Hey there, my name is Stuart and I’m a college student here at BYU. I’m hoping to someday become a surgeon, but I still have a lot of school left ahead. I’m nearly 22 and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (mistakenly called The Mormon Church). We’re known that way for a book of scripture called the Book of Mormon, which is very much like the Bible in that it teaches of Christ and was written by prophets, but it is different because it was written by ancient prophets in America. One of the first of these was a man named Nephi, a very righteous man who lived roughly around 600 BC. He took great care to teach his people the law and the commandments and of the Savior who was to come. To do this, many times he read to them words of previous prophets and helped them understand and apply them. That is also the way we should use scripture, trying to make it personal. One of his favorite prophets to quote was Isaiah. Nephi dedicates several chapters to sharing some of Isaiah’s teaching that he used. This last week I read some of those chapters and some things jumped out at me, especially in chapter 24 of 2 Nephi. In this chapter Nephi is quoting what we know today as Isaiah 14 and it speaks about the devil. Usually that’s something people frown upon, thinking that it’s not even good to talk about him, but in reality it depends on what’s being said and why. Isaiah in this part is taunting the devil and at the same time teaching us a valuable lesson. He speaks of the last days, how the Lord will be victorious and reward His covenant people. He speaks of how the world will rejoice, that it will break forth in singing at the downfall of the tyrant. The next verses have always caused me to ponder, they read:
10 All they shall speak and say unto thee: Art thou also become weak as we? Art thou become like unto us?
11 Thy pomp is brought down to the grave; the noise of thy viols is not heard; the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! Art thou cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thy heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.
15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and shall consider thee, and shall say: Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms?
17 And made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof, and opened not the house of his prisoners?
It’s so intriguing to me. Isaiah talks about all the things that Lucifer (the devil) is known for. What great power and potential he had. Son of the Morning! He was a mighty one before God at one point, but his pride filled him with rage. With his cunning and rage he shook kingdoms and destroyed cities. Yet, for all that, when the time comes he will be subject to justice because Jesus Christ took everything he could throw at him and overcame it. Now we know that Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Master of All, the Great I AM. It doesn’t surprise us that Christ will be victorious over the adversary. What does strike me most is the reaction that we will have. Verses 16-17 we’re told that we will see Satan there, I picture him huddled dejectedly in chains, and when we see him we will say: “Really? This is the guy? The one responsible for so many terrible tragedies and so much hate and destruction? This guy right here?” We won’t believe our eyes, he will seems so impotent. To me that’s so fascinating. In our lives right now we think of the devil as if he has so much power to come and destroy our world, like some huge dragon. The truth is he only has as much power as we give him! He gets his way and causes so much devastation by spreading lies with a silken tongue. We have the choice whom we will allow to direct us, however, and if we give in to temptation than we allow Satan greater power and influence over us. But we don’t have to! Christ, our Savior, will be victorious and with Him we can completely overcome the adversary! I love to tell people this, especially those struggling with addiction or similar things because you realize the winning team is recruiting and desperately wants us on their side. Jesus is the answer, He will be the victor and wants to help us to overcome as well. All we have to do is believe that and live His teachings, and when the time comes we will look at Satan with the satisfaction that with the Lord’s help we did not fall victim to him.
I know that Christ is our Savior and we can join with Him by learning His words and living them. The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, teaches plainly and completely what we must do and we can draw nearer to God through living its teachings than in any other way.
This article was written by Stuart M., a student studying pre-med at Brigham Young University and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Stuart is from Las Vegas and enjoys playing sports, studying, and listening to music.