Idea List: Overcoming Temptation


A sure way to overcome temptation is to avoid it in the first place. President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, tells of visiting a wild-animal park in Africa where he was warned to stay away from even the smallest puddle. Any place with water—even the water-filled footprints of elephants—could easily have a crocodile lurking nearby. (See “Spiritual Crocodiles,” New Era, Oct. 2001, 8.)

The following ideas will help you to avoid those dangerous “puddles”:

  • Avoid places and situations where you know temptation might be lurking. Otherwise, it’s like hanging around the bakery while you are dieting.

  • Be careful of people who don’t have your standards and who don’t respect them. It’s OK to be friendly; you can invite them to your good activities. But avoid their territory.

  • Watch the clock. When it’s late and you are tired, your resistance is lower.

Besides avoiding temptation, you can take some steps to be safe:

  • Choose entertainment—movies, TV, games, music, and so on—that meets the standards given in For the Strength of Youth.

  • Spend your time in places and activities that are good for you, with people who have high standards.

  • Keep up your spiritual strength with daily prayer and scripture study and weekly Church attendance.

  • Improve your memory. Remember your baptismal covenant. Remember that you want to be worthy to take the sacrament. Remember the Savior and what He did for you.

  • Memorize the words to a favorite hymn. Sing it or think about it when unwelcome thoughts come. Or recite the Articles of Faith or scripture verses in your mind.

“God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

[illustration] Illustration by Richard Hull