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Duce's Wild: Fighting personal apostasy in order teach the Restoration

Published: Thursday, April 18 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe that God designed a plan for our ultimate happiness, and conversely, that Satan is actively designing a plan for our ultimate misery. Both know our personal strengths and weaknesses and both have power — the balance of which is thankfully not even measurable. God’s grace instigated through the Atonement of Jesus Christ is infinitely greater and provides the lifesaving hope that we need to wade through Satan’s temporary entrapments.

In our most recent Sunday School class with “Come, Follow Me” suggestions as our guide, I sat in a circle of teenagers and discussed that idea and how the only way to effectively preach the truths of the Restoration of the gospel is to fight against personal apostasy now.

“I don’t want any of you leaving the church someday because of some aspect of doctrine that you don’t satisfactorily understand,” I told them. “So for the next two weeks, we’re going to practice the pattern of fighting Satan’s lies and seeking for truth. We’ll work to strengthen our personal convictions and abilities to teach truth to others.”

When I asked if there was a point of doctrine the teens would like to understand better, one raised his hand and said he wanted to talk about the priesthood and the timing of the revelation that ordained all worthy males in order for him to teach it better to someone with questions. As a group, my students challenged each other to look for resources at home and online that would help them next Sunday in their efforts to teach. (I’ll take any suggestions for resources on this topic in the comment section below.)

We continued our discussion by sharing Elder Neil L. Andersen’s “Beware of the Evil Behind the Smiling Eyes,” and learned the following:

• The devil “persuadeth men to do evil.” (Moroni 7:12)

• “He (has) fallen from heaven, … (has) become miserable forever.” (Luke 24:36-39, John 1:14, 3 Nephi 12:48, D&C 76: 23-24)

• He now works “that all men might be miserable like unto himself.” (Moroni 7:17)

• He is a liar and a loser. (D&C 93:25)

From horrific sins against humanity as were experienced in Boston this week, to the smallest deviation in choices or accountability, Satan is the master of compounding the stakes of our mistakes. The sooner our kids learn to discern his tactics, the better their chances of avoiding his pitfalls.

Our class members took turns on Sunday teaching Elder Andersen’s suggestions to prevent personal apostasy and risk not living up to our full potential in this life and the hereafter:

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