Saturday, June 13, 2009

The War Between Good and Evil

I have been thinking of this scripture often lately.

Isaiah 5: 20
20 ¶ Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

I shouldn't be surprised when I see this scripture fulfilled, but I am always shocked at the depth of the fulfillment. We now live in a society that lauds immorality and accuses religion of causing all of the world's ills. And when religion challenges immorality, religion is branded as being hateful and discriminatory. But despite the attacks and opposition that we receive, those of us who believe in Jesus Christ continue to fight for what is right. The great war that was started in the pre-existence is still in effect today.

The LDS Bible dictionary gives this information about the war in heaven:
"The war was primarily over how and in what manner the plan of salvation would be administered to the forthcoming human family upon the earth. The issues involved such things as agency, how to gain salvation, and who should be the Redeemer. The war broke out because one-third of the spirits refused to accept the appointment of Jesus Christ as the Savior. Such a refusal was a rebellion against the Father’s plan of redemption. It was evident that if given agency, some persons would fall short of complete salvation; Lucifer and his followers wanted salvation to come automatically to all who passed through mortality, without regard to individual preference, agency, or voluntary dedication."
Isaiah 14:12-20
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
18 All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house.
19 But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet.
20 Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.

Revelation 12:19
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Some teachings about the war between good and evil:

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught, "In relation to the kingdom of God, the devil always sets up his kingdom at the very same time in opposition to God" ( Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 365).

Elder Carlos Asay taught: "Can a man be too righteous? Too Christlike? Impossible! Can the so-called 'balanced man' walk successfully the beam between good and evil? No. Each step is shaky, and eventually he will teeter and fall and break himself against the commandments of God" (in Conference Report, Apr. 1992, 59; or Ensign, May 1992, 41 ).

Pres. Wilford Woodruff taught: “There are two powers on the earth and in the midst of the inhabitants of the earth—the power of God and the power of the devil. In our history we have had some very peculiar experiences. When God has had a people on the earth, it matters not in what age, Lucifer, the son of the morning, and the millions of fallen spirits that were cast out of heaven, have warred against God, against Christ, against the work of God, and against the people of God. And they are not backward in doing it in our day and generation. Whenever the Lord set His hand to perform any work, those powers labored to overthrow it.”2

Elder Durrel A. Woolsey taught:
" In the book of Revelation we are told of a war in heaven (see Rev. 12:7). What kind of battle? What kind of war? The war is for the souls of men. The battle lines have been drawn since Adam: evil versus righteousness. In this the final dispensation and in preparation for the Millennium, the forces of evil have intensified and united under the powerful influences of Satan. On the opposite side of the line, the kingdom of God is clearly sounding the trumpet of righteousness, as perhaps never before. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is on the offensive in the declaration of good to be good and evil to be evil."

In addition, Elder Woolsey gave some warning signs to help us to avoid evil during this war:
"There are symptoms or warnings of the descending path. Ten symptoms to be aware of might be:

• An increasing shortness of vision or an inability to see clearly things of a spiritual nature

• An ever-increasing callousness to things of God

• A hardening of the spiritual arteries—attention to spiritual needs moves from daily or weekly to monthly, then occasionally, then not at all

• An increasing dependence upon a growing army of psychiatric specialists instead of priesthood, God, and self

• An increasing independence from spiritual things

• An increasing number of friends with lower moral standards

• Quotes from talk shows instead of scriptures

• Raised voices in place of subdued tones

• Verbal, even physical, abuse replacing a circle of love

• Gradual acceptance of evil, not all at once, but a little bit at a time

We must be involved in a good and a righteous cause. We must see through the glass clearly, with an objective look at ourselves and families so as not to be caught in the second great calamitous worldwide flood that is even now all around us. It has been prophesied that the faithful will win this great war, that they will triumphantly rise up to meet the Lord Jesus Christ at the time of His second coming. The prescription for this victory includes daily individual and family prayers with a family home evening at least weekly. You may say, “I don’t have time.” Brothers and sisters, you simply cannot afford not to take the time. It is amazing how much time suddenly becomes available with the television off. This prescription continues the same as it has always been—keep the commandments; follow the prophets; read, understand, and even ponder the scriptures."

1 comment:

In The Doghouse said...

There were many who opposed the plan of the Father in the pre-mortal state and were cast out because of that opposition to the plan. Those of us who are on this earth today sustained the plan when it was presented to us, we know this because of the reward that we were given of a body. Our challenge now is to continue to sustain it. The conflict certainly does continue here on this earth!