A man travelling through the country came to a large city, very rich and splendid; he looked at it and said to his guide, ‘This must be a very righteous people, for I can only see but one little devil in this great city.’

“The guide replied, ‘You do not understand, sir. This city is so perfectly given up to wickedness … that it requires but one devil to keep them all in subjection.’

“Travelling on a little farther, he came to a rugged path and saw an old man trying to get up the hill side, surrounded by seven great, big, coarse-looking devils.

“‘Why,’ says the traveller, ‘this must be a tremendously wicked old man! See how many devils there are around him!’

“‘This,’ replied the guide, ‘is the only righteous man in the country; and there are seven of the biggest devils trying to turn him out of his path, and they all cannot do it.’

Brother George A. Smith told that story back in 1857.  Brother Carlos Asay quoted it for a talk on opposition in the Sunday afternoon session of the October 1981 General Conference.  Brother Asay had this to say:

Since the spring of 1820, Lucifer has led a relentless attack against the Latter-day Saints and their leaders. A parade of anti-Christs, anti-Mormons, and apostate groups have appeared on the scene. Many are still among us and have released new floods of lies and false accusations. These faith-killers and testimony-thieves use personal contacts, the printed word, electronic media, and other means of communication to sow doubts and to disturb the peace of true believers.

Absit omen, but I have experienced less opposition over the last couple of years where I have become more of an agent myself for good (not that I count for much yet, just that I have gotten more into the swing than before).  Perhaps I am just running in place, but I feel not.  If the devils haven’t given up (unlikely), then I think I am in the case of an overactive terrier running around all over and feeling like the master of creation as everything gives way before him–but in reality only because his owner likes the dog and follows along right behind, enjoying his antics, hefting a stick.

Other Posts about the Sunday Afternoon Session of the October 1981 General Conference


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