Heavenly Antidotes

Satan is a jerk.  We are all aware of this.  He fights unfairly, he is a coward, he kicks us when we're down, and tries to drag us down when we're feeling good.  He truly is the ultimate "Debbie Downer", as some would say.  In stark contrast, Christ is our best friend, our confidant, and our one and only constant in this life.  He fights our battles for us, He is filled with perfect courage, He lifts us up and cheers us when we're down, and pushes us up higher into the clouds when we're already feeling on top of the world, or even just having a good time.  That being said, each of these spiritual beings in our lives uses their own tools.  Those tools, depending on our personal decisions, will influence us towards heaven's edification and purification, or paint our lives with the brushstroke of hell's depressive, staining mark.  My aim today, in speaking towards individuals who experience SSA, identify as gay/lesbian/straight/bi/transgender, etc. is to show how we can all embrace the edifying influence of Christ to purge out the poisons of Satan. 

Some years ago, when I still attended college, I read an excellent talk by Elder Kevin W. Pearson of the Seventy entitled, "Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ".  It spoke of six "destructive D's" that Satan uses to bring us down into misery, for "he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself" (2nd Nephi 2:27).  As I studied the different primary tactics that Satan uses, I wanted to figure out some counterattacks so that I could apply them to my life in the future.  What resulted from this venture to find that information has provided great blessings of comfort, strength, eternal perspective, faith, hope, and love in my darkest hours.  Perhaps, in the subconscious recesses of my mind, it has been habit of turning to these principles that has rescued me during dark days of despair and depression concerning my own sins and weaknesses.  In any case, I am grateful to have them, and to now share them with each of you.  I won't elaborate on the destructive D's because we are all well aware of what such negativity feels like. It should be noted, however, that they are listed according to the progress of spiritual destruction. Without further ado, here they are: 

1.  Doubt
2.  Discouragement
3.  Distraction
4.  Lack of diligence
5.  Disobedience
6.  Disbelief

I experienced similar emotions when I studied "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis at a later time in my life- a sense of righteous indignation towards Satan, frustration at any lack of knowledge of how to triumph over him, and sadness in knowing that so many were affected by such evil, diabolical trickery.  However, not long after I read this talk, I somehow stumbled across the talk, "A Prophet's Prayer and Counsel for Youth", by President Hinckley.  He called them the six B's, but I chose to dub them the six Building B's as an opposing name to the Destructive D's.  Here they are, listed in order as well: 

1.  Be grateful
2.  Be smart
3.  Be clean
4.  Be true
5.  Be humble
6.  Be prayerful

It is my firm testimony that these are heavenly antidotes to Satan's poisonous, destructive influences.  If you "take an antidote" listed above when feeling one of the "poisons", I know it'll fade.  For example, have you ever tried feeling discouraged if you pour out your heart in thanks to God in prayer, and then ask to feel His love?  It won't work, because darkness cannot tolerate the presence of light.  It will always slip back to where it belongs- into the shadows, away from the light of God.  My simple witness today, without too much fancy wording or deep doctrine, is that God has heavenly antidotes for the poisons of hell.  And ultimately, all of these are made possible through the atoning sacrifice of our Savior and Elder Brother, Jesus Christ.  I know this to be true.  I hope that all of us, regardless of our sexual orientation, will remember to lean upon that in our times of difficulty.  And when we do, the poison will be purged and we will be made whole again.  Until next time...  : ) 

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