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Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Changing "Conscience"

I couldn't believe my ears (again). Joe served an LDS mission, married in the temple, been in the bishopric, raised a good family.... Now he was on his way to prison for molesting the 6 year old neighbor. As we sat in jail he explained his behavior by saying - "The laws are too strict anyway. It's not fair.... I asked the child if it was okay and he said it was ... All I did was ...  I don't think it was that wrong. I certainly don't deserve prison... The laws are just wrong..."  He went on and on.

Conscience is an inner feeling or voice
viewed as a guide to the rightness or wrongness
of one's behavior. Everyone has one all the time.

Joe has a conscience.
His "inner voice" tells him pedophilia is "good" and the law is "bad."


Joe's "conscience" has changed ...after a couple of years of viewing porn, being involved in private Internet sex chatrooms, using share ware, becoming less active in his church,  etc etc - It just happens. (See: The Safest Road to Hell)

So what happened to Joe's Conscience?
For most of Joe's life, his conscience has been influenced by the Light of Christ and the Holy Ghost and resulted in Christ-like behavior. In recent years as he became less active in spiritual activities his conscience became influenced by the culture of particular group of pedophiles and the social media. His beliefs and attitudes had changed his perception of rightness and wrongness. His conscience has been distorted.

Here is how it works

The inner sense of right and wrong, coming from the Light of Christ is in all men (Moro. 7:16). We are born with a natural capacity to distinguish between right and wrong because of the Light of Christ that is given to every person (D & C 84:45-48). This faculty is called conscience. The possession of it makes us responsible beings. (The Guide to the Scriptures: Conscience, LDS.org)
When the "conscience" is influenced by the Light of Christ or the Holy Ghost it automatically gives us the knowledge of right from wrong using God's laws as the standard.  Through neglect of our spiritual growth that "standard" can change. In time anyone of us can transform our conscience to "call evil good and good evil"  (Isaiah 5:20) and truly believe it!-like Joe. To call good evil we must distort the conscience.

Each conscience is initially influenced by the Light of Christ. It is pure and clean at birth. If nurtured, the Light of Christ will strengthen with God's laws as the standard. For those who our baptized and confirmed they receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and the conscience is transformed into a very powerful resource.
The Holy Ghost “witnesses of the Father and the Son” (2 Nephi 31:18) and reveals and teaches “the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:5). We can receive a sure testimony of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ only by the power of the Holy Ghost. His communication to our spirit carries far more certainty than any communication we can receive through our natural senses. As we strive to stay on the path that leads to eternal life, the Holy Ghost can guide us in our decisions and protect us from physical and spiritual danger. (Holy Ghost, LDS.org)
Our conscience becomes super powered with the Holy Ghost. When this happens you can be safe in letting "your conscience be your guide." It will be an excellent final authority for moral behavior.

Each of us train our conscience by what we allow to influence it. The conscience can be eroded and deceive you.
Those who have NOT exercised their conscience have "their conscience seared with a hot iron" (1 Tim. 4:2). ("A Crown of Thorns, a Crown of Glory," By James E. Faust, Ensign, May 1991).  
Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. (Titus 1:15)
You can grow custom to evil. Your "heart can harden".  You can die the "Second Death/Spiritual Death." Your conscience can learn to approve corruption and evil. God's laws do not change. However, the "conscience" can and does.

Like Joe.  :(
The Light of Christ prompts all rational individuals (conscience) throughout the earth to distinguish truth from error, right from wrong. It activates your conscience. Its influence can be weakened through transgression and addiction and restored through proper repentance. ... It is a power and influence that comes from God and when followed can lead a person to qualify for the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Ghost. (Peace of Conscience and Peace of Mind, Richard G. Scott, Ensign, April 2004)
I have learned  after thousands of interviews with "lost sheep" that a "conscience" can adopt false beliefs (thinking they are true) and justify their wrong behavior.  

One can measure the conscience on a continuum of having "good---evil" as the "standard."
Let's try one of God's Truths and listen to your conscience.

Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose....The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan....We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society... (The Family: A Proclamation To The World)
Is your "conscience" whispering-This I believe 100%. --You are on the mark.
Is your "conscience" whispering-I'm not so sure if I believe this because....gay marriage... --
Well, you are off the mark.

If you are off the mark you need to decide if that matters to you or not.

The same procedure can be used for any of God's truth.

dr rick
dr rick's blog index

Monday, March 24, 2014

Satan's Special Forces

We could be more successful battling Satan and his militia if we knew their "marching orders".

I was sitting in Utah State Prison the other day waiting to be buzzed through the metal door. The 15 foot fence with razor barbed wire running at the top was somewhat intimidating. At the corner a few hundred feet away, an old guard tower rose above the nearby gravel path. The officers were looking on, as I waited. I finally was let into the next security door, then the next security door, then the next security door, ... eventually the inmate was sitting across from me handcuffed to the floor.

While waiting I stood pondering ... all these thousands of inmates, all their crimes, all their time, and how did Satan and his militia successfully influence so many good men and women?

My answer: Trained Special Forces.

Evil spirits who follow Lucifer do seem to be assigned specific powers or missions.  And interestingly enough, this seems to be done in the manner of an organized assault, just as Christ's missionary force is an organized assault against evil.

Evil Spirits "Called to Serve" 
An example of an evil spirit assigned a particular duty is found in Alma, where we learn that Korihor was possessed by a "lying spirit," a spirit given the specific assignment by Satan to further his cause by the weapon of "lying." (See: Alma 30:42) Or how about the spirits skilled with this weapon "the spirit of contention." (See: 3 Nephi 11:29) We can safely imagine that Satan has great charisma. He is eloquent, articulate, convincing, and a fantastic leader. He has trained many "special forces" - like Sherem (Jacob 7:4), Korihor (Alma 30:42,53), and Zeezrom (Alma 11:21) "who was expert in the devices of the devil."

Perhaps we spend way too much time focusing on Satan's strategy to "reign with blood and horrorand "wars and rumors of wars" that we forget about his most powerful special forces.

In my opinion, the most powerful weapons of destruction you and I face everyday include Satan's Special Forces - His spirits focusing on (Insert the following):

DECEPTION Synonyms: trick, stratagem, ruse, wile, hoax, imposture.
Moses 1:16 Get thee hence, Satan; deceive me not; for God said unto me:...

D & C 52:14 And again, I will give unto you a pattern in all things, that ye may not be deceived; for Satan is abroad in the land, and he goeth forth deceiving the nations—

D & C 46:8 Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived ...
FLATTERY Synonyms: praise, adulation, compliments, honeyed words; fawning, cajolery; informal sweet talk, soft soap, snow job, buttering up.
D & C 10:29 Now, behold, they have altered these words, because Satan saith unto them: He hath deceived you—and thus he flattereth them away to do iniquity, ....

2 Nephi 28:22 And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none. 
Jacob 7:4 ...he (Sherem) could use much flattery and much power of speech, according to the power of the devil.
LEAD Synonyms: accompany, precede, guide, persuade, convince, head, vanguard.
3 Nephi 2:2 Imagining up some vain thing in their hearts, that it was wrought by men and by the power of the devil, to lead away and deceive the hearts of the people; and thus did Satan get possession of the hearts of the people again, insomuch that he did blind their eyes and lead them away to believe that the doctrine of Christ was a foolish and a vain thing.

Moses 4:4 And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, 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. 
"Flattery and Led" are typical tools used to overthrow governments.  Note how the King-Men took control of Zarahemla from Governor Pahoran Alma 61:4  ...for they have used great flattery and they have led away the hearts of many people. And how about Alma 46:10.

PACIFY and LULL Synonyms: placate, appease, calm (down), conciliate. Calm or send to sleep.
2 Nephi 28:21 And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.
These special forces have been training for thousands of years.
They are good at what they do.

As a result...
Thousands of us end up captive in "prisons of sin".
How else could he have been so successful in the pre-existence. See: What Satan Doesn't Want You to Know About the War.

Look around you today and identify one of Satan Special Forces, at work.

dr rick
dr rick's index- Review the section "The Study of Evil."