Monday, January 10, 2005

How's Your GPA? (Satan Wants to Know...)

The devil is extremely interested in your GPA... No not your grade point average, your quotient of the Babylonian or Devil's GPA –

G: Greed and Getting Gain (plus the power wealth brings)
P: Popularity, Prominence, Praise of Men, Pride, Power (at least the influence part)
A: Appetites and Addictions

I based this segmentation of sin categories on the New Testament (Matthew) account of the temptations of Christ just prior to His ministry. In it the Devil’s game plan is laid for all to see.

A = Temptation #1

This is the least difficult to overcome. For Christ it was the temptation to eat after a 40-day fast. For Mormons it is the litany of appetites we are required to suppress in order to keep our covenants. Our Babylonian world constantly beckons us to partake in appealing but destructive and addictive behaviors – from drugs (of all kind), to gambling, to pornography and other sexual transgressions.

P = Temptation #2

This one is more tempting. For Christ it was the temptation to abuse His power. He was tempted to show off – to prove who He was and get the resulting respect and praise. For Mormons the requirements to get the respect and praise of men are ever at odds with the requirements to get the respect and praise of God.

G = Temptation #3

This is the most tempting of them all. For Christ it was the offer of all the treasures and kingdoms of the world in exchange for worshipping the Devil. For Mormons the basics of the offer remain the same: If we devote all of our time, talents and energy to obtaining wealth and its associated power and trappings we might get it – but we’ll lose our soul in the process.

To illustrate that most every temptation we face falls into the Devils GPA, here are a few scriptures about the problems we’ll face in our day:

1 Nep. 8:8-9

8 And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the gold(G), and the silver(G),and the silks(G), and the scarlets(G), and the fine-twined linen(G), and the precious clothing(G), and the harlots(A), are the desires of this great and abominable church.

9 And also for the praise of the world(P) do they destroy the saints of God, and bring them down into captivity.

Alma 4:6,8,12

6 And it came to pass in the eighth year of the reign of the judges, that the people of the church began to wax proud(P), because of their exceeding riches(G), and their fine silks(G), and their fine-twined linen(G), and because of their many flocks and herds(G), and their gold and their silver(G)(P), and all manner of precious things(G), which they had obtained by their industry; and in all these things were they lifted up in the pride of their eyes, for they began to wear very costly apparel(G)(P).

8 For they saw and beheld with great sorrow that the people of the church began to be lifted up in the pride of their eyes(P), and to set their hearts upon riches and upon the vain things of the world(G), that they began to be scornful, one towards another(P), and they began to persecute those that did not believe according to their own will and pleasure(P).

12 Yea, he saw great inequality among the people, some lifting themselves up with their pride(P), despising others(P), turning their backs upon the needy and the naked and those who were hungry(G), and those who were athirst, and those who were sick and afflicted(G).

Mormon 8:35-39

35 Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.

36 And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts(P); and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts(P), unto the wearing of very fine apparel(G)(P), unto envying(G)(P), and strifes(G)(P), and malice(P), and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities(G)(P)(A); and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts(P).

37 For behold, ye do love money(G), and your substance(G), and your fine apparel(G)(P), and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted(G).

38 O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? (G)(P)(A) Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ?(G)(P)(A) Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world?(G)(P)(A)

39 Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life(G), and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not?(G)

40 Yea, why do ye build up your secret abominations(G)(P) to get gain(G), and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, and also orphans to mourn before the Lord, and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands to cry unto the Lord from the ground, for vengeance upon your heads?

Go ahead, try it. Read the scriptures and see which sins can’t be lumped under those primary categories… It’s tough to find any.

Coming soon… How the Devil tricks us into ignoring the more serious sins (G and P) by focusing all of our attention on the less the easiest of the three (A)…




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