Sermoncitos, a family tradition
The latest Senate scandal involved a “sting operation” in which a police officer tries to illicit illegal behavior. In this current case, the Senator, an older man, did not understand the signals and responded inappropriately. The police told him he was in trouble. He did not understand what trouble he was in, but since he did not want trouble, he cooperated with them, inadvertently confessing to a crime he did not commit. Now all his companions have abandoned him, and want him to resign so the voters do not associate their party with a criminal. A career is ruined, not due to a crime, but due to an attempted cover up. The first sin was similar. Satan lied to Eve, and when she realized the error, she was ashamed and Satan told her to hide from God (Moses 4:13). Satan does not want you to know that you can’t hide from God, for “...none shall be found blameless before God, except it be little children, only through repentance and faith on the name of the Lord God Omnipotent” (Mosiah 3:21).
The commandment is clear, “thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15). That seems easy. Locks and labels help keep the honest man honest about what belongs to him. Yet, all things belong to God. “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings” (Malachi 3:8). It is simple to repent from such dishonesty, just pay tithing before any other obligation, and you will prosper. Who tells you that you can’t afford to pay tithing? It is “Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, [whose plan is] to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto [God’s] voice” (Moses 4: 4).
Satan can deceive almost anyone by telling each one what he wants to hear. “For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good. 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. And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none - and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance” (2 Nephi 28: 20-22).
I have a friend who is a great musician, but the other musicians won’t play with him anymore. He believes that he can have one beer like everyone else. Satan lies to him, and he believes it, even though he knows he cannot drink only one. I have a friend who believes that looking at women is not a sin because it is not touching. Christ said that looking to lust is the same as adultery (Matthew 5:28), and the multibillion dollar, multinational pornography industry takes advantage of this lie. As a result of this lie, the divorce rate, STDs, abortions, and “moving in” are all higher than ever. “Behold, verily I say unto you, that there are many spirits which are false spirits, which have gone forth in the earth, deceiving the world. And also Satan hath sought to deceive you, that he might overthrow you. But wo unto them that are deceivers and hypocrites, for, thus saith the Lord, I will bring them to judgment” (D&C 50: 2-3, 6).
The most insidious lie is when Satan tells you that you have gone too far and cannot repent. “...Do not endeavor to excuse yourself in the least point because of your sins, by denying the justice of God; but do you let the justice of God, and his mercy, and his long-suffering have full sway in your heart; and let it bring you down to the dust in humility”(Alma 42:30). May God bless you to face your weaknesses and be honest in resolving issues, so that you may have the Spirit of God with you always.