Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Battle in Our Brains

I'm at Segullah today with a post that contains a fair amount of physiology, wrapped with a healthy dose of spirituality. I know it leans heavy on LDS doctrine and counsel, but if you read the Bible, or any scripture much, I encourage you to come over. The concepts there are worth reading about.


I quote ideas from Tina Peterson, who has a degree in Near Eastern Studies, speaks Greek and Hebrew, and has studied the Old and New Testament in their original languages from multiple sources including the Dead Sea Scrolls.

She's brilliant. And what she had to say changed my life.


  1. Wow, interesting thoughts. Although I am very active in our Church community (and up for election for the Community Council) I have to admit I don't study the bible much -- I haven't been brought up this way, and it doesn't come easily.

    But here is a question: there is mention of Satan in your article -- does the concept of Satan still exist in your Church? My feeling is that the Catholic Church pretty much closed down hell, and doesn't mention that concept much anymore.

    So long,

  2. Catherine~I don't think my comments post to your blog-I am sure it is my lack of computer savvy, and might have to do with toddlers on my lap, but I wanted to at least attempt saying thank you for this post. A few of the adults in my family took a challenge from my Mom to read the Book of Mormon by Thanksgiving and reading your post has given some meaning to what I feel has been lacking for me-for a long time now. You always do it-you somehow shed light on something in my life that felt broken, even if it was just a laugh on a day that lacked the humor it needed. Thank you. I check blogs only so often and yours is on my list of must reads.

  3. I commented over yonder at Segullah, but I loved this.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Corinna - what an excellent question! Yes, we believe in Satan just as much as we believe in God. We believe the biblical narration from Genesis about Adam and Eve in the Garden, and Satan persuading them to partake of the fruit. From that point on, historically, one can see an adversarial influence afoot in the world, working tirelessly to thwart God's plan of salvation intended to save all people, to make them miserable like himself. We understand Satan to be one of God's chosen sons, "Son of the Morning" he was called in the pre-earth life (Isaiah 14:12), who had a plan that would save all of God's children on earth, but would not allow them agency and freedom of choice. We believe that everyone on the earth lived in heaven before coming here and that each of us chose to follow Jesus there, because he offered to be our Savior, instead of Lucifer (Satan). Satan, however, in his pride, seeks to pull down all that is good and righteous, and I personally have felt his influence in my life. I can say it is real, especially during times when I am trying concertedly to do something important and right. Our belief is based on scriptural text from both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I'll see if I can find someone else's words to send to you - a more official statement from a leader of the church on our views of Satan. It's fascinating to me that in your experience with Catholicism, Satan isn't mentioned much, nor is hell. Wish you were closer and we could have a face-to-face conversation. I appreciate your open, asking heart. xo

    Cristie - I loved your comment at Segullah, what a glorious, filling, read you had. You inspire me!

    Meagen - You are one of the dearest souls. Your comments always leave me feeling humbled. This phrase cut me straight through - "something in my life that felt broken, even if it was just a laugh on a day that lacked humor." I so understand! Thanks for your very sweet and encouraging comment. It meant a lot to me. Hope your twins are doing well (and all your littles!) Are they a year now? xo

    Elizabeth - beautiful comment over there. Thank you!

  5. Cath, I finally sent in a few posts to Power of Moms, as you had kindly recommended. Today, they've got an abridged version of my "Sometimes…" post on their website. (Unfortunately, right now the post isn't showing my name as the author yet.) Just wanted to say thanks for the encouragement you've given me in writing. Love you. I've been thinking of you.

  6. Dear Cath, thanks for your answer, I have to think about that for a while. Of course, the concept of hell and Satan used to take up a huge part in Catholic believe as well, but hasn't in the past years, at least ever since I started to go to Church and become more involved. I don't know, when that changed, but I will find out. These days it's all about Love, Forgiveness and Acceptance -- and I like the thought, that as long as we try to do/be good, we are foregiven, even if, of course, we all have our dark sides as well, when doing/being good just doesn't come easily.

    So long,

  7. Corinna - I can see how the Catholic church has evolved to talk less about damnation and more about love and forgiveness. I think that is a good thing. As Mormons, we also speak predominantly of these glorious gifts too, and of acceptance and the truth that good always wins out over evil. I worry that my response was so pointed about Satan (in an attempt to answer your question), it might have sounded like we tend to focus on him. He obviously exists, because there must be an opposition in all things, and I believe it is wise to acknowledge his existence, but we do not dwell on him in any teaching setting or discussions. I like to think of him as a watcher in the background, waiting for an opportunity to influence, but one who has no power over us, unless we allow it. Listening to him or making decisions that would lead us away from God (and closer to him), is the only way he can have influence over us. Following the commandments of God gives us power to triumph over any temptation. I found this link to real questions some of the youth of our church have asked. One such question was, "Who is Satan?" Just scroll down to that section. Maybe it will add a little more light to the discussion.

    Hope you are well. Blessings to you my friend.

    And Anne Marie - that is such wonderful news!!! I just linked over and read your piece. I'll comment there tomorrow when I have a moment. It is beautifully written and I'm so glad you sent something in. I hope you'll keep it up. You have a wonderful voice and a wise way of seeing life and motherhood. I love your heart.

  8. Shared your link and have thought about it over the weekend.
    Wanted to come with my dad yesterday (he spoke in your ward on music and art). I love listening to his thoughts, but also thought I might be able to say hello to you in person. ;) Maybe another time...

    1. Oh my goodness Elizabeth - that was your Dad!!?? I am floored. He is the sweetest, most tender man. And I have heard Bob Stephenson speak of him on many occasions. He is so talented and had the most wonderful, elevated thoughts to share, I wish I had known! I wish we could have listened to him play the organ for two hours straight. My crazy children kept me from talking to him afterwards, but please pass on my gratitude for what he shared. I decided I will listen to Saint Matthew's passion each Easter from now on. Were you the 13 year old daughter he spoke about, who went to hear him at the Cathedral of the Madeleine? It is now obvious to me where you get your sweet and attentive heart. It was a true privilege to listen to him. Yes, I hope our paths cross in person another time. xo

  9. I wish I had come to meet you, too. ;) The next night my husband and I were talking and he said, "Why didn't you say you wanted to go? You totally should have gone!" (Since, ya know, taking all the kids would really have been a fabulous option.) I felt bad leaving him when I'd get to just go and relax. But, next time, I'm going for sure!
    We LOVE listening to a passion on Good Friday (we alternate between St. Matthew and St. John). It is a spiritual feast. And ya, that was me he was talking about. That was my first powerful experience with one of Bach's passions. My love for them has only grown deeper.
    If you're interested, I'll let you know next time he's playing somewhere.
    And I hope we cross paths, too.
    We don't live that far apart.

  10. I just started a scripture journal today, thanks to your inspiring post. I haven't had one in 17 years. Thank you, thank you. It's just the thing I need to increase the quality of my study. I'll be looking for patterns now too. Love you, Cath.

    Anne Marie


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