Today I read Doctrine and Covenants section 34, a section given to Orson Pratt, Parley P. Pratt's brother, after his conversion. It is pretty typical of most of the revelations that were given at that time to the various members and not very unique. However, verse 2 really stood out to me, "The light and the life of the world, a light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not;"
I was really struck by that phrase, the darkness comprehendeth it not. It is so telling, I am reminded of the fall of man. Satan came and tempted Adam with the fruit of the forbidden tree hoping to thwart the plans of Heavenly Father because he knew not the mind of God. Satan does not think like Heavenly Father does, that should be pretty self evident since he wanted to totally change the plan of our Heavenly Father right from the start and wanted the glory for himself, however I think we oftentimes forget just how different the Lord and Satan are.
Satan does not have a body, has never had a body and it is the belief of many church leaders and prominent members, such as Hugh Nibley, and myself, that most of Satan's knowledge about how to tempt us, came from Cain and his other early followers. I mean have you ever stopped to think about it? Satan has never had a body, so how in the world does he know to tempt you so perfectly when it comes to sex, or liquor or anger, or whatever your weakness is? One could state that it's been at least 6000 years and anyone can get good with enough practice, but I do not think that is all there is to it.
However, the good qualities of mankind, sacrifice for a child, service, love, and many others, are foreign concepts to him and his angels. They know only hate and misery. Have you ever met someone like that? Someone that just didn't seem to understand why people sacrifice or what true joy at little things is? I have met a couple of them. I've also met many more people that seemed lost in darkness and didn't even know it because the good things in the world were hid from them. People that when confronted with someone like me who is always happy and smiling and joking around, it confuses them. My first job was at a local Burger King in my hometown. I worked there almost 3 years before my mission and I remember there was one person, a kid like me, that I did not know very well that one day came up to me after he had worked there I think a month or so, and asked me how I could be so happy all the time. Now, I was young and naive enough not to recognize the wonderful gospel opportunity in front of me and I gave a very inexperienced answer which seemed to satisfy him, but as I look back on my memory, which of course was over 15 years ago so who knows how accurate it is, I remember him looking very sad and he kept to himself a lot. I really wish I could have been a better friend to him. Regrets of days gone by.
But it's people like that that make me realize there are people with a shroud of darkness over their minds that need help recognizing the truth when they find it, because they don't understand it. They know it is something unique and want it, but it is only on a primal level and they don't understand why they want it. It is sad really but those people can easily be brought into the light as the metaphor goes. It's the people that have squelched the light inside of them that REALLY don't understand why selfless people do what they do. People who follow the tenets of Satan even if they don't realize it. What we can do is prepare ourselves for the inevitable questions that such a life as ours will bring and answer appropriately unlike I did so long ago. As we prepare ourselves, God will place people in our path that we are uniquely suited to help. And few things in life can match the joy of truly helping someone change their life for the better. It's one of the best feelings you can have in this life! Until tomorrow.