Thursday, January 29, 2009

Smack that Camel's Nose

In my previous post, I wrote that we usually don’t commit a serious sin without having first invited Satan into our lives one step at a time—just like the camel in the story.

Satan is so subtle and tricky. He knows that if he presents the idea of committing sin all at once we’d see it for what it is and we wouldn’t succumb. He tempts and tantalizes us with seemingly small indiscretions until, sometimes before we even realize it, we are neck deep in transgression.

I know of a primary president and bishop who began sharing rides to leadership meetings. They visited on the way to the meetings and struck up a close friendship. Soon they were confiding in each other and finding reasons to spend time together. Eventually, they both left their families and ran off together. The first step, sharing a ride to leadership meetings seemed innocent enough. After all, they were doing their callings. But, Satan knows how to reach us if we let him. Letting down our guard, even for a moment, can result in disastrous consequences.

How can we smack that camel on the nose and tell him to get the heck out of our tent?

Pray

Prayer is our opportunity to converse with Heavenly Father. We can pour out our hearts, ask for strength to overcome our weaknesses, and listen for his promptings.
We are counseled in the scriptures to always have a prayer in our hearts. If we are consistently praying each day, at least morning and night, we will be sensitive to the Spirit and will be able to hear the still small voice when it warns us of spiritual, or even physical, danger.

Study the Scriptures

We have been blessed with prophets’ words and direct counsel from the Lord in the scriptures. For most of life’s problems, we can find answers in the scriptures. The more we read and study them, the more we’ll rely on them to solve our problems and comfort us through trials. Regular, consistent, daily scripture study will bring us closer to God and strengthen our testimonies.

People who fall away from the gospel usually begin by neglecting their daily prayers and eliminating scripture study. The combination of praying and scripture study will do more to keep us close to the Lord on a daily basis than anything else.

Keep the Commandments

Of course, consistently trying to keep the commandments will keep Satan at bay. It won’t stop his attempts to thwart us on our journey back to Heavenly Father, but it will give us the ability to see his attempts more clearly and the strength to shun his temptations.

Attend the Temple

When we take the time to attend the temple and participate in temple work for the deceased, we are performing a service that is closest to what the Savior has done for us. He took upon him our sins and brought about the atonement because none of us has the power to do that for ourselves. We needed him to be our Savior. It is the same with temple work. Those that have died do not have the ability or power to participate in these saving ordinances, they need someone, a savior, who can do for them what they cannot do for themselves.

The service that we render in the temple combined with the peace that the world cannot duplicate, will give us added strength to turn from Satan and follow the only path that leads to God and eternal happiness.

It may take some strong muscles to smack that camel, but when we’re empowered with prayer, scripture study, keeping the commandments, and temple attendance we’ll flex our spiritual muscles and send that camel flying every time he sticks his nose inside our tent.

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2 comments:

ali said...

Those are wonderful reminders Rebecca. Thank you!

Tristi Pinkston said...

Each of these tips will keep us in touch with the Spirit, who will in turn warn us if we're heading into danger. Sharing a ride is innocent enough, but we have to heed those promptings to know if it's appropriate or not. Riding with one person is definitely different from riding with someone else. :)

Great post, Rebecca.