I believe there was a battle in Heaven before we came to earth. There Lucifer strove to lead the children of God away from the plan of redemption made possible by Jesus Christ. Those that chose to follow Christ were given the opportunity to come to earth and obtain bodies. Those that chose to follow Lucifer would remain in their spirit form and were cast out from Heaven. The battle that began so long ago, continues today, Satan’s purpose is still the same: to destroy the agency of man. The only thing that has changed is the battle ground. Yes, we did move from Heaven to Earth, but I believe the true battlefield is in the mind. I found some 460 references in the scriptures that have to do with our mind and our thoughts. This is something I struggle with on a daily basis. I find I have to constantly fight thoughts of inadequacy, guilt, fear, and anxiety. Ezra Taft Benson likened our mind to a stage:
“From one side of the wings, the Lord, who loves you, is trying to put on the stage of your mind that which will bless you. From the other side of the wings the devil, who hates you, is trying to put on the stage that which will curse you. You are the stage manager – you are the one who decides which thought will occupy the stage.” (Think on Christ, Ensign March 1989)
Satan is so cunning because first he places a thought in our mind, and then he makes us feel guilty for thinking it, when he’s the one that put it there in the first place. So the trick is to push those thoughts out as soon as they come. It can be exhausting at times, but I know we can receive help from Heaven in our mind managing, and thus we are commanded:
“Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.” (D&C 6:36)
I know that as we look to Christ we can receive strength to fight this battle, just as we did in the beginning.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Tim 2:17
12″ x 12″ oil on panel