When we recognize Satan’s false advertising, we can avoid miserable consequences and instead receive God’s blessings.
Satan is trying to attract followers—and he knows that eternal misery isn’t a tempting pitch. In the talk “When Evil Appears Good and Good Appears Evil,” Elder Quentin L. Cook invites us to imagine that if Satan were to meet with an advertising agency, the ad executive would likely suggest that Satan “characterize the Father’s plan as resulting in grief and misery and [his] plan as resulting in joy and happiness.” Elder Cook explains that we must watch out for the devil’s twisted messages about several important principles:
“Smoking is sophisticated.” While most people now recognize the dangers of cigarette smoking, Satan still presents this message, trying to entice our generation to use tobacco and other drugs.
“Drinking helps you wind down in social settings.” In contrast, prophets teach that abstaining from alcohol promotes a healthy lifestyle and stable family relationships.
“Put family on hold for career and education.” Satan paints motherhood as drudgery and fatherhood as outdated; he knows that prioritizing family will lead to eternal joy.
“It’s okay to terminate pregnancy if it’s inconvenient.” Human life is precious and must be safeguarded. Seek a bishop’s counsel for guidance about unplanned pregnancy.
“Cohabitating is an acceptable substitution for marriage.” By remaining morally clean, couples can eventually experience the unmatched blessings of celestial marriage.
“You’ve ‘made it’ once you’ve achieved a highly visible life of luxury.” True prosperity comes when we seek the kingdom of God, plan financially, and spend wisely.
“Holy scripture is fiction.” The Bible and Book of Mormon are under scrutiny, but we can know the truth of these sacred texts by earnestly studying them and praying for confirmation.
Although Satan’s false advertising may attract attention today, Elder Cook emphasizes that buying into these lies will lead to a “banquet with bitter, rancid, nasty, and miserable results.” Instead, we can cling to God’s truth, guiding us to the sweet fruits of eternal life. Until the day that every tongue confesses that Jesus is the Christ (see Philemon 2:11), we must recognize Lucifer’s shifty tactics, pinpoint true doctrine, and hold fast to God’s unwavering gospel.
—Hannah DeTavis, Mormon Insights
feature image by john schnobrich
Find more insights
Check out “Free Forever, to Act for Themselves,” by Elder D. Todd Christofferson, to learn about the eternal importance of agency.
To discover what the Book of Mormon teaches us about Satan’s lies, read “The Book of Mormon and Modern Relativism,” by Daniel L. Belnap.