Category: lusts

Adultery

Adultery is such a significant sin and so destructive to society that it is prohibited in the Ten Commandments: “You shall not commit adultery.” (NC Exo. 12:10)

In answer to a question from Peter, Christ explained about the evils in the heart of men: ” out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adultery, fornication, thefts, false witness, blasphemy. These are things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands defiles not a man.” (NC Matt. 8:10)

A short time after this a group of both Pharisees and Sadducees came to demand a sign be given to them by Christ. These two groups normally conflicted with each other over religious beliefs. However, they came together to confront Christ, unified in the question they posed. Christ not only refused, but gave a principle or key it is important to understand: “A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah.” (NC Matt 8:15)

This key given by Christ is reliable. One of the effects of an adulterous heart is the inability to accept truth without a sign. But signs do not produce faith. Signs cannot produce faith. “And he that seeks signs shall see signs, but not unto salvation. Verily I say unto you, There are those among you who seek signs, and there have been such even from the beginning. But behold, faith comes not by signs, but signs follow those that believe. Yea, signs come by faith, not by the will of men nor as they please, but by the will of God. Yea, signs come by faith unto mighty works, for without faith no man pleases God.” (T&C 50:3)

Those with adulterous hearts require something coarse to convince them because they lack faith. When they obtain a sign and follow after it, they still do not have faith, because signs cannot produce it.

Joseph Smith commented on sign-seeking: “When I was preaching in Philadelphia, a Quaker called out for a sign. I told him to be still. After the sermon, he again asked for a sign. I told the congregation the man was an adulterer; that a wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and that the Lord had said to me in a revelation, that any man who wanted a sign was an adulterous person. ‘It is true,’ cried one, ‘for I caught him in the very act,’ which the man afterwards confessed when he was baptized.” (TPJS, p. 278, DHC 5:268; Feb. 9 1843.)

When signs attract followers, the resulting congregation of followers are all vulnerable to the sin of adultery. This is one of the reasons why so many were adulterers in Nauvoo, and later in Utah, and today among various splinter groups. It is a plague that can only be avoided by removing adulterous thoughts from the heart.

As Christ explained to Peter, it is from the heart that the evil of adultery and fornication originates. It interferes with the light required to have faith. I have consistently warned against this sin. A revelation to Joseph Smith warned: “And verily I say unto you, as I have said before, He that looks on a woman to lust after her, or if any shall commit adultery in their hearts, they shall not have the Spirit, but shall deny the faith and shall fear.” (T&C 50:4)

No adulterer is fit for Zion. The nature of that sin is to destroy families, create conflict, inspire violence, and prevent the Spirit of God from holding influence over the victims. When put outside that influence, these victims of their own lusts are open to the influence of other, false spirits. False spirits gladly minister to sign-seekers.

2 Nephi 30: 18

“Wherefore, all things which have been revealed unto the children of men shall at that day be revealed; and Satan shall have power over the hearts of the children of men no more, for a long time. And now, my beloved brethren, I make an end of my sayings.”


The truth will be revealed. But truth of this nature will involve something else. Satan will have no power. When we gather enough light and truth, Satan’s influence and power ends. We find that Satan is “cast out” because he can no longer deceive.


His primary tool is the lie. When there is enough truth, there is no longer any reason to believe or teach a lie. Therefore, he has lost power.


His secondary tool is the lusts and appetites of the flesh. When these are controlled, he is rendered completely ineffective. He is bound.


Once the lies are exposed and the appetites of the flesh are subdued, the hearts of men are freed from captivity. Nephi is describing a future day when this will be the the common situation for mankind.


Of course, this doesn’t have to be a future day. It is possible to gain enough light and truth today so the lies are exposed to your view. It is also possible to subdue the appetites of the flesh. In any event, the desires, appetites and passions ought to be kept within the bounds which the Lord prescribes. We say that, but we don’t often do that. Most people are not willing to actually subdue their desires, passions and appetites. It seems weird to suppress the desire for revenge, to actually turn the other cheek, and to return good for evil. In short, it would appear the Savior’s conduct in willingly going to His death without accepting Peter’s offer to use the sword in His defense was a bit nutty. At least from the perspective of the damned. (They can’t even stop watching pornography. Latter-day “Saint” indeed. What’s saintly about the vengeful, lustful, and gluttonous? But that’s an aside…)


Binding Satan so he has no “power over the hearts of the children of men” is an interesting phrase. Why “power?” Why “power over the hearts?” Why “children of men” rather than sons of God? (See the dialogue between Moses and Satan where Moses refers to himself as a “son of God” but Satan calls him a “son of man” in Moses 1: 12-13.) Isn’t that interesting? 


Why is it that such power over the hearts of the children of men will be lost? It is as if entry into a Telestial World will bring about the binding of Satan, even before becoming a “son of God,” and beginning the final journey into the Lord’s presence. This is interesting – as if Nephi understood the Temple itself. (2 Nephi 5: 16.)


Satan’s power is lost for a “long time” but not forever. Why? How will Satan be loosed again?  (Rev. 20: 7; D&C 43: 31; D&C 88: 110.) I’ve described this event and the reasons in “The Great Competition” in Ten Parables.


The final phrase is because Nephi was through with his message for a while. He may have intended to take his writing up again, but the final phrase indicates he was done for the time. We cannot tell how long it was between the last verse of Chapter 30 and the first verse of Chapter 31. When he takes up his writing again, he is clearly ending his ministry. How long he took to compose his final thoughts is undisclosed. But this will be an old man, finishing his mortal warning to us.


Let’s take a look at it…