Lucifer’s “Facebook Page”

Those who were once good friends are now mocking you on social media for your steadiness in your faith. It’s troubling to you. It is to me, too. Those who were once active in your faith have found a new form of activity. It’s disturbing but this isn’t the first time it’s happened. Imagine with me for a few minutes how it might have began in the premortal world.

Courtesy LDS Media Library
Lucifer had a very popular “Facebook page.” His posts were smart and often funny, his assertions well-reasoned, his arguments, pointed, persuasive, well-researched. Though he sometimes demonstrated a fiery self-righteousness, he was generally revered as one of the sons of the morning. He was very confident in his arguments and gave the impression that he was always right and that everyone else was wrong, including his Father, Elohim, and his older brother, Jehovah.
He often made bold claims to his rights and the rights of all of God’s children, and that God was ignoring those rights. Before long, things started getting out of hand. His contempt for our Father grew and he became more and more negative and disrespectful towards Him—and His rules and laws. On any given day, you could read a lot of clever put-downs on his timeline, posts dripping with wrath, indignation, and even threats. 
Imagine his power to convince and persuade others, and his finesse at positioning himself as a hero, full of hard-won wisdom. He had found what he termed as truth—important facts that our Father had overlooked—and he felt morally obligated to spread it to everyone who would listen. He had millions upon millions of friends and followers. How could someone so smart, so popular, so persuasive, so respected, so handsome, so clever, and so “with the times” possibly be wrong? 
Not everyone believed him, I’m happy to report. These had a quiet confidence and bided there time. They knew a war of sorts was about to break out and they were prepared for it. They responded to every one of his event invites with “not going.” They spent a lot of time talking and listening to Elohim and Jehovah and to their heavenly mother. They used no coercion, no mocking, no jarring justifications. They didn’t need to. They followed Father loyally, in spite of some fierce opposition and mounting public scorn. 
Jehovah didn’t have a “Facebook page.” He was very well known without having to rely on social media. He was always respectful of others and of their developing opinions, but He never let there be any doubt about where He stood on the issues. He was not shy about what and Who He stood for. 
Despite Jehovah’s pleadings to the contrary, war soon began, a war fought with words, ideas, convictions, and testimony. It was a spiritual war. It was a dangerous and stressful time for the children of the kingdom. Many rose up in open rebellion against our Father, though they claimed they were actually in support of Him. He just needed to rethink His policies, they claimed. He needed to ask the right questions, come to His senses, and then all would be well.

Millions lost their spiritual lives in the ensuing battles, but the Father’s warriors of light defeated the enemy in battle after battle, though many of them suffered deep wounds. Father wept over those who defected to the “other side” as did His followers.  

In a last ditch effort to make himself out as the actual victor, Lucifer announced to his millions of followers that they were gathering together at a big public park near one of Father’s houses and publicly declaring their resignation from heaven and from Father’s family. Lucifer’s event was reasonably successful and got a lot of press attention. Billions followed his lead.
After an unsuccessful and rather embarrassing coup attempt, Lucifer and his minions of opinion were marched out of the kingdom and sent to a new world, far, far away. And here the war continues. 

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.