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Taking Responsibility for Our Thoughts: Navigating Satanic Attacks

Understanding the Difference between Fault and Responsibility in Our Thought Processes

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are constantly striving to align our thoughts and actions with His teachings. However, amidst our efforts to cultivate positive and uplifting thoughts, we may encounter unexpected challenges.

The metaphor of a farmer tending to his fields can help illustrate the fine distinction between Fault and Responsibility.

Imagine you are diligently plowing your field, working hard to provide for your family’s needs. Your focus is on nurturing and growing a bountiful crop.

Suddenly, someone throws a hand grenade at your feet.

Is it your fault that the grenade was thrown? No, it is not.

However, it becomes your responsibility to take swift action and remove the threat to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you.

Similarly, in our spiritual journey, we may face satanic attacks that attempt to infiltrate our thoughts and invite or entice us away from our values.

Some may argue that if a thought enters our minds, it is automatically our fault. But let us consider the role of the Holy Ghost.

Do we control when and how the Holy Ghost communicates with us? No, we do not. The Holy Ghost can inspire and guide us, sometimes even when we have not asked for it. Just as the Holy Ghost’s thoughts can be intrusive, we need to recognize that satanic attacks can also intrude upon our minds.

Men and women may experience these influences differently.

Women often perceive the gentle promptings of the Holy Ghost through nurturing and comforting thoughts.

In contrast, men, being more stubborn, may need a metaphorical knock on the head to awaken their spiritual sensitivity. However, this does not diminish the importance of learning to discern satanic attacks.

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Understanding the distinction between fault and responsibility is vital in this context.

While we are not at fault for the intrusive thoughts or temptations that may arise, it becomes our responsibility to discern and defeat them.

Just as we continually seek to improve our ability to recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost, it is not unusual to require practice in identifying and defeating satanic influences.  Remember, “You will have power to crush his head.”

To develop discernment, we can turn to the inspired words of Moroni in chapter seven of the Book of Mormon. Moroni teaches that “that which is good is of God, and that which is not good is of Satan.”

Notice that it does not attribute evil thoughts or influences to human beings. We must not fall into the misconception that humans are the origin of evil. Rather, we acknowledge that Satan seeks to exploit our vulnerabilities and through temptation, torment and turmoil.

One effective tool for discernment is to assess whether a thought aligns with our intentional thinking or purposeful action.

If we would not consciously choose to think, feel, or act in a certain way, then it is not originating from our intentional selves. Our intentional thinking emanates from our spirit, the eternal essence of who we are.

However, it is essential to recognize that our neurological processes, which govern automated responses and habitual behaviors, are separate from our intentional selves. These automated processes are like machinery we have inherited, and it is our responsibility to address and improve them.

We might discover unwelcome patterns or negative thoughts that were introduced into our minds before we developed the ability to critically examine them.

Yet, they are not a result of our conscious choices. 

Check yourself, are these automated thought, feeling and behavioral patterns something you would ever have chosen, after careful consideration?  Loved ones and scientists often use the phrase, “You need to take responsibility for your choices.” 

This can often elicit defensiveness and/or shame responses. 

After careful review of the use of the English language, I find it more accurate to say, “If you would like to function in a way that will bring you more happiness, peace and relationship success, you will need to take responsibility for improving (repentance) the way (your machinery) currently functions. 

Whether it is your fault or not, whether you made a conscious choice to function this way or not, it is currently your responsibility to improve the system.

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Acknowledging the distinction between fault and responsibility allows us to take ownership of our thought processes and work toward healing and growth.

It also empowers us with more wisdom and empathy when we find our current behaviors are a threat to loved ones. 

For instance, if we identify patterns that are harmful, such as anger management issues, it is our responsibility to safeguard others from the potential harm until we can address and rectify these patterns. 

The same holds true with sexual misbehaviors, condescending behaviors and being distant or dismissive.

Instead of dwelling on questions like, “Why did I choose this?” or attempting to assign blame to past experiences, we can redirect our focus to repairing and refining our thought machinery.

By acknowledging that our automated processes are not representative of our true selves, we can approach the task of repairing them with determination and faith. It is through the collaboration of our spirit, mind, and soul that we can effect positive change. 

The power of God and the Atonement will help complete the process when the challenge is beyond our current ability.

Recognizing the role of Satan in our psychological processes is crucial. Unfortunately, some psychological perspectives dismiss the possibility of his involvement. However, as Latter-day Saints, we understand that Satan actively seeks to disrupt our thoughts and lead us away from truth and righteousness.

By acknowledging his influence, we can better combat his attacks and fortify our minds against his deceptive tactics.

In a world where media often overlooks the spiritual dimension, it is essential for us to embrace the reality of satanic attacks on our thoughts.

Through sincere prayer, scripture study, and reliance on the guidance of the Holy Ghost, we can develop discernment and recognize when our thoughts are being influenced by the adversary. 

There are many drills we can do as well to practice this discernment process.  These more subtle levels may require advanced training.

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Though the journey of refining our thought processes may require time and effort, we can find hope in the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He is our Savior, and through Him, we can overcome the negative influences that seek to hinder our progress.

As we align our thoughts with His teachings and seek His guidance, we can cultivate a mindset that is grounded in truth, love, and righteousness.

In conclusion, understanding the difference between fault and responsibility is crucial in navigating satanic attacks on our thoughts.

While we may not be at fault for the intrusive and negative thoughts that arise, it becomes our responsibility to discern and defeat them. Just as we continually seek to improve our ability to recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost, we can also practice discerning and resisting satanic influences.

By harnessing the power of the Atonement and relying on the guidance of the Holy Ghost, we can fortify our minds and develop discernment, ultimately aligning our thoughts with the teachings of our Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Then we can move on to use our powerful passion energy to participate in the glorious activities we were sent here to accomplish as the Noble and Great Ones of the Final Generation!

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