“The Lord’s Side of the Line,” Ensign, Aug. 1989, 22
President George Albert Smith often said that there are two influences in the world. “One is constructive and elevating and comes from our Heavenly Father; the other is destructive and debasing and comes from Lucifer.” When we “live on the Lord’s side of the line Lucifer cannot … influence us, but if we cross the line into his territory we are in his power.” (Improvement Era, May 1935, p. 278.)
A man may choose whether to listen to the Lord or to Satan. If he has a sincere desire to follow in the footsteps of the Master and if he has command of himself, he knows that Satan is unable to force him into evil. Satan may only suggest; he cannot force.
I feel that we can fortify our determination to stay on the Lord’s side of the line if we put into practice the principles below. A side-by-side list of the Lord’s methods and Satan’s schemes provides a clear comparison of the two plans.
Because we know that the gospel plan is an all-encompassing, complete way of life, should we not recommit ourselves each day in our prayers to the Lord to keep His commandments? Each daily decision should include the conscious thought, “Is this in accord with gospel principles, or am I slipping across the line into Lucifer’s domain?”
Let us carry out all of our actions in harmony with the principles we know to be true.
The Lord’s Side
1. The gospel is magnificent. It encompasses everything that is good and true.
1. Satan’s plan blends partial truths with lies and deception to entrap and destroy.
2. Every principle and law of the gospel, if lived, lifts man and makes him free.
2. The practices advocated by Lucifer degrade, enslave, and bind.
3. Every action we take in harmony with gospel principles improves our lives.
3. Every action we take with selfish goals in mind reduces our capacity to achieve true joy.
4. The gospel explains our eternal destiny as sons or daughters of God.
4. Lucifer’s deception, woven into the existential philosophies of men, proclaims that our short mortal span is all there is.
5. The gospel teaches us that we are free agents being tried and tested during our sojourn on earth.
5. Lucifer’s philosophy holds that our actions are merely responses to hereditary and environmental influences and that we are not responsible for what we do.
6. The gospel explains why good and evil exist in the world.
6. Lucifer teaches that the world and life are purposeless and governed by chance.
7. We enjoy forgiveness when we recognize our sins and choose to repent.
7. Lucifer teaches that there is no sin. We become subject to him when we fail to recognize sin and fail to repent.
8. The gospel teaches that all knowledge and intelligence gained in this life will rise with us in the Resurrection.
8. Satan teaches that death is the end of existence and that the only value of knowledge is to get ahead in this life.
9. We are granted gifts of the Spirit such as peace and joy when we live gospel principles.
9. We rule out the influence of the Spirit, including spiritual gifts, in our lives when we indulge in worldly practices.
10. The gospel teaches a law of health that, if lived, gives us strength, vigor, and reduced susceptibility to disease and illness.
10. Satan teaches, “Eat, drink and be merry! Indulge your passions and your desire for momentary pleasure.” This course is always followed by misery and sorrow.
11. We develop loving relationships and find happiness as we learn to love and to serve joyously.
11. We destroy loving relationships and bring on personal sorrow and loneliness when we follow Lucifer’s urgings.
12. We develop love and harmony among family members and happiness at home when we live gospel principles.
12. We create disharmony, distrust, and unhappiness at home when we live a worldly life-style.
13. The result of following the gospel is that others will develop confidence and trust in us if our actions are in harmony with gospel principles.
13. The result of following Satan is that others become suspicious of our motives and integrity because our actions are out of harmony with gospel principles.
14. We have the opportunity to enjoy an eternal, exalted family through living gospel principles.
14. Lucifer’s plan results in separation from family relationships forever.
15. The Lord has promised to share all that He has with those of His children who qualify themselves for the celestial kingdom.
15. Lucifer’s plan encourages momentary sensual pleasure for which, if there is no repentance, the reward is eternal separation from the celestial kingdom.
16. The Lord’s counsel: Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, and diligence. Qualify for the celestial kingdom where God and Christ dwell.
16. Lucifer’s counsel: Seek evil and indulge in backbiting, vanity, pride, lust, dishonesty, lasciviousness, adultery, pornography, and the use of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. Qualify to be forever separated from where God and Christ dwell.