Is temple work important to the Lord? Does the adversary care about it? The answer to both is an emphatic “yes!” Several years ago, a temple was announced that was to be built within three miles of my home. When that happened, our Stake President warned us. He said to pay close attention and to never let our guard down. He said that Satan would cause all kinds of trouble in opposition to this temple being built. I can absolutely attest that this has been happening. I’ve noticed it in the area where we live, in our family, and I have even fallen victim to it on a personal level.
Though I would never want to have one, I am fascinated by accounts of encounters with Lucifer. The following is an account from the Deseret News of such an account by Apostle Marriner W. Merrill, President of the Logan Temple:
“He was sitting in his office one morning, he said, when he noticed from the window a company of people coming up the hill to the Temple. As they entered the Temple grounds they presented rather a strange appearance, not only in dress but in their mode of travel. Some were riding on horses, others were in conveyances, and still others were afoot. He wondered who they could be as he was not looking for a company of such size that particular morning. They dismounted from their horses, stepped down from their conveyances, put their animals under the shade and walked about complacently as if they had a perfect right to be there.
“A little later a person unknown to Brother Merrill entered the room. Brother Merrill said to him: “Who are you and who are these people who have come up and taken possession of the Temple grounds unannounced?” He answered and said: ‘I am Satan and these are my people.’ Brother Merrill then said: ‘What do you want? Why have you come here?’ Satan replied: ‘I don’t like the work that is going on in this Temple and feel that it should be discontinued. Will you stop it?’ Brother Merrill answered and said emphatically, ‘No, we will not stop it. The work must go on.’ ‘Since you refuse to stop it, I will tell you what I propose to do,’ the adversary said. ‘I will take these people, my followers, and distribute them throughout this Temple district, and will instruct them to whisper in the ears of people, persuading them not to go to the Temple, and thus bring about a cessation of your Temple work.’ Satan then withdrew.
“President Merrill, commenting on this strange interview with the Evil One, said that for quite a period of time the spirit of indifference to Temple work seemed to take possession of the people and very few came to the House of the Lord. The presumption was that Satan had carried out his threat which caused a temporary lull in Temple work.
“It is not to be wondered at that Satan, who is the enemy of all righteousness, is displeased with Temple work.”
(Church Section, The Deseret News, Dec. 12, 1936, Vol. 344, No. 61.)
Be careful. Do not let your guard down. Satan will oppose temple work in any way that he can. I can fully attest that it happens. Most of the time, you don’t even know it’s happening. Consider Moroni 7:12, which says, “Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.”
What’s scary to me is the word “continually” in that verse. This means that it never stops. Any time you notice malicious, aggressive, malevolent thoughts forming in your mind about people (especially those you love), that should a huge red flag. You are being whispered to by an agent of the adversary. Stop, come into the present, take your mind back over, and take control of your own thoughts. Understand what is going on, say a prayer for deliverance, and move ahead cautiously.