Resisting the “Siren’s Song of Convenience”

We are constantly tempted to do things the easy way, but as disciples of Christ, we must choose the right even when it is difficult.

In his 1982 BYU address “The Inconvenient Messiah,” Jeffrey R. Holland, then president of the university, warned against the dangers of subscribing to “convenient Christianity.”

Elder Holland cautions us not to be swayed by “the siren’s song of convenience,” or the subtle temptations to do what is easiest instead of what is right. He names three ways that Satan tempted Jesus to take the easy road during his 40-day fast, all of which Satan may use in our own lives (Matthew 4:1–11):

  1. Appeals to the appetite. Tempting the Savior to abuse his power,

    Photo by Nick Nice.

    Satan tempted him to turn stones into bread instead of waiting to break his fast the right way. Similarly, Satan tempts us to give in to our sexual appetites prematurely instead of waiting for the right time.

  2. Temptations of the spirit. Satan next tempted Jesus to cast himself down from the temple so angels would catch him—an easy way to gain followers and reassurance of the Father’s support. But Jesus refused. We, too, must be patient in matters of the spirit.
  3. Enticements of material possessions. Satan last tempted Christ to worship him in exchange for worldly wealth. We are also tempted to seek riches, but, like Christ, we must put God first (see Jacob 2:18–19). 

Living the gospel is not meant to be comfortable. When faced with the temptation of convenience, “a disciple of Christ must be willing to say, ‘Yes, but not this way.’” If we continue to choose the right, even when it is difficult, we will be strengthened and blessed in our efforts.

Read or listen to “The Inconvenient Messiah” on BYU Speeches, in the Ensign, or in the Liahona for more insight on the dangers of seeking only convenience.

Source: BYU Speeches, Ensign, Liahona 

—Maryssa Dennis, Mormon Insights Contributor


Find more insights

Read “True Christlike Service Is Seldom Convenient” by Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone for a better understanding of why it’s worth it to give up convenience for the gospel.

Read or watch The Temptations of Christby President Howard W. Hunter for another perspective on Christ’s temptations after his 40-day fast.

Read or watch The Three Rs of Choice” by President Thomas S. Monson for more guidance on choosing the right when faced with temptation.

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