I remember it was June, ten years ago, and we hadn’t grilled at all through the winter or spring. I thought it would be a lovely evening to fire up the barbecue. I opened up the lid to ignite the grill and was shocked when I saw a furry tailed pack rat all cozied up inside my barbecue! It had made a lovely nest of blackberries and leaves from a nearby bush. I could see the smallest hole on the right side of the cover that left room for a furry little rodent to squirm in while I was completely unaware. We trapped that disgusting rat in a cardboard box and relocated it out in the nearby woods.
I hadn’t thought about this pack rat until last summer when I was out on the patio with our puppies. I heard a clammer under the barbecue lid, and instantly my mind flashed back to the Rodent Episode of 2009. I knew exactly what was in my grill! Another sneaky pack rat had made an elaborate nest and had no intention of leaving my barbecue.
I named our rodent Lucifer, because he is like the Devil. Both of them look for little openings in our lives, trying to sneak in while we are unaware, and set up a nice, cozy camp. Lucifer wants in for the long haul; he wants us to be miserable.
How do we combat Satan in our lives and keep him out of our homes?
In our home, when Steve and I were first married, we made it a priority to vocally pray every night that we would be protected from Satan and his followers. Is this a guarantee that we will not have trials and be tempted? No, but it helps us have strength and protection from the evils that try to defeat us.
As we fight the Adversary, we should teach our families to specifically pray for protection from the Devil. The Doctrine and Covenants teaches us, “Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan…”¹. Russell Ballard concurs, “I cannot stress too highly the protective power that comes into our lives through earnest, humble, consistent, yearning prayer.”²
Russell M. Nelson teaches us that Lucifer’s purpose “is to make people miserable. He has no body, and he’s envious of those who do. So Satan tempts you and me nearly every day. He tempts us through our appetites. Our Creator gave us appetites…We have an appetite for food, we have an appetite for drink, and we have an appetite for love. Without those appetites being fulfilled, there would be no fulfillment of God’s great plan of happiness for His children. So how does Satan tempt us? Through those very appetites. He tempts us to eat things we should not eat, to drink things we should not drink, and to love in ways we should not love. Therefore, we have to be very careful to control our appetites so that we can enjoy the blessings of Heavenly Father and choose to follow His way of life.”³
I highly recommend doing all you can to defeat the Lucifers in your life. Seal up the holes. Secure the cracks. Be watchful. Pray for the heavenly protection and Light of Christ in your lives because Light and darkness cannot coexist. The Savior offers the best pest control there is! I am depending on Him.
¹Doctrine and Covenants 10:5
²How to Rely on the Protective Power of Prayer, M. Russell Ballard
³Teachings of Russell M. Nelson, Russell M. Nelson