The War of Words Continues

There was a war in heaven. I don’t remember it well, but by accounts it was a war of words, a war of ideas. It didn’t end there; the war continues on earth. Like many of you, I’ve been fighting that war for a long time and have picked up a few lessons along the way.

The apostle John tells us that we overcame Lucifer, “the accuser of our brethren,” in that war through the blood of the Lamb—the atonement of Christ—and by the “word of our testimony” (Revelation 12:11). That’s also how we can overcome modern accusers.

I gained a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ when I was 17 years old. It has never left me. Perhaps I should say I’ve tried hard to never leave it. I have treated it kindly and have been as loyal to it as I would be to a dear, trusted friend. It has never let me down, in spite of my being frustratingly mortal.

The path of discipleship is not an easy path, but it is simple. I love the path. If I could give you a visual idea of a testimony, I’d say it’s like a kayak. It’ll keep you afloat in the roughest of waters, as long as you keep paddling. Even when you’ve been upside down and under water, if you just keep paddling, you’ll stay alive and safe and find your way back to the surface. Drenched, but safe. Paddling is like discipleship.

When Lucifer was cast down, the Book of Moses tells us that “he became . . . the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice” (Moses 4:4; emphasis added).

How does Satan lead us captive? He is more able to deceive us when we don’t hearken to—listen and obey—the Lord’s voice.

How do we hear the Lord’s voice? Through the voice of the scriptures, the voice of His prophets, and by the still, small voice of the Spirit to our hearts.

Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same. (D&C 1:38.)

1 Corinthians 13 teaches about the character of love and, quite honestly, I don’t feel obligated in the least to listen to any voice that doesn’t match that character. There is no need to heed a proud, defiant, mocking, flippant, contentious voice, for the spirit of contention is of the devil (3 Nephi 11:29). If it’s contentious, it’s driven by pride (Proverbs 13:10). And if it isn’t love, it’s probably coming from “the great and spacious building [which is] the pride of the world (1 Nephi 11:36). So, no. No, thank you.

Where there is darkness, there are torrents of contention and doubt; where there is light, we find “living waters” (1 Nephi 11:25)—and love and patience and unselfishness and humility and a willingness to listen and be wrong—for “love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud” (NIV 1 Corinthians 13:4). Love “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (NIV 1 Corinthians 13:7).

Love is our true home. It’s where we find true peace. Everything else is a two-star motel.

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