Sunday, March 17, 2013

Different Ways We May Yield to the Devil

15 And because of my mourning and lamentation ye have gathered yourselves together, and do marvel; yea, and ye have great need to marvel; yea, ye ought to marvel because ye are given away that the devil has got so great hold upon your hearts.
 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?  (Helaman 7:15-16)
 This isn’t a very cheerful block of verses.  Here the prophet Nephi is speaking from his garden tower to the people of Zarahemla who have been marveling at his grief over their wickedness.  Nephi tells them that instead of marveling at him, they ought to marvel at themselves and their wickedness.

He uses three different “away” phrases that capture different aspects of how they have gone astray (and how we may also go astray).

“ye are given away” – This captures the sense of how some of them have given themselves to the devil as if as a gift.  (“Here, Mr. Devil, let me make you a present of my eternal soul.”)

“you have given way” – This captures how some have stood strong against the devil for a while like a strong city, but after continued attacks they have given up and given way all of a sudden, collapsing.

“him who is seeking to hurl away your souls” – This corresponds to how some seem determined to destroy themselves as quickly as possible with terrible choices, treating themselves like trash.  This is exactly as the devil wants it.  He doesn’t treat souls gently.  He wants to trash them, to throw them down into depths of misery as quickly as possible. 

There’s two contradicting images of the devil here—one of him having great hold on people’s hearts and the other with him seeking to hurl souls away to everlasting misery.  But they are both true.

May we never give ourselves away, nor give way, nor throw ourselves away.


catania said...

Great reminders of how the devil works. It is always interesting to me to see how many ways that he can get us to sin. and in everything, we end up in the same place...

It makes me think of these two scriptures:
"And finally, I cannot tell you all the things whereby ye may commit sin; for there are divers ways and means, even so many that I cannot number them." - Mosiah 4:29
"And thus we see the end of him who perverteth the ways of the Lord; and thus we see that the devil will not support his children at the last day, but doth speedily drag them down to hell." - Alma 30:60

Michaela Stephens said...

Yep, different ways to sin, different ways to give way.
On the flip side, there's different ways the Lord beckons and invites us to do good as well.