Brothers and Sisters,
I speak unto you by way of exhortation. Be not deceived. There is a force working against you, a force which has lulled many into a state of idle worship, a state of dishonesty, even a state of despair. This force I speak of is the adversary, Satan. He is the father of all lies. He is the tempter, the deceiving one. He is miserable and he wants you to be as well. Throughout this day, and week I have reflected upon his many lies, and methods of leading people down to destruction. Earlier in the day I read in the Book of Mormon about a man named Giddianhi. Giddianhi was an evil man, who was the leader of the Gadianton robbers, a group of people who were well accustomed to the secret abominations of the adversary. The scriptures tell us of a certain epistle he sent to Lachoneus, governor of the Nephites. In this epistle, Giddianhi shows us an example of the lies, and also the evils of Satan. He begins his epistle by using flattery. By praising
Lachoneus for his firmness, and his bravery in upholding that which he
believes to be right. He then calls Lachoneus foolish for believing that he could stand against so many of Giddianhi's men. He uses intimidation to attempt to make Lachoneus believe there is no hope. Then he goes to say that Lachoneus and his men had done wrong unto the Gadianton robbers, that they had retained from them their right of government. He demands that Lachoneus give up all land, all cities, and become their brethren, becoming acquainted with their secret works.
"And now it came to pass when Lachoneus received this epistle he was exceedingly astonished, because of the boldness of Giddianhi demanding the possession of the land of the Nephites, and also of threatening the people and avenging the wrongs of those that had received no wrong, save it were they had wronged themselves by dissenting away unto those wicked and abominable robbers. Now behold, this Lachoneus, the governor, was a just man, and could not be frightened by the
demands and the threatenings of a robber; therefore he did not hearken to the epistle of Giddianhi, the governor of the robbers, but he did cause that his people should cry unto the Lord for strength against the time that the robbers should come down against them." 3 Nephi 3:11-12
Lachoneus understood that Giddianhi was a liar, and that he would not keep his promise. He also understood that only through reliance on Heavenly Father, could his people remain free. Lachoneus had his people construct a great fortification where they would all gather and stay safe. He taught his people that they must repent, and rely on God for both their physical and temporal salvation. And they did fortify themselves against their enemies; and they did dwell in one land, and in one body, and they did fear the words which had been spoken by Lachoneus, insomuch that they did repent of all their sins; and they did put up their prayers unto the Lord their God, that he would deliver them in the time that their enemies should come down against them to battle. 3 Nephi 3:25
Satan wants us to believe that we don't need God. Satan wants us to believe that we are helpless before his power. He wants us to believe that his way is the better way. He wants us to believe we were meant to be miserable. He is wrong. There is only one thing he can do to any of us, and that is lie, and that is why I exhort you to be not deceived. Learn of his trickery and cunning. God has given us the scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon so that we may know of the
pitfalls that await us while we are along this earthly travail. The prize of eternal life is too great of one to lose to the likes of a miserable, bitter, angry fool who believes the world owes him something for nothing. He doesn't even have a body. Yet his lies are slight, and his craftiness is careful. We must protect ourselves. We must take refuge in the fortifications that we have been commanded to prepare. This is the home. This is the church. These places must be
built strongly. They must be safe, and they must be a place where we can be protected from the lies of this world. Earlier today we went on an adventure to the mall, I can personally testify to each of you that Satan's subtle craftiness is all around us. Therefore be not deceived.
I love you all! Hope you have a great week!