I had a couple personal encounters with Satan during my mission in Britain. These confrontations gave me a strong testimony of the existence of Lucifer. I know that he lives.
One Sunday evening, my companion Elder R. and I went to a social gathering at a member’s home in Cheltenham. Several missionaries, investigators, and members were present. We had a good time.
When it was time to go, my companion left first, and I followed a few minutes later. As soon as I stepped outside, I noticed tears coming down his cheeks and fear in his eyes. He struggled to say something, but he was completely tongue tied. He couldn’t talk. I didn’t know what was wrong.
We quickly jumped on our bicycles and started to ride home. Suddenly, I felt the overwhelming power of the adversary. It felt as if my spirit was being crushed within me. It was a feeling of utter doom and total destruction.
Words cannot adequately describe the feeling. Joseph Smith said it best. “Immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue…Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.”
This is exactly what I felt. The power of Satan was terrifying. I knew that I was no match for him.
Confronted with this overwhelming power I mustered all of my faith and I cried to the Lord. “HELP!” It was an intense fervent one-word prayer.
In the words of Joseph Smith, “Exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction–not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being–just at this moment of great alarm…” The Lord intervened and “I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound.”
The Lord rescued me. Just as I had felt I was going to be crushed and destroyed, I suddenly felt “free” “expanded” and “weightless.” Just as I was surrounded by darkness, I was now filled with spiritual light. I was encircled in the power of our Savior’s love.
We raced back to our apartment, turned on all the lights, knelt, and offered a heartfelt prayer of thanks.
In this brief encounter, I learned that I am no match for the power of Satan. Compared to him I am helpless.
I also learned that Satan is no match for power of the Lord. The Lord came to my rescue. I was freed from bondage. Most importantly, I learned again that relying on the Lord is key to our survival as well as our success and our salvation.
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