My Friend and neighbor, Bruce, is a tremendous gospel teacher and student. I seek his counsel on all sorts of gospel topics and he generally has just the answers I am looking for. But on some things we just don’t see eye to eye. One of those things is on what Satan can or can’t do in this world.
Bruce quotes gobs of scriptures that say basically “sin is conceived in the heart of man” and how the “flesh” and our fallen nature are the source of all sin. Satan is not really actively involved at all in Bruce’s teachings. It is the sin and temptations of the flesh that cause all sinful choices in this world. More specifically, Bruce insists that Satan has no power to place thoughts or ideas in our minds. In other words, he believes Satan cannot convey any external intelligence to us.
I conceded to Bruce that many sins are conceived in men’s hearts without promptings from the devil – just as many good deeds are from “our own free will and choice”. However I do believe Satan has his own version of the Spirit’s “still, small voice”. I think Satan uses his little wicked whispers to give us ideas that are in exact opposition to those that God would want us to choose.
I taught the Gospel Doctrine lesson that covers D&C 10 this week at church and feel like I found my strongest argument for this idea. The Lord makes it abundantly clear that the idea to steal and utilize the 116 lost manuscript pages was Satan’s plan that he somehow put into the minds and hearts of those wicked men. That sounds like a pretty good case for external specific intelligence being conveyed to me. Bruce has yet to counter it (though it has only been one day so far.)
The idea I have is that as part of the opposition in all things that God allows on the earth, He allows Satan to use counterfeit versions of his own communication methods. It is as if there are two spiritual radio stations out there and we choose which to tune into by our righteous or wicked decisions.
What do you think? Is Bruce right or am I on to something?