Satan's vision of physical intimacy is cunning, counterfeiting, and contorting. Lucifer offers his skewed view of physical intimacy through movies, magazines, and music—actually through any and all publications and productions known to humankind—from stage plays to Internet chat rooms.
When our vision clears and our frame is enlarged, we see the adversary's ploys for what they really are: elaborate and extensive maneuverings to capture our very souls. Lucifer covets your body and your spirit and those of your loved ones, and he is relentless in his sinister pursuit.
And now, if you wonder how really old the adversary's craftiness is, and therefore how really good he is at his craft, just read Romans 1: 24–31 and 2 Timothy 3:1–6. There, in black and white, is what is available for you to see in living color in your own home, with the assistance of your television, VCR, and computer.
Paul's accounting of what the people were involved in—who once knew God, yet turned away—sounds just like one night's worth of prime-time sitcoms (better said, "sick coms").
Here is Paul's report: "[And they were] filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity . . . backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful" (Romans 1:29–31).
And now, listen to Paul's description as he writes to Timothy describing the last days—our days. As you listen, think about where you may have seen these things before: "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God" (2 Timothy 3:1–4).
And then the most chilling message of all. It's not bad enough that those horrible things are happening out there in the world. The worst part is that they come sneaking, creeping into our homes and influencing us.
Listen to verse 6: "For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women, laden with sins, led away with divers lusts" (2 Timothy 3:6).
Could Paul possibly be talking about afternoon soap operas and talk shows—and how through them, all these offenses creep into our homes? And could he be describing those of us who watch them? Are we silly when we watch them? And is watching them leading us away into divers lusts?
Could Isaiah possibly be speaking to us, the Lord's women of the latter days when he says: "Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters" (Isaiah 32:9).
Have we been careless? Have we drifted far too much in the direction of the world's view, which is so saturated with Lucifer's lies about physical intimacy?
It is indeed time to rise up and be careful! Careful about everything that comes into our hearts, minds, and homes which pertains to physical intimacy. Could the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith apply to how in times past we have carelessly thought about, and talked about, physical intimacy? Joseph said: "How vain and trifling have been our spirits, our conferences, our councils, our meetings, our private as well as public conversations—too low, too mean, too vulgar, too condescending" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1938], 137). We must be very careful with our language and our conversations about everything related to this sacred physical endowment.
On the other hand we need to be bold in exposing Lucifer and his lies. We need to rise up, and with ever increasing clarity point out his counterfeits, his deceptions, his trickery. I believe that all satanically influenced presentations about physical intimacy should be stamped "More Lies!"
To protect our minds and hearts, our homes and families from the intrusions of the devil's devices, perhaps we need big, bold warning signs on every book, magazine, videotape, audiotape, TV sitcom, movie, play, and so forth, which is coproduced by the adversary himself. Warning signs that would reveal his works for what they really are: angry protests against God and persistent, power-hungry efforts to obliterate the truth.
When I think about all the individuals I have had the privilege to assist, whose lives in one way or another were shattered and shackled because of the effects of moral transgressions, I want to post a forewarning on each and every satanically coproduced product about physical intimacy. The forewarning I would post is simple. It would read:
"If you choose to open this, you will be giving the adversary more power over you."
I have also thought of six other warnings that could be displayed on all of Lucifer's contaminated and contaminating material. As you read, note which warnings might form a protective barrier, encircling our families and shutting the adversary out.
Warning 1. To be stamped on the cover of his magazines: "Contents highly addictive. Extremely corrosive-to-the-soul materials enclosed. Be prepared to have your mind twisted, your views of love ravaged, your spirit shrunk. Be aware that the Spirit of the Lord will not be with you during or after viewing. Be prepared that after an initial rush, you will experience feelings of depression, loneliness, despair, and guilt. Nevertheless, with repeated exposures over time, you can numb those feelings and enter into an almost total amnesia about who you really are and about truth itself."
Warning 2. For the beginning of Satan's coproduced movies: "The following scenes are brought to you in the hope that you will think of yourself as being an animal. Actually the dung from an animal is more pure and would harm you less when taken into your system. Extreme caution needed. This movie will make you believe that lust is really love and that all love really is—is lust. This movie will have its greatest effect if observed when you are feeling misunderstood, alone, blue, or just that you don't fit in. If you are not in any of these moods, viewing the movie will actually assist in getting you there. If you are in one of these moods, your spirit will be more vulnerable, and thus your ability to distinguish good from evil will be even more quickly extinguished.
Warning 3. For the devil's Internet connections: "Share the following with someone whose soul you would like to destroy. Complete success is ensured if you can offer it in the spirit of friendship and under the guise of love. By thinking and talking together about the content, all sweet pure feelings will be distorted into grand perversions. Pick a perversion, any perversion. That may be one of the very last choices you will get to make.
In fact, if you are tired of making choices just view the following several times—or keep immersing yourself in similar material—and your degree of freedom will be increasingly limited with each successive viewing. The irony is that you will be provided with a personalized illusion that your freedom is actually increasing. We've taken this way beyond the old smoke and mirrors tricks—and the illusions that will influence your heart and mind will be stunning. Virtual reality is here to replace virtuous living.
Warning 4. To announce the adversary's influence on prime-time viewing: "How many lies can you find in the following sitcom? If you can't find any . . . Gotcha! In the following, we are going to offer you ideas that you have never before entertained. But with repetition and humor we will slowly dilute the initial recoiling of your spirit, and you will begin to forget that there was ever a time when you didn't believe these lies to be true.
Warning 5. A lie-busting warning for rented videos: "Fantasy only allowed here. Only erotic illusions contained. No empathic love depicted. No consequences noted. No impact on your body, spirit, relationships with God, family and friends addressed. Please note that interactions will appear much more splendid than they really are. This is not real life. But it is a really great lie. We have left out the gory details that would only ruin the subtle appeal this movie will have for you."
Warning 6. For videos purchased: "Congratulations! You bought the movie this time instead of just renting it. In fact, you are buying this whole scheme—hook, line, and sinker. Let's just have this be our little secret. No one needs to know. No one will ever be able to tell. When people tell you that you are looking different, darker, or talking differently, or that you are more difficult to get along with, just get angry at them and go buy another movie or magazine with similar contents. Actually, you will soon be ready to advance to our total-destruction-of-the-senses line. You, too, will soon be past feeling."
And the effect, if those six warnings are not heeded? Well, that brings us to an intermission announcement, which is "We will soon be taking a commercial break. You, on the other hand, who are now a bit more dull in your thinking, a little more under the spell of adversary-induced-amnesia—you are now primed for a different kind of break. How about breaking your covenants? Breaking your husband's heart? Breaking apart your marriage? Breaking your children's and parents' and siblings' and friends' hearts? All of these breaks that you never thought possible are now just a little more within your reach."
One client told me that it was after watching a certain popular movie that she first started thinking about having an affair with the man who was building her family's new house. She had the affair. Her house was built. Her marriage was destroyed. Those involved now live in three separate houses: the builder (it seems strange to call him that) with his wife in one home, the woman with some of her children in another, and her former husband and the rest of the children in yet another. No one lives in the house the affair destroyed. Now, this is a good woman. She was not a woman with no sense of right or wrong or of gospel principles. She served as a Relief Society president before this very difficult time in her life.
Lucifer hates good women and is poised and ready to intrude his lies into good women's lives. He's swift. He's very effective. He knows if he can take down a good woman, he can take down a whole family in one fell swoop. Talk about the economy of Lucifer. The devil's domino effect in action!
Sisters, it's time to make certain that Satan does not have a grip on our hearts, minds, homes, and families. If we find any evidence of his blatantly obvious or even his covertly subtle presence, we need to cast him out. We need to do more than just loosen his grip; we need to cast him out so that we can be taught by the Spirit the grand eternal truths about physical intimacy and teach them to our families.
The Lord has not left us alone. He has provided His truth about intimacy through His scriptures and His prophets. And as you prayerfully seek His guidance, you will come to know what you can do right now to determine if the adversary's impure influence is in your life—and to know how to remove it, if found. It may just be time for some very serious spring cleaning.
Only when our hearts and homes are cleansed from the adversary's filthy falsehoods can the Lord's words about physical intimacy lodge deep in our hearts and bring the sweet peace that truth always brings.
Sister Wendy Watson - 1999 BYU Women'Conference