Why should evil spirits feel obligated to leave when commanded to do so?

 Question

 

Dear Gramps,

In D&C 121:41 it says that:

“No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;”

So, if forcing someone to do something against their will is contrary to the order of Heaven, then why should evil spirits feel obligated to leave when commanded by someone holding the priesthood?  Even if done in the name of Jesus Christ?

Robert

 

Answer

 

Hello Robert,

In this scripture the Lord has counseled his servants to be mindful of their interactions with other brethren by acting with persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness and by love unfeigned without compulsory means. Why?

President Ezra Taft Benson sheds some light on this matter,

“Freedom of choice is a God-given eternal principle. The great plan of liberty is the plan of the gospel. There is no coercion about it; no force, no intimidation. A man is free to accept the gospel or reject it… He will use persuasion through His servants.”

This scripture, and others, respect the freedom of mind, the freedom of agency our Savior willingly gave his life for; however, this scripture doesn’t negate the use of force when circumstances may require it.  One of these circumstances is the necessity to remove spirits from bodies where they do not belong. Possible question, when the spirit of the given body desires its body back, and the evil spirit is unwilling, whose right then is it to remain?

What happens when a priesthood holder, or any other member of the Church comes across a pregnant woman who is being repetitively stabbed?  Should this member, in light of this scripture, speak softly with gentle persuasions or act with some form of force?  Missionaries walked upon this scene and acted.  LDS Missionaries called heroes for stopping attack

In our lives, the scenario introduces a pregnant woman being attacked; however, the scenario doesn’t need to be a pregnant woman for us to act.  If we happen to experience a situation like this, we will have at least three choices:

1. Choose to do nothing and keep on walking

2. Choose to physically remove the antagonist by force or through escalation tactics

3. Choose to talk peacefully, with long-suffering and gentleness.

As we read further within this same section, a couple verses to be precise, we read the following (vs.43),

“Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost.” Perhaps the removal of disobedient spirits from a possessed body falls under this element of truth.

As parents given the responsibility of nurturing children, we experience situations that necessitate the forceful removal of a child, when the circumstance may result in bodily harm to another child (usually a younger sibling) — even if they acquiesce or gnash their teeth.

It would appear the order of heaven has other laws in place allowing for this necessity, and one could simply be the removal of a spirit who is unwilling to allow the spirit of the body to rightfully have its own body.

 

Gramps

 

Why would God create a soul that would become the devil?

Question

Gramps,

Why would God, being all knowing, create a soul that would he knew would become the devil? You probably don’t know the answer because I don’t think anyone does but do you have a theory?

Jake

 

Answer

Hi Jake,

You’re right. I don’t know.

I try to mostly stay away from theories as well. Sure, I could come up with a bunch of things. But they would be no more or less valid than anyone’s theory.

What I do want to address, for consideration as it relates to your question, are two ideas.

1. There must needs be opposition in all thing (2 Nephi 2:11). If there were no Satan, where would opposition come from?

and

2. We all have agency. One could, theoretically, ask the same question concerning all who choose evil. With God’s foreknowledge, why would He create those who He knew would never achieve exaltation? As with your question, we do not know.  What we do know, however, is that God’s foreknowledge does not remove our agency. It is our choice to do as we will. It was also Satan’s choice to do as he did. God gives us all our agency in spite of His foreknowledge. We are free to choose.

We cannot possibly understand the meaning behind all things. And God has not revealed the answers to questions like these. But we can understand that sometimes, through their agency, others can be opposition to our efforts to return to God, and that we all may choose our own destinies in the eternities.

Gramps

Why does Satan do what he does?

Question

Gramps,

Why does Satan do what he does when he know he will lose? Is it just that he wants to get as many brothers and sisters to be as unhappy as him?

Shadow

 

Answer

Shadow,

I would like to start this answer by asking you a question. Why do you or any of us sin when we know we only will be losing out and hurting ourselves? Yet we sin more often than we should ever like to.

Now the scriptures tell us a bit about Satan’s mindset. In Moses 4:6 we learn:

6 And Satan put it into the heart of the serpent, (for he had drawn away many after him,) and he sought also to beguile Eve, for he knew not the mind of God, wherefore he sought to destroy the world.

And in 2 Nephi 2:18 we read:

18 And because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind. 

From these two verses we learn that Satan does not know the mind of God and is trying to make us all miserable like himself.

So to your question does Satan know he is going to fail? I would think so. The bigger question is has he accepted that answer? Or is he, like many of us when caught up in sin, doing his best to deny it while trying to figure out a way to get what he wants without repentance?

I could easily see that being the reason, but the idea that he knows he is going to lose and he is seeking to take as many with him as possible also seems a solid reason for what he is doing. However, in the end Satan is in the hands of God just like we are, and he will be dealt with according to the justice and mercy that God has for all of us.

 

Gramps

Would it have been better if Jesus had never been crucified?

Question

Gramps,

After Lucifer and 1/3 part of the angels were cast out, I assume that Satan wanted to do everything he could to keep us from returning to Heavenly Father. It would seem to me that the best way to go about this would be to make sure that Jesus never died.

If Jesus doesn’t die, then there is no redemption and we stay under the influence and aggravation of Satan. The better plan would have been to convince people that Jesus WAS the son of God at which point no one would ever touch him. So why didn’t Satan use his incredible gift of manipulation on man to keep Jesus alive?

Sharon Continue reading Would it have been better if Jesus had never been crucified?

Does Lucifer Know our Thoughts?

Question

Hey Gramps,

Thank you for all you do, I watch for your new messages each day.  My question is concerning D&C 6:16.

Yea, I tell thee, that thou mayest know that there is none else save God that knowest thy thoughts and the intents of thy heart.

Is this a blessing given just to Joseph Smith or does it apply to everyone?  Sometimes I offer silent prayers because I don’t want Lucifer to know my prayers. It appears Satan has some understanding pertaining to the thoughts and intents of our hearts, because he is successful with his temptations as men and women give in to the lusts of the flesh. Thanks again for all you do.

.Darren Continue reading Does Lucifer Know our Thoughts?

Large and Spacious Building

All exmormons usually will describe a peace, a freedom, feeling less under “mind control of Mormonism” when leaving the church ect. I can honestly say that I have felt these feelings too (when reading the stories). Are we being fooled by Satan or what? The only explanations I can think of are: the full loss of The holy Ghost, thus a persons psychology/thinking changes (almost instantly). He becomes separated from God. Some even claim a closer relationship, while most say athiesm, agnosticism -not believing at all is the way to go. I have heard the saying “like a feather in the wind…tossed to and fro with every doctrine and (well I can’t think of the rest, but it’s scripture and there’s a full quote from Brigham Young about people who leave the LDS Church). What are your thoughts on this so called exodus from the faith and my thinking above?. Lehi’s dream is directly linking to what is happening now.

Calls Continue reading Large and Spacious Building

Satan and his decisions

Dear Gramps,

First of all I would like to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Many of your replies have helped me gain a greater understanding of various topics, which have proved useful whilst teaching my Sunday school class. I would like to ask if you have an insight into the decisions Satan has made. For example, why did Satan put forth such a plan if he knew it would be rejected and he would be cast out forever? Did he know at that point every other God had a son who put forward the same petition and failed? It seems unfair or difficult to grasp the concept that each God would have two sons who would volunteer themselves in the same manner for the plan to work.

Emma Continue reading Satan and his decisions