Saturday, March 19, 2011

Don't Get Caught!!!

As much as I love fly fishing, I've never been good at it. Thus, I probably wouldn't be good at the Devil's job either. What really matters is the job we've got head of us as we try to avoid the devil's lures....

I can never forget this example used often by Elder M Russell Ballard, About two years ago, I was watching another address much like this and also to the young adults. As a freshman, just starting college, I watched that earlier address sitting in an apartment living room. I was surrounded by my roommates and our friends. At that time I was making some of the greatest decisions, whether I would make the choices that my heavenly Father wants, or the opposing choices that Satan wants to draw us to. I loved this example that Satan wants us to to fall for the bait which often may be more enticing than the choices that lead to freedom.

Growing up, my family has had a friend who took me and my sister fly-fishing on several occasions. Whenever he snagged one, a frantic and traumatic ordeal began, especially on the fish's end. As the fish was finally reeled in, it was exhausted and pained. He would always remove the gasping fish from the hook and throw it back in the water, then turn to us and say, "now he's got his PhD!" The fish was certainly much smarter now, and would be much less likely to fall for a lure in the future.

Our heavenly Father planned for us to have to face those lures so that we could be smarter like the released fish. The consequences of our actions teach us the difference between good and evil, and help us to avoid evil in the future. This learning process helps us become like our heavenly Father. "And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil:"[Gen 3:22]

Satan is not going to be as kind as my family friend. He's not going to throw us back and say "now you're smarter, go have fun." He wants to keep us. Our heavenly Father, also gave us a way to get off that lure. That is repentance, and it can free us from all of Satan's traps once we fallen for them, but we'll also walk away from the trap as pained as that fish was afterward. Jesus Christ is the gentle hand that will remove us from the hook if we will let him. If you are unfamiliar with the process of repentance, I'd suggest you watch, Repentance: A Vital Process

We don't have to be as traumatized as the fish, and go through that painful experience, to learn as God wants us to. He has given us an easier route than having to recognize the bait only by having taken it before. Avoiding it, takes doing just what Elder Ballard taught here that we must do. It takes doing those simple things that help us learn from the experience and warnings of others, especially from the warnings of our heavenly Father.

Once equipped with this knowledge, we must endure to the end. There's no reason to ever fall for the same trap again, though if we do, we can escape again. "Never, never, never, quit!" as Winston Churchill would say.

I'm excited to be in the work of inviting everyone to come and receive the tools they need to recognize Satan's lures and avoid them, as well as the tools they need to get free.

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