“Temptation,” True to the Faith, (2004),174–76
As the Apostle Paul prophesied, the last days are “perilous times” (2 Timothy 3:1). The influence of the adversary is widespread and seductive. But you can defeat Satan and overcome his temptations. Heavenly Father has given you the gift of agency—the power to choose good over evil. You can “humble [yourself] before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that [you] may not be tempted above that which [you] can bear” (Alma 13:28). As you willingly obey the commandments, your Heavenly Father will strengthen you to withstand temptation.
The following counsel will help you overcome temptation:
Center your life on the Savior. The prophet Helaman counseled his sons, “Remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall” (Helaman 5:12).
Pray for strength. When the resurrected Savior came to the Nephites, He taught the multitude: “Ye must watch and pray always lest ye enter into temptation; for Satan desireth to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. Therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name” (3 Nephi 18:18–19). In the latter days He has given similar counsel: “Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work” (D&C 10:5).
Study the scriptures daily. As you study gospel truths and apply them in your life, the Lord will bless you with power to withstand temptation. Nephi taught, “Whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction” (1 Nephi 15:24; see also Helaman 3:29–30).
Fill your life with goodness. You have so much good to choose from that you do not need to partake of evil. When you fill your life with goodness, you leave no room for anything else.
Avoid tempting places and situations. You cannot avoid temptation completely, but you can avoid places or situations where you are likely to be tempted. You can also avoid inappropriate material in magazines, books, television, movies, and music and on the Internet.
Strive to influence others for good. Just before He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Savior prayed for His disciples: “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world” (John 17:14–18). As a latter-day disciple of Jesus Christ, you can be in the world but “not of the world.” In addition to avoiding temptation yourself, you can influence others to live good and wholesome lives. You can set a righteous example, be a good friend, participate in community service, and, as appropriate, let your voice be heard in defense of moral values.
Never hesitate in your decisions to withstand temptation. Strive to follow the example of the Savior, who “suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them” (D&C 20:22). When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, the Lord never wavered. His answer was quick and firm: “Get thee behind me, Satan” (Luke 4:8). Through your righteous thoughts, words, and actions, you can answer the temptations of the adversary with the same conviction. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” (James 4:7–8).^ Back to top