The Science Behind Satan

The following are thoughts from long-time Sons of Helaman General and now missionary, Elder Eli Jenkins.

Satan, if observed carefully, can be found everywhere in our life. Not just this, but in our head specifically. One of his tactics is making latter day people think the influence of Satan is mostly or solely outside your body and in the world around us, and he’s affecting you from the outside in. But in reality he affects each one of us from the inside out. He doesn’t have to tempt someone more susceptible to his power to create an outside situation that harms God’s saints, like making a drunk driver swerve into you when he tempted him to become intoxicated. No, he just has to wait for a situation that makes you weak or forgetful of your values, like when you are yelled at by a friend or loved one, or you tire yourself out at work, or even when a drunk driver crashes into your car. He can then start shooting thoughts into our head through our spirit, tempting us to act against our values, or, as John Bytheway puts it, “React instead of Act”.

Going back to the drunk driver situation, for example, he could send thoughts to us that tempt us to yell at the intoxicated driver, or to push legal action further than needed and further than where you would feel comfortable pushing if you were thinking clearly. He could even use this situation to make us bad tempered with others besides the driver. If we had the value that we wanted to be nice to our mother, or wife and children, and avoid yelling at them, Satan can take this situation that made us emotionally off-balance and send thoughts that justify being grumpy and yelling at our dear family. We would never do this if we were thinking clearly. And that might even be a good point that Satan would use in defending this justification. Can you think of some ways he would phrase this in your mind? Perhaps something like, “You wouldn’t be acting this way if that (insert dirty word) driver hadn’t crashed into your car this morning!”.

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