Two Opposing Influences

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Boyd K. Packer

It is another thing to know that the Holy Ghost is conferred upon us at the time of baptism. Remember, "first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Articles of Faith 1:4).
 
In the Book of Mormon again: "Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ [as Nephi said]. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do" (2 Nephi 32:3).

Now, you in your youth are being prompted. If you will keep your body in a worthy, receptive circumstance, you will be prompted, even have angels attend you. Angels will attend you and will "speak [to you] by the power of the Holy Ghost." 

But you also should know, as Moroni said, "[The devil] persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him" (Moroni 7:17).

So you are the focus of two conflicting patterns trying to influence you in your life, trying to have you go this way or that way (see Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13; James 1:8). You are the one who makes the decision. 
          
As the old man a generation ago said, "The Lord's votin' for me, and the devil's votin' against me, but it's my vote that counts!" And that is good, solid doctrine.
 
You will have just what you want. On one hand, you have inspiration from the Holy Ghost, and, on the other hand, you have what President Ezra Taft Benson called "sinspiration" from the angels of the devil. They are with you all of the time.

I gave a talk once in which I likened the mind to a stage. There is always something going on in that stage. Whatever you think is going on in the stage, these ideas and promptings and temptations will move in from the side. What do you do about it? You ought to have a delete key. 
          
I know a little about computers because my grandchildren have taught me. I know that every computer keyboard has a delete key. If there is something there you do not want, something you did that you want to get rid of, you underline it and delete it. 
You can have a delete key in your mind. Your mind is in charge, and your body is the instrument of your mind. Now you will have to figure out a delete key for yourself.

One man showed me once that he used his wedding ring.  He said that whenever there was an unworthy thought that tried to get into his mind--and those influences are everywhere--he just rubbed his thumb against his wedding ring. That was the delete key, "Get out of my mind! I am in charge!"

You are in command. You cannot say that you do not know any better. You do know better!

There are other ways. Music is powerful. My older brother taught me that. When he was flying in the Eighth Air Force, it was terrible. He was shot down twice. But he said finally he got so he was not afraid. He was not afraid because when fear came, he turned on this little orchestra in his mind. He took his favorite hymn and played it over and over in his mind. 
          
I learned something, and I have since lived that way.  When some ugly thought from the nether kingdom tries to get into my mind, I move it out with good music, hymns (see D&C 25:12).

That is one of the reasons why you are very, very, very, very, very, very foolish when you like to participate in music that is dark and noisy.  Worthy inspiration cannot get through to you where you are. No matter how popular it may be or how much you want to belong, just remember that there are those angels of the devil using you.

Remember the incident when Christ crossed the water and came to a cave where there were two wild men possessed of the devils. Those spirits said to Him, "What have we to do with [you]?" (Matthew 8:29)

They knew what was going to happen. They begged, "If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine" (Matthew 8:31). There was a herd of swine feeding there.  They would rather go there.  They did not have a body, could not get a body, would not ever have a body, and they were temporarily in possession of the bodies of those poor men.  Christ did that.  Then it records that the swine ran away into the sea and were drowned. (See Matthew 8:28-32.)

Learn from the scriptures.  They are teaching you--teaching about everyday life.

Link to complete text of President Boyd K. Packer's CES Fireside address: "The instrument of your mind and the foundation of your character".