Between Mark's lesson in the Gospel Principles class on the millennium and teaching my primary children the new song in the Friend Magazine that included a small discussion about the picture below, I had an explosion of thought that I pray I will be able to deliver in simplicity without stumbling.
|In Moses 7 we learn of the city of Enoch---ZION. An entire city where the individuals were so righteous that God literally took the city unto Himself.|
Here is the thought: if Satan will be bound in the millennium, or the thousand years of peace after Christ's return to earth, because of the collective righteousness of the people, where does it say that Satan can't be bound in individuals' lives before that time because of righteousness? I can't find it anywhere to suggest the contrary to this thought. I am in no way professing to be to that point, but I am seeing a shift in my personal life in this regard and it.is.AWESOME!
UPDATE: Look at what I came across! “When Satan is bound in a single home—when Satan is bound in a single life—the Millennium has already begun in that home, in that life” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball , 172).
I am understanding step 10 on a more personal level. For me it has come to mean that the moment I notice that I feel "off," (angry, unhappy, jealous, prideful...anything except peace and joy)--- the moment I detect Satan's attempts to dangle old ways of thinking in front of me, or my own mind seeks to go down old familiar paths of thought---in that very moment, I immediately cast him out. I don't have to delay and break it down or over think it. If I were to live my life out loud it may be a bit comical to watch from the outside because there are still things that I am fighting from moment to moment. It can be a constant battle at times, but I know in who I can rest my hope. I have watched things that used to be a constant battle spread out to daily, then a few times a week, etc. to now rarely a struggle for me.
I had an aha moment in connecting this all together. I believe this is how Satan is bound in an individual's life. It doesn't mean there won't be temptations or mistakes, but it does mean that there is an immediate turning (and returning to God) the moment the Spirit brings the mistruth to our attention. That may be before it happens, as it is happening, weeks/months/years afterward. To me, this process goes hand-in-hand with the process of sanctification, or becoming Godlike in our very natures and desires.
I think I have said it here before that Satan either wants to go undetected or over exaggerate himself so we fear him and his "power." As I am more conscious of the ways he is seeking my personal misery---that for him it isn't a little game; he really is seeking to destroy me---and quickly cast him out, remembering in the power that I can choose to tap into as God's child and through Jesus Christ, Satan has no power.
One way he used to really get me was to freak out when I "blew it." It was so easy to throw it all out the window and give up because I "messed up again" and quickly become discouraged by how "horrible" I am. He knew that was a sure and quick way to chase the Spirit out of my life and in an instant could get me to back down my efforts and pin me down with his pinky. Instead, I am learning to simply acknowledge that, for example, I just reacted to my child rather than listened to what he was really saying. In that moment of realization, I simply apologize, and attempt to make it right, and send a fresh plea Heaven-ward for increased help. That is it and I'm back on my way for another try. I don't have to give in to the nasty lies of "See! You are such an awful mom and your kids are going to be screwed up because of you, etc." Such a small shift, yet a complete change of outcome. That example may not resonate with you, but look for the pattern. What areas may Satan be provoking a similar pattern? If this isn't a way he gets you, what are other ways he may seek to go undetected or over inflate himself?
Another blessing of increasing my temple attendance is that now I catch myself grappling, grasping, or doing things as a "spiritual caveman," so to speak. In the temple I am reminded that I don't have to "stoop to that level." I don't have to try to do things with my rocks and sticks when God has power tools and I can hire a contractor. I am God's child and because of His perfect plan I can invite Him into my life. Through Jesus Christ, He can strengthen me and give me the power to overcome. This power doesn't have to be only when I am running empty like I used to think before, but can be a constant power source to propel me forward and up and over. Jesus Christ's grace kicks in the moment we invite it.
It has become a familiar process now, this "line upon line," "precept upon precept." Satan may only be bound for seconds at a time, but I look forward to the continued increase of time that I can dwell in God's presence until the time that I will be able to enter into His rest and stay.
Zion will be (and is) made up of a people who are collectively seeking this level of righteousness (note: not perfection). This collection of people is made up of individuals who are seeking to it. It starts with an individual then ripples out to families made up of individuals, then ward families and communities made up of families, etc. Zion is being built in the hearts of people everywhere... good people who are seeking to be better. I think of our Stake goal: to come to know God and Jesus Christ better. As we built Zion in heart, we will have a people prepared to build it physically and "meet the Lord and Enoch's band triumphant in the air."
Here are a few things so consider studying. I challenge you to write down 3 of the most painful things you have experienced. (As always, if that isn't the right fit for you or it's too much, then go with what is best). What lies are underneath those experiences? Maybe things like "You are never enough. You are such a fool. Nobody can possibly love me." Whatever it it for you. There is no right or wrong answer here. It's how Satan personally targets you. Now right out what the truth really is. What does God have to say about those lies? Remember to pray for help...that have your eyes open to see truth, to know what to do with the lies, etc. This may not be something a person can just sit down and pump out. It may take time. It may even take a good amount of time. It's okay to come and go and this. It's okay if you need to just chip away on it. The challenge is to just take the first step in this direction (and ideally keep going in the way that is best for you).
Helaman 7:16 Yea, how could you have given way to the enticing of him who is seeking to hurl away your souls down to everlasting misery and endless wo?
"The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that Satan has power over us only to the degree that we permit him." (Pres Eyring, March 2017 Ensign)
Elder Lawrenece, "4 of Satan's Best Strategies and How to Resist Them"
Joseph Smith---Matthew 1:10 & 30 "10 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold; And again, because iniquity shall abound, the love of men shall wax cold; but he that shall not be overcome, the same shall be saved."
3 Nephi 28: 39 "Now this change was not equal to that which shall take place at the last day; but there was a change wrought upon them, insomuch that Satan could have no power over them, that he could not tempt them; and they were sanctified in the flesh, that they were holy, and that the powers of the earth could not hold them."
1 Peter 3:13 "And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?"
D&C 35: 24-25 "Keep all the commandments and covenants by which ye are bound; and I will cause the heavens to shake for your good, and Satan shall tremble and Zion shall rejoice upon the hills and flourish; And Israel shall be saved in mine own due time; and by the keys which I have given shall they be led, and no more be confounded at all."
Alma 16:21 "And now after the church had been established throughout all the land—having got the victory over the devil, and the word of God being preached in its purity in all the land, and the Lord pouring out his blessings upon the people—thus ended the fourteenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi."