away from harm.
You can quickly learn to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost. This power of revelation from the gift of the Holy Ghost operates on principles of righteousness.
The important role of righteousness is in keeping the lines of communication with the Spirit open.
You cannot lie or cheat or steal or act immorally and have those channels remain free from disruption. Do not go where the environment resists spiritual communication. You must learn to seek the power and direction that is available to you, and then follow that course no matter what.
Here is a “to do” list for the youth with things individuals can do in their lives to have the direction of the Spirit.
Most of the time, your prayers will be silent.
“You can think a prayer.”
Parents and teachers are oftentimes concerned about the day that their children or youth are left on their own. It is through understanding that the influence of God is always there, that youth are able to have extra strength in their lives.
Sometimes it is hard for young people to confide in their parents. You can always have a direct line of communication with your Father in Heaven. Do not allow the adversary to convince you that no one is listening on the other end. Your prayers are always heard. You are never alone!
Part of being clean is following the Word of Wisdom (no smoking, tea or coffee, drugs or stimulants) and taking care of one’s own body. It does not promise perfect health but that the spiritual receptors within you might be strengthened. Stay away from tattoos and similar things which deface your body. Do not do that which would dishonor yourself, your parents, or your Father in Heaven. Your body was created in His image.
Unworthy people can be uncomfortable in the presence of someone who is virtuous. You must not be embarrassed by the teasing they might get from others around them because, in the end, many will understand and respect them for their values.
Another important topic is that gender is set in the pre-mortal world.
You always have a choice to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost and live a morally pure and chaste life, one filled with virtue. If you try to uphold and defend and live in a so-called pre-marital or same-sex marriage situation, God will not stand idle if you indulge in immoral activity. To permit such would be to make light of the very serious and sacred foundation of God-sanctioned marriage and its very purpose, the rearing of families.
Just as Adam and Eve had the ability to choose for themselves, so do individuals today.
You have that same agency. Use it wisely to deny acting on any impure impulse or unholy temptation that may come into your mind. Just do not go there, and if you are already there, come back out of it. ‘Deny yourselves of all ungodliness.’
Do not tamper with the life-giving powers in your body alone or with members of either gender. That is God’s standard, and it will not change. As you mature, there is a temptation to experiment or explore immoral activities. Do not do that!
Are you are doing all in your power to overcome immoral conduct, however difficult that may be?
The key word is discipline — self discipline. The word ‘discipline’ comes from the word ‘disciple’ or follower. Be a disciple/follower of the Savior, and you will be safe.”
If you are guilty of serious mistakes, it is “never too late, as you probably have been taught at home and in church about the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
The Atonement is like an eraser. It can wipe away guilt and the effect of whatever it is that is causing you to feel guilty. Guilt is spiritual pain. Do not suffer from chronic pain. Get rid of it. Be done with it. Repent, and, if necessary, repent again and again and again until you — not the enemy — are in charge of you.
Because life is a succession of trials and errors, it is important for all to repent often.
This will bring you lasting peace that cannot be purchased at any earthly price. Understanding the Atonement may be the one most important truth that you can learn in your youth.
If you are associating with others who drag you down instead of building you up, stop and change company. You may be alone and lonely at times. The important question may be asked then, ‘When you are alone, are you in good company?’ If you are doing something that you know is wrong, stop it. Stop it now.
Unwinding a habit that you have allowed to entangle you can be difficult. But the power is in you. Do not despair.
It is through choosing to repent that individuals are able to receive a testimony and know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true.
You are not ordinary. You have a very special life. You are exceptional. You were born at a time and in a place where the gospel of Jesus Christ can come into your life through the teachings and activities in your home and the Church.
It is through doing what one knows to be right that individuals will bless their own lives, as well as their posterity.
Do not squander these years of your youth and religious instruction. Learn that which is of most worth. It will bless you and your posterity for many generations.”
We warn the youth about entitlement.
They expect that everything will be freely provided for them. If that pattern is in your thinking, get rid of it. If you want to be happy, you must pay the price through obedience. The restraints that you face against wrongdoing are an enormous protection for you.
Once individuals have self-control in their lives, they will not need to be told what to do all of the time, and will find their way and know where they fit in.
Some of you are floundering about and struggling to find what you will do. It does not really matter what you choose to do for a living. What matters most is what and who you will be. You have the guidelines to know that. Remember, the Spirit is always with you to teach you. Do not fear the future. Do not fear what is ahead. Go forward with hope and faith. Remember that supernal gift of the Holy Ghost. Learn to be taught by it. Learn to seek it. Learn to live by it. Learn to pray always in the name of Jesus Christ. The Spirit of the Lord will attend you, and you will be blessed. We have deep and profound faith in you.
The most important ‘great things’ are the great things that have happened in the lives of millions of students over the years as they have been willing to do some small things. Small things like attending class and studying the scriptures daily and then living the principles of the gospel in their daily lives. As they have done these small things, great things have been brought to pass in their lives.
From a talk by President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as he spoke to the youth of the Church.
“We invest in our youth. We know of your worth and potential. I speak as one who has seen the past and would prepare you for the future.”
By Alan on May 05 in Blog tagged a look, a principle, actions, become like Jesus, belongs to someone else, cheat, cheat employers, comletely honest, copyright, deceive, deed, dishonest, every thought, everyone else does it, excuses, father of lies, gesture, get even, honesty, inferior service, Jesus Christ, justice, lie, more than our share, of salvation, overcome, Satan, scriptures, silence, steal, taking merchandise, temptation, tempted, truth, unfair advantage, without permission, words | Comments Off
Honesty Is a Principle of Salvation
- What would society be like if everyone were perfectly honest?
“We believe in being honest.”
The scriptures tell us about a group of people who were “distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end” (Alma 27:27). Because of their honesty, these people were noted by their fellowmen and by God. It is important to learn what honesty is, how we are tempted to be dishonest, and how we can overcome this temptation.
Complete honesty is necessary for our salvation. “If we accept salvation on the terms it is offered to us, we have got to be honest in every thought, in our reflections, in our meditations, in our private circles, in our deals, in our declarations, and in every act of our lives”. (B Young)
God is honest and just in all things (see Alma 7:20). We too must be honest in all things to become like Him. The brother of Jared testified, “Yea, Lord, I know that thou … art a God of truth, and canst not lie” (Ether 3:12). In contrast, the devil is a liar. In fact, he is the father of lies (see 2 Nephi 9:9). “Those who choose to cheat and lie and deceive and misrepresent become his slaves” (Mark E. Petersen).
Honest people love truth and justice. They are honest in their words and actions. They do not lie, steal, or cheat.
To Lie Is Dishonest
We are going to discuss three forms of dishonesty: lying, stealing, and cheating.
Lying is intentionally deceiving others. Bearing false witness is one form of lying. The Lord gave this commandment to the children of Israel: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Exodus 20:16). Jesus also taught this when He was on earth (see Matthew 19:18). There are many other forms of lying. When we speak untruths, we are guilty of lying. We can also intentionally deceive others by a gesture or a look, by silence, or by telling only part of the truth. Whenever we lead people in any way to believe something that is not true, we are not being honest.
The Lord is not pleased with such dishonesty, and we will have to account for our lies. Satan would have us believe it is all right to lie. He says, “Yea, lie a little; … there is no harm in this” (2 Nephi 28:8). Satan encourages us to justify our lies to ourselves. Honest people will recognize Satan’s temptations and will speak the whole truth, even if it seems to be to their disadvantage.
To Steal Is Dishonest
Jesus taught, “Thou shalt not steal” (Matthew 19:18). Stealing is taking something that does not belong to us. When we take what belongs to someone else or to a store or to the community without permission, we are stealing. Taking merchandise or supplies from an employer is stealing. Copying music, movies, pictures, or written text without the permission of the copyright owners is dishonest and is a form of theft. Accepting more change or goods than one should is dishonest. Taking more than our share of anything is stealing.
To Cheat Is Dishonest
We cheat when we give less than we owe, or when we get something we do not deserve. Some employees cheat their employers by not working their full time; yet they accept full pay. Some employers are not fair to their employees; they pay them less than they should. Satan says, “Take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor” (2 Nephi 28:8). Taking unfair advantage is a form of dishonesty. Providing inferior service or merchandise is cheating.
We Must Not Excuse Our Dishonesty
- What happens to us spiritually when we excuse our dishonesty?
People use many excuses for being dishonest. People lie to protect themselves and to have others think well of them. Some excuse themselves for stealing, thinking they deserve what they took, intend to return it, or need it more than the owner. Some cheat to get better grades in school or because “everyone else does it” or to get even.
These excuses and many more are given as reasons for dishonesty. To the Lord, there are no acceptable reasons. When we excuse ourselves, we cheat ourselves and the Spirit of God ceases to be with us. We become more and more unrighteous.
We Can Be Completely Honest
- What does it mean to be completely honest?
To become completely honest, we must look carefully at our lives. If there are ways in which we are being even the least bit dishonest, we should repent of them immediately.
When we are completely honest, we cannot be corrupted. We are true to every trust, duty, agreement, or covenant, even if it costs us money, friends, or our lives. Then we can face the Lord, ourselves, and others without shame. President Joseph F. Smith counseled, “Let every man’s life be so that his character will bear the closest inspection, and that it may be seen as an open book, so that he will have nothing to shrink from or be ashamed of”.
- In what ways does our honesty or dishonesty affect how we feel about ourselves?
By Alan on Mar 15 in Blog tagged attack, deception, destroyer, devious, do evil, evil, fallen from heaven, Father of all lies, glasehood, great deceiver, Lord's enemy, Lucifer, no body, no good, rebelled, rebellious, role, Satan, satan is real, Son of the Morning, temptation | Comments Off
The Lord’s Enemy – Satan, The Great Deceiver!
Latter-day Saints know that there is a God. With like certainty, they know that Satan lives, that he is a powerful personage of spirit, the archenemy of God, of man, and of righteousness.
Abraham’s account of the great pre-earth heavenly council identifies both God and Satan as participators in that council (see Abr. 3).
Marvelous and important is the knowledge revealed in that account—knowledge of things as they were in the distant past, concerning God the Father and His spirit children, and concerning His plans for the creation of this earth. It refers to the gospel plan and identifies Christ and Satan.
Amplifying the truths revealed to Abraham, the Lord said to Moses: “That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor” (Moses 4:1).
Satan’s Role in the Council
Old Testament prophets knew about Satan and his role in the great council. As though speaking directly to him, Isaiah said:
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
“For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: …
“… I will be like the most High.
“Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit” (Isa. 14:12–15).
In this last dispensation, the Lord has confirmed what He revealed in former dispensations concerning Satan’s role in the great council. In September 1830 He said to the Prophet Joseph: “The devil was before Adam, for he rebelled against me, saying, Give me thine honor, which is my power; and also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their agency” (D&C 29:36).
Rebellion against God
In February 1832 Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon testified that they saw in vision “that an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God, who rebelled against the Only Begotten Son … was thrust down from the presence of God and the Son,
“And was called Perdition, for the heavens wept over him—he was Lucifer, a son of the morning” (D&C 76:25–26).
Joseph Smith succinctly summed up the great pre-earth controversy when he said:
“The contention in heaven was—Jesus said there would be certain souls that would not be saved; and the devil said he could save them all, and laid his plans before the grand council, who gave their vote in favor of Jesus Christ. So the devil rose up in rebellion against God, and was cast down, with all who put up their heads for him.” 1
Satan Thrust Down
When Satan and those who followed him were “thrust down,” they came to the earth.
During the vision given to Moses, the Lord said:
“Because … Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;
“And he became Satan, yea, even 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” (Moses 4:3–4).
Satan was in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve before the Fall. Not only so, but he continued to tempt them and their children after they had been driven from the garden. When Adam and Eve received the gospel, they rejoiced in it, “blessed the name of God, and … made all things known unto their sons and their daughters.
“And Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God; and he commanded them, saying: Believe it not; and they believed it not, and they loved Satan more than God. And men began from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish” (Moses 5:12–13).
From then until now Satan has been in the earth. We read in the Book of Job:
“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.
“And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it” (Job 1:6–7).
In his diary for August 11, 1831, the Prophet wrote: “After we had encamped upon the bank of the river, at McIlwaine’s Bend, Brother [W. W.] Phelps, in open vision by daylight, saw the destroyer in his most horrible power, ride upon the face of the waters; others heard the noise, but saw not the vision.” 2
Satan Is Totally Evil
Satan is evil: totally and always. He ever seeks to defeat the gospel plan and “destroy the souls of men” (D&C 10:27).
“He persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him” (Moro. 7:17).
At the Last Supper just prior to His ordeal in Gethsemane, Jesus warned Peter: “Simon, Simon, … Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat” (Luke 22:31).
Satan is irrevocably committed to countering and overcoming the influence of the Spirit of Christ upon men. He is the representative, promoter, and advocate of that “opposition in all things” referred to by Lehi in his instructions to his son Jacob (see 2 Ne. 2:11, 14–18).
Satan’s methods are various, devious, and countless.
“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. … [As] the ‘father of lies’ he has … become, through the ages of practice in his nefarious work,” such an adept “that were it possible he would deceive the very elect.” 3
Frontal Attacks against Truth
At the opening of every dispensation he has made a frontal attack against the advent of truth. As already noted, he deceived the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve in the first gospel dispensation.
At the beginning of the Mosaic dispensation, “Satan came tempting him, saying: Moses, son of man, worship me” (Moses 1:12).
In the days of Jesus, Satan attacked the Master himself (see Luke 4:1–13).
That Satan was present and contested the opening of this last dispensation we learn from the Prophet’s statement: “I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction” (JS—H 1:15).
Satan’s attack against the coming forth of the Book of Mormon is detailed in the 10th section of the Doctrine and Covenants.
Another evidence of the devil’s effort to thwart the spread of the gospel is Heber C. Kimball’s account of Satan’s attack upon the brethren who took the gospel to England in 1837. 4
Reality of Satan
The general acceptance of Satan’s declaration, “I am no devil, for there is none” (2 Ne. 28:22), accounts in large measure for the decadence in our deteriorating society.
We Latter-day Saints need not be, and we must not be, deceived by the sophistries of men concerning the reality of Satan. There is a personal devil, and we had better believe it. He and a countless host of followers, seen and unseen, are exercising a controlling influence upon men and their affairs in our world today.
An ancient American prophet, envisioning our day and observing what is going on, prophesied that if Satan is not checked, he will bring this generation to destruction. Addressing himself to our present situation, Nephi said:
“The kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be stirred up to anger, and perish;
“For behold, at that day [that’s today] shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.
“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.
“And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance” (2 Ne. 28:19–22).
Tempo of Campaign Accelerated
Now I am not calling attention to these things to frighten, stampede, or discourage anyone. I refer to them because I know they are true, and I am persuaded that if we are to “conquer Satan, and … escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work” (D&C 10:5), we must understand and recognize the situation as it is. This is no time for Latter-day Saints to equivocate.
Nor is it a time for us to panic. The difficulties of our times have not come upon us unawares. A hundred and forty years ago the Lord clearly revealed the tenor of our times. We know that as the Second Coming of the Savior approaches, the tempo of Satan’s campaign for the souls of men is being and will continue to be accelerated. We know that the experiences of the intervening years will try men’s souls.
God’s Purposes Roll On
We also know that God lives, that His “eternal purposes … shall roll on” (Morm. 8:22). We know that to qualify us to prevail against Satan and his wicked hosts, we have been given the gospel of Jesus Christ. We know that the Spirit of Christ and the power of His priesthood are ample shields to the power of Satan. We know that there is available to each of us the gift of the Holy Ghost—the power of revelation which embraces the gift of discernment by which we may unerringly detect the devil and the counterfeits he is so successfully foisting upon this gullible generation. Our course is clear and certain. It is to strictly obey the commandments of the Lord as they are recorded in the scriptures and as they are being given by the living prophets.
In conclusion, I bear you my witness to the truth of the things I have been calling to your attention in these remarks.
I know that God lives. Through my own experiences I have come to know of His Spirit and His power. I know also that Satan lives. I have detected his spirit and felt of his power—not to the extent as did the Prophet Joseph, but in like experience.
Satan Shall Be Bound
I know that at the second advent of Christ, the signs of which are now mounting, “Satan shall be bound … [and] have no place in the hearts of the children of men” (D&C 45:55).
I bear further witness to the truth of the Savior’s prediction that at the time of His coming “they that are wise and have received the truth [that is, who have accepted the gospel], and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived [by Satan and his powers]— … shall … abide the day [of His coming].
“And [that] the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; …
“For the Lord shall be in their midst, and his glory shall be upon them, and he will be their king and their lawgiver” (D&C 45:57–59).
That we may take the Holy Spirit for our guide, recognize Satan, his representatives and their works, and not be deceived by them, to the end that we may be partakers of the promised blessings, I humbly pray, in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, amen.
By President Marion G. Romney (1897-1988)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
For The Family