Marion G. Romney (1897-1988), First Presidency
We Latter-day Saints need not be, and we must not be, deceived by the sophistries of men concerning the reality of Satan. There is a personal devil, and we had better believe it. He and a countless host of followers, seen and unseen, are exercising a controlling influence upon men and their affairs in our world today.
An ancient American prophet, envisioning our day and observing what is going on, prophesied that if Satan is not checked, he will bring this generation to destruction. Addressing himself to our present situation, Nephi said:
“… the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be stirred up to anger, and perish;
“For behold, at that day [that’s today] shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.
“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.
“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—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.” (2 Ne. 28:19-22.)
Now I am not calling attention to these things to frighten, stampede, or discourage anyone. I refer to them because I know they are true, and I am persuaded that if we are to “conquer Satan, and … escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work” (D&C 10:5), we must understand and recognize the situation as it is. This is no time for Latter-day Saints to equivocate.
Nor is it a time for us to panic. The difficulties of our times have not come upon us unawares. A hundred and forty years ago the Lord clearly revealed the tenor of our times. We know that as the second coming of the Savior approaches, the tempo of Satan’s campaign for the souls of men is being and will continue to be accelerated. We know that the experiences of the intervening years will try men’s souls.
We also know that God lives; that his “eternal purposes … shall roll on.” We know that to qualify us to prevail against Satan and his wicked hosts, we have been given the gospel of Jesus Christ. We know that the Spirit of Christ and the power of his priesthood are ample shields to the power of Satan. We know that there is available to each of us the gift of the Holy Ghost—the power of revelation which embraces the gift of discernment by which we may unerringly detect the devil and the counterfeits he is so successfully foisting upon this gullible generation. Our course is clear and certain. It is to strictly obey the commandments of the Lord, as they are recorded in the scriptures and as they are being given by the living prophets.
In conclusion, I bear you my witness to the truth of the things I have been calling to your attention in these remarks.
I know that God lives. Through my own experiences I have come to know of his Spirit and his power. I know also that Satan lives. I have detected his spirit and felt of his power—not to the extent as did the Prophet Joseph, but in like experience.
I know that at the second advent of Christ, the signs of which are now mounting, “Satan shall be bound … [and] have no place in the hearts of the children of men.” (D&C 45:55.)
I bear further witness to the truth of the Savior’s prediction that at the time of his coming “they that are wise and have received the truth [that is, who have accepted the gospel], and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived [by Satan and his powers]— … shall … abide the day [of His coming].
“And [that] the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; …
“For the Lord shall be in their midst, and his glory shall be upon them, and he will be their king and their lawgiver.” (D&C 45:57-59.)
That we may take the Holy Spirit for our guide, recognize Satan, his representatives and their works, and not be deceived by them, to the end that we may be partakers of the promised blessings,