… (personal note to family member)
So this week was really great. On saturday my companion and i started a cottage meeting at one of the members houses in our area. A cottage meeting is this for those who dont know: It is an unofficial church meeting where saints of the church gather together and share wonderful spiritual lessons with each other, but we are not permitted to bless and pass the sacrament. It is also usually held in areas where members live that are a far distance from the chapel site. Other Missionaries in our district had started one four weeks ago and we have seen how successful it has been for them and how many less active or inactive members participate in such a meeting. Being inspired by these two wonderful elders, My companion and i set everything up and invited all the members that we knew of, and asked the members to invite more people to the meeting on saturday. Being the first meeting as well Elder Tshuma and i decided we would cover the lesson and decided that the members this week needed to know how the devil leads the hearts of men to hell and how the saviour leads souls to heaven.
The devils following tactics are:
1.Contention. Those with a contentious spirit are not of the saviour, but of the devil. The saviour in his life and teachings was never seen to persuade men to do evil or think an ill deed towards another. Instead he cautioned that we must love one another. The devil teaches if we are offended it is okay to start a fight or dispute with that said person. Such feelings and thoughts are not of god.
2.Deceit that all is well. In other words complacency. Those who feel their lives are okay and really could not get much better because they enjoy all the wonders of the world, get lulled into false senses of security and stop progressing spiritually. We are taught as well in scripture “Wo unto them who say all is well in Zion.” God wants us to progress at every moment, but not to give up and say “things are okay.”
3.Laziness. Something i was taught as a young boy was this. “Idle hands are the devils workshop.” So is the same with an idle mind. If we are not anxiously engaged in doing that which is right or thinking upon the scriptures or thinking upon how we can improve, then we can find ourselves in the very dangerous position of not doing anything. The devil screams for joy when he finds someone not doing anything because he can easily enter the mind and heart of such a person.
4.Flattery. The devil has a golden tongue and knows what to say to tempt us to do wrong. He convinces us that we are good so it is okay to indulge in a little sin. This again is wrong. Dont be deceived by the honeyed words of the adversary. Also listen to flatterers with caution, for in their words they will trap and ensnare you.
5.Anger. This emotion can come easily but it, nor its effects can easily be cleaned up, even though angry words can easily be said. As President hinckley said to the youth “now is the time to watch your anger and always keep yourself in check.” Before you say an angry word or do a vengeful deed, think if you would want someone saying r doing those things to you. I know that no one does. So Strive never to be angry.
These are some of the devils traps. They dont include everything he does, but they are some of the most common things you can find in the ungodly.
Now the saviour has a plan to counter all the devils tricks. And it is called the Gospel of Jesus Christ. his following steps are:
1. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith is an action word and will move us to do things that will bring about the betterment of our lives. We are told to use faith every day for as it says in Alma 32 our seed of faith is meant to grow into the tree of life. Using faith, increases faith. I promise you, that acting on faith will never be a bad decision.
2. Repentance. Faith leads us to become better and to remove from our lives that which is evil and replace it with wholesome activities. Elder Neal A. Maxwell said that walking the path of repentance or discipleship is the only path in all humanity where dropping garbage or trash is acceptable. Repenting is cleansing and helps us prepare for many more things in gods kingdom.
3.Baptism (by proper authority). This is essential to enter the Kingdom Of god. it is the first ordinance in the gospel. Without getting baptized we can in no ways be made clean. But it is incomplete without the second ordinance.
4.Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. (Again by proper Priesthood authority) Without Receiving this gift we cannot be prompted by God to make neccesary changes in our lives, conducive to living in Gods presence. The Holy Ghost Prompts us always to do the right and never to do ill.
5.Enduring to the end.One of the most important phases of the gospel. Without following this our whole lives we shall not gain eternal life which is the greatest of all the gifts of god. This means going through the temptations and trials of the devil. But it also brings great blessings to the individual who does wait.
And we have two choices in life. We can follow god or follow satan. I would strongly reccomend you follow God however. Stay true to the Gospel and the lord will stay true to you. I know these things of myself. I love the words of god.
Have an excellent week. (personal note)