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Damn Lies! Calling Evil Good and Good Evil

We are all involved in an epic contest of good vs evil. Ever since Adam and Eve partook of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, we have been trying to discern between the two extremes. The scriptures for tell that in the last days men will call good evil and evil good. They also declared woe to those who call evil good. That is a significant part of today's population.
It occurred to me the other day that we need to study how Satan works in order to defend ourselves and be able to resist him. A good team always studies the other teams offense right?  The one thing we need to remember about Satan is that he is the Great Deceiver. He is the master of turning good into evil and evil into good. And in our world and our time this has been received very well as Isaiah described in Isaiah 5:20:
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Satan and his unwitting followers regularly do this. One example that struck me lately is the idea that homosexual temptations are genetic and nothing can be done to change it. Recently, President Packer gave a Conference talk mentioning this thinking and declared it~ Not so!  The world has gone into hysterics over his simple denunciation of this idea. They accuse him of increasing suicides among “self-loathing” homosexuals. And they proudly proclaim how we must show acceptance and compassion for them by agreeing that there is nothing that can be done about this desire and they MUST give in or be miserable. Well duh! they are obviously miserable when giving in or we wouldn’t be worried about them committing suicide! Remember their word “self-loathing”? Is it not sweet to believe that you can change, resist and ultimately overcome your temptations? Yet the world would have us believe that is a bitter idea.  For me, the belief that resistance is futile is depressing and bitter. This idea denies the Atonement and therefore is evil as Moroni defined it.

For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

Fearfully, the scriptures also testify that we are like God knowing good and evil, ironically, a choice made after Eve realized that is was good to have wisdom, or the knowledge of good and evil.  In fact, God declared that Adam and Eve had become “as one of us to know good and evil”. Later, Moroni ominously warns us that since we know the correct way to judge, by the “Spirit of Christ given to every man that he may know good from evil,” we must not judge wrongfully for “with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged”.  If we judge evil to be good, or bitter to be sweet, we will receive evil and bitterness in return.
Another well-received tactic of Satan is that of stirring up anger against those things that are good.
As if it wasn’t bad enough to judge wrongfully, Satan now wants us to become pushy and angry in our opinions. He wants us to spread around our passionate beliefs that others are evil for prizing good and sweet principles. He wants us to fell oppressed by the good and sweet people who offer us release from our natural man temptations.  Nephi warns us, “wo unto them that…revile against that which is good and say it is of no worth.” He warns, “at that day shall he (Satan) rage in the hearts of the children of men and stir them up to anger against that which is good.” Nephi pleads with us to recognize this tactic and avoid the “everlasting chains” of the devil. It will take courage to stand up to this rage and anger. Thankfully the Lord can also stir, but his stirring is “unto repentance” so that we can shake off these chains. Feel like a brownie yet? I admit I have fallen prey to this one far too often. I want to stand up for what I believe. But Satan wants to use me to stir up his followers. I become his ammunition and his slave all at once.
The most insidious tactic is one that is prevalent among the people I have associated with in my life (Saints).  Nephi warns:

“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.
Therefore, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion!     UAdd a Note  Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well!”

The Lord has given us ample warning of the calamities and disturbances that will come upon us in the last days. This attitude of “all is well” denies these warnings. We are not meant to be secure and comfortable in this life. We are meant to be stretched and molded. This is not an easy and convenient process. In today’s day and age convenience is an oft-worshiped God. We want everything to be convenient and easy~ or at least quick! If we take this attitude we will get exactly what we want. In the end, we will not have any opportunity for progress available to us and we cannot be exalted, the very definition of damnation. Exaltation is not an easy and convenient process. But the Lord will not force us to heaven.
While we are not surrounded with swords and cimeters like scriptural times, we are most certainly surrounded with deceptions which are everlastingly more deadly. In an old talk by Marion G. Romney called “The Price of Peace,” he points out that even Heavenly Father and Christ could not live in peace with Satan and his followers after his rebellion. He had to be cast out. It is the ultimate price of having peace.
And so it is with us. We must not try to live cooperatively with evil. We cannot compromise with Satan’s deceptive philosophies. They must be rooted out of our hearts. Our hearts must be changed until we, like Lamoni, have “no more desire to do evil.” Lamoni and his people lived this truth. They were so changed that they would die living their faith rather than resist the violence of Satan and risk their changed and purified state. 
This life is the time to prepare to meet God. We must be about doing it and never let up. As soon as we let up Satan swoops in with his lies and pacification. He desires to have us and to sift us. He carefully crafts his lies to our weaknesses. Jacob calls us to arouse ourselves and awake lest Satan grabs us with his awful chains. His chains are like a lovely soft flaxen cord at first.
But eventually we will begin to feel them change to hard heavy cold metal that we can no longer see the end of.
It is impossible to serve God without offending the devil. Satan offers a road of ease and convenience until we find that we are at our destination, dancing in chains of misery. But the Savior offers a road of hardship and effort, purification and struggle. We cannot serve two masters or else we will hate one and love the other.  And when we try to make the Savior’s road go parallel to Satan’s in our effort to straddle, guess which one we will soon begin to hate?
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