BYU (Brigham Young University) is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church.” BYU students take nearly a semester of spiritually uplifting, stimulating religion classes.
In this series (see below), students enrolled in scripture study classes have shared their thoughts, insights, and reflections on the Book of Mormon in the form of letters to someone they know. We invite you to take a look at their epiphanies and discoveries as they delve into the scriptures.
In publishing these, we fulfill their desire to speak to all of us of the relevance, power and beauty of the Book of Mormon, a second witness of Jesus Christ and complement to the Bible. The Book of Mormon includes the religious history of a group of Israelites who settled in ancient America. (The names they use are those of prophets who taught the Book of Mormon peoples to look forward to the coming of Christ—Nephi, Lehi, Alma, Helaman, and other unfamiliar names. We hope those names will become more familiar to you as you read their inspiring words and feel the relevance and divinity of their messages through these letters.)
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Book of Mormon: The Truth about Satan
Sometimes I don’t know how in the world it is we manage to let Satan convince us of his lies. In particular there are a couple verses in the first two chapters of 3 Nephi that are just incredulous.
And it came to pass that from this time forth there began to be lyings sent forth among the people, by Satan, to harden their hearts, to the intent that they might not believe in those signs and wonders which they had seen… (3 Nephi 1:22)
And it came to pass that thus passed away the ninety and fifth year also, and the people began to forget those signs and wonders which they had heard, and began to be less and less astonished at a sign or a wonder from heaven, insomuch that they began to be hard in their hearts, and blind in their minds, and began to disbelieve all which they had heard and seen—Imagining up some vain thing in their hearts, that it was wrought by men and by the power of the devil, to lead away and deceive the hearts of the people; and thus did Satan get possession of the hearts of the people again, insomuch that he did blind their eyes and lead them away to believe that the doctrine of Christ was a foolish and a vain thing. (3 Nephi 2:1-2)
Wow. I think just the fact they managed to forget how incredible the signs of Christ’s birth really were, is sad enough. On top of that they had witnessed so many miracles that instead of increasing in faith and humility like they should have, they became totally desensitized to the Spirit. But that Satan was able to convince them that all these incredible signs and miracles were of the devil? The devil can blind a people so much that they would attribute heavenly miracles to his hand, disbelieve the doctrine of Christ, and then think they were being righteous in doing so? Wow.
That is really all I could think as I read those verses. How is that possible? Talk about cunning and underhanded. And the thing is, it is easy to look at the Nephites and Lamanites in awe and wonder how they could have ever believed such a thing.. As sad as this is, I am actually so grateful Mormon included it in the record when he was abridging everything.
If Satan can blind an entire nation about those huge miracles, what little things can he easily blind us in? I think this underscores how important it is to stay close to the Spirit and follow the teachings of the prophets. If we don’t let Satan into our lives, we don’t have to worry about the lies he may tell us and eventually get us to believe. How horrible would it be if little by little we got lazy in our scripture reading, prayers, etc. just enough to let him slip into our lives and whisper something like that into our ear? Once he wheedles his way in, he is good at what he does. He has had thousands of years to practice. I don’t ever want to be in a position that Satan could manage to come into my life and even think he could get me to believe for a second like that.
Satan is sneaky and this is just another testimony about how important it is to be wearing the armor of God at all times.