[This post is excerpted from Chapter 3 of From Heartache to Healing: Finding Power in Christ to Deal with a Loved One’s Sexual Addiction by Colleen C. & Philip A. Harrison.]
Escaping the Lies Satan Has Snared Us With
It’s pretty interesting that Satan is called the “father of all lies” (2 Nephi 2:18), not the father of adultery or even murder.
It is also interesting that Satan thrives on secrecy—whether it be about an episode with overeating (my drug of choice) or with porn. Once we start doing our “thing” in secret—eating, spending, or whatever—we’ve crossed a line into his territory and cut ourselves off from the fellowship of Truth.
One of the most prevalent lies Satan perpetrates on the human family has to do with his own self—what he looks like and what he has the power to do to us. Since the beginning of all mythology and superstition, he has encouraged us to think of him in a variety of terrifying forms, holding all kinds of magical powers to cause things to happen in the physical world. In one simple statement, the Prophet Joseph Smith revealed the truth about Satan’s influence:
All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not. The devil has no power over us only as we permit him (Words of Joseph Smith, p. 60).
In other words, all Satan can do to harm us is whisper negative, discouraging lie-based thoughts into our minds and hope that we will believe him and act out our beliefs toward ourselves and toward each other. That’s what he did in the garden when he lied to Eve, and it is what he did when he convinced Cain to kill his brother, Abel. He lied and convinced them to take action based on those lies. And so it has been from the beginning. As Ether 8:25 teaches us, Satan “is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning.”
If Satan can’t take control of us through our fear of his power to hurt us, then he goes to the opposite extreme and tells us there is no devil: “I am no devil, for there is none” (2 Nephi 28:22). This belief that there is no spiritual realm or spiritual influences such as God or the devil is the position of secular science and humanism, including social sciences such as sociology and psychology. It is the prevailing “world view” (belief system) that we have been immersed in for the last 150 years. And we are reaping the whirlwind of the human family embracing and acting upon that lie.
—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance [except through seeking and embracing the Atonement of Jesus Christ]. (2 Nephi 28:22)
And his tactics haven’t changed. They can’t. Even today, He has no other tactic against us to resort to except to lie. Satan is still trying to drive the lie of blame and shame between every husband and wife like a wedge, just as he tried to do in the garden between Adam and Eve.
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