President Joseph F. Smith counseled: “Show me Latter-day Saints who have to feed upon miracles, signs and visions in order to keep them steadfast in the Church, and I will show you members … who are not in good standing before God, and who are walking in slippery paths. It is not by marvelous manifestations unto us that we shall be established in the truth, but it is by humility and faithful obedience to the commandments and laws of God” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1900, 40).
I love this quote. ( I lifted it from Elder Bednars conference address April 2011) It simply says that its the small decisions that we make daily that keep us continually holding to the rod and feasting on the delicious fruit of the tree. It’s not the great miracles but the daily small ones that will be the difference.
So here is my example.
In the front of the manuals ” Teachings of Presidents of the Church” there is a section called “Personal Study” in that section it states
“Underline passages you want to remember. Consider memorizing these passages or noting them in your scriptures next to related verses.
One day as I was reading my lesson manual I read a short scripture that hit me. It was short and sweet and I liked it and because I had read the personal study section, I had decided that I would commit the scripture to memory. It wasn’t until I started memorizing the scripture that I realized the importance of one single word.
The scripture is Doctrine and Covenants 93:49
I would have never realized that this scripture says “power in you” Why does it say have power in us?… isn’t the word power over us? I received revelation from being obedient and from asking a question. The question would have never come if I hadn’t tried to memorize this passage.
But I have to realize that God doesn’t mix up his words he uses them intentionally. The wicked one referred to in this scripture in none other than Satan. But how do we give him power in us? and how does he use that power to move us out of our place?
I give Satan power inside me when I listen to a voice that tells me I am no good.. “Why should you raise your hand? no one needs to hear your comment, you are a failure, you’re no good, you’re to fat, you are not a good mother.” All these thoughts in my head it’s hard to tell which ones are mine, which are divine, and which ones are Satans?
I will teach you a really easy way to tell, if its negative and derogatory it’s Satan. Don’t feel too bad I have been letting him inside me without even realizing it. Sometimes I have to run this check on myself. Would I even think that thought about someone else? Would I pass that judgement on a stranger? Then I wouldn’t say it about myself either. Satan, get thee hence. Also, my girlfriend says to pay attention to the tense… it’s not first person, I am bad, it’s second person , you are bad. Get him out… give him no more power in you.
Hence if I hear, “You’re a bad mother and wife… and then start to internalize it… Yes I am bad. Why do I even try? I allow him to slowly move me out of my place.
What does it even mean to “move you out of your place”?
I have to think of the old Testament man Nehemiah. He had a cushy job as cupbearer of the king. One day the king saw him so sad and said, “Nehemiah, what is wrong?”
Nehemiah replied, “the walls around Jerusalem are burning and I want to go fix them”
The king allowed Nehemiah to go and rebuild the wall. Not everyone was excited about Nehemiah’s job. They tried to distract him from his duty. It wasn’t easy building either. They literally had a trowel in one hand and a sword in the other. Five time people tried to get him off the wall. “Each time they approached him, he responded with the same answer: “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down.”10“
Sister, whatever the work that we are engaged in it is a great work. Satan know it. He is well aware of President Spencer W. Kimball profound prophecy about the impact that covenant-keeping women would have on the future of the Lord’s Church. He prophesied:
“Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world … will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world.”5
So if Satan can move you and I out of our place it can impact so many more lives than we can ever know. We must be vigilant about what we let in us.
What do we do if we realize we have let him it? Let’s return to the scripture. “Pray Always” Turn back to a loving Heavenly Father. Ask him to turn down the negative voices and let you hear the calm gentle voice of kindness, peace and love. Repent and be able to feel the right voice again. He is always at the door knocking waiting for us to approach Him.
May we look for small ways to be obedient so that we can ask the right questions and true intelligence might be our teacher and help us lift ourselves and then share our insights with others.
*** Side note … when I taught this lesson to the class a girl made a comment about Nehemiah. She said, “he kind of reminds me of Ammon, when he first went to be a missionary among the lamanites, the king offered him a comfortable position being married to one of his daughters and Ammon refused. He said he would be a servant. He was then able to perform all the miracles that God needed him to do. Sometimes we need to leave our comfortable spots and start doing more service.”
What do you think your place is ? How is Satan trying to move you out of it?