A trapper set his traps in places where the animals roam. Most of the time they hide their traps so that an unsuspecting animals moving about are suddenly and violently trapped. The jaws which laid open are suddenly sprung and the animal is caught in the snare of the trap. A rod is usually drove in the ground, it it is securely tethered to a tree so that the animal cannot escape. There are many kinds of traps, but I would like to comment on one kind in particular that many of us may not even be aware of.

In this day and age, we are bombarded with all sorts of advertising. One just needs to look no further than their favorite social media app. Facebook has many "suggested pages", "likes", and "shares". One just needs to click on the ad - whether you are clicking because you can relate or just out of curiosity, and you are transported to the sponsoring  ads, web page. Advertisers make their ads look "enticing" for us - to get our attention. And, many times unbeknownst to us, our name has been added to a database. As far as Facebook, there is little we can do but to put a blind eye. Those advertisers, while annoying to us, is what pays for Facebook.

The television, newspapers, magazines all contain advertisements that are designed to entice us to at least find out more about what the product is. Television Infomercials and shopping clubs entire intent is for you to buy. Impulse shoppers are born - buying things that they really had no desire to buy just 30 minutes ago. Every car dealer, food shop, and many other companies run "sales". There seems to be a sale every week. And many of them try to entice us by telling us, "This offer will never be found again" - only to find the same price or lower a couple weeks or months later.

Another place that we are besieged with advertisements is our email. Ads come up that can be totally innocent to the downright lewd. Again, we have little control over what enters into our email. Luckily, there are steps that can, and are taken to avert the most lewd emails - by way of a spam filter. It does nothing more except to "intercept" your email before you get to see it. It contains many algorithms and look-up database that if some of the words it finds in the email matches their list, it is sent to spam. And for the occasional email that does pass through, we can assist in the cause by telling our email provider that it is spam and will be moved there - out of sight and out of mind - or is it really?

Every one of these advertisements sets the "mind trap" and is successful. Even if we discard the original advertisement, they have got a "foot inside our minds". How many times have you "thought" about that sale, that picture, or even words until the mind says, "I have to have that!". There is a group on Facebook, that while their intent is wholesome, they, in my opinion are setting the trap. They advertise through their group that "this is bad", and they show many examples or or current events to show you how to avoid that sort of behavior. Yet, do they understand that their  advertisement may just be setting the mind trap in motion for some who are weak int this particular area?

As I have blogged before, no one gets up in the morning and declares to themselves that they will be unfaithful to their spouse, or that they are going to rob a bank. No, the mind trap needs to be set in motion. And the thought needs to fester until they have an appetite to do that. Perhaps they venture into things that, while not entirely bad - can lead to bigger and worse things. Take for example the unfaithful spouse; they might get involved in watching a sitcom on television that makes light of the situation, which might lead to movies that show some nudity, which might lead to soft porn and further and further down they venture - the mind trap has set early on - by a sitcom.

Is it no wonder that our prophets warn us to "avoid the appearance of evil", and "flee away, RUN away from sin"? Satan and his followers certainly have the mind trap figured out to their advantage - to lead us away from our Heavenly Father, and thereby, "carefully leading us down to hell". So what can we do? We know that many times we cannot control our own thoughts, but  we don't have to "invite it to take up residence in our minds".

Be Wary

We know that sin is real and that Satan desire to have all of us share in his unhappiness. If we are striving to do the right things each day (praying, scripture study, etc.), we have a good foundation to build upon. If we strive to live our lives in accordance with the examples of our Savior, we have even a greater foundation.

Be Aware

If we strive to be in tune with the Spirit, we will get those promptings to turn off the television, change the channel, or something else. Even if it doesn't make sense to us right now, if we listen and heed those promptings, we will be for the better. Maybe we need to have an "Adam conscience" where after he and Eve were driven from the beautiful garden, Adam built an altar. An angle came an appeared to him asking him why he is doing such as thing. Adam's remark is the example for all of us, "I know not, save the Lord command me".

Be Diligent

Satan will not try once and give up. No, he will try and try to get us snared in his trap. Every day, every hour, every moment. Just as Satan is diligent to bring us down, we need to be diligent to stay up. By doing those every day things, as was mentioned, will build a good foundation. When the errant thought enters into our mind, we need to be diligent to openly declare for it to leave us! I have found that when these things occur, it is always good for me to start humming or thinking about one of my favorite hymns. I have so many favorites, so it might not be narrowed down to just one. Memorize the words to your favorite hymn and call upon it in times of trial.

The mind trap is very real and is very literal. I have seen it's workings in some of the things I have been ensnared with over the years. But through being wary of our surroundings and situations, being aware of those things which are designed to trap us, and be diligent in avoiding those traps altogether, we can have the upper hand against the adversary. If you are currently ensnared, the answer to your entrapment is repentance. Through that wonderful gift, the jaws of sin that keep us entrenched in misery can be sprung open by the thorough  repentance process. And we can once again feel completely free again.

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