As we make our journey through life, we are bound to confront an enemy. Enemies which, if not properly identified and overcome, threaten our eternal destiny. Sometimes it could someone as simple as the school bully; more serious enemies arise in the form of addictions with the potential of altering our eternal familes- pornography, mind-altering drugs, etc. Today the Mormon Third Eye seeks to answer the following question- aside from the devil himself, from the among the amazing array of enemies, both temporal and spiritual, that threaten to destroy us, who or what is our most formidable enemy?
A careful, circumspect study of scripture stories reveals that mankind’s most formidable enemy is… us!
Two critical elements constitute a successful enemy- a wrong choice, and someone to make it. We are taught that Satan is the father of lies, but in order for those lies to hurt us, we have to choose to believe them. For example, we know that before Alma the Younger in the Book of Mormon was humbled by the appearance of an angel to cease destroying the church, one the many things he was guilty of was “giving a chance for the enemy of God to exercise his power over them. “ Alma the Younger gave members of the church of God “the chance,” or option, of an evil alternative, but it was still up to them to choose it. When the Savior visited Ancient America, he taught the residents there that ”ye must watch and pray always lest ye enter into temptation; for Satan desireth to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.” My favorite reflection of this priority principle in the scriptures is King Benjamin teaching his people about the true nature of evil: “But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.”
I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer not to perish, so I’m going to watch myself, my thoughts, my words, and my deeds. Because of our God-given free agency, we truly are our own worst enemy. We can blame the world’s temptations on the adversary, but we must be held responsible for acting on them. The world needs a new scary sign on its front yard- “beware of man.”