Satan has the power to tempt us in many ways and destroy our inner peace and tranquility of soul. We can defend ourselves with the armor of Christ (see D&C 27:15–18) by holding to the word of God (see 1 Nephi 15:24) and by praying with all our hearts (see 3 Nephi 18:18). Let us beware lest the devil should lead us “carefully down to hell” (2 Nephi 28:21) with the enticements of worldly things: power, authority, riches, and all the vain things of the world. These things never last, and we can’t take them with us.
Modern-day revelation clearly teaches the reality of Satan and warns against his reprehensible teachings and practices. (See D&C 10:5, 33; 24:1; 50:3; 52:14.) Joseph Smith clearly felt the evil influence and power of Satan just before the First Vision (see Joseph Smith—History 1:15–17). (Compare the entry “Satan Exists,” by Daniel H. Ludlow, A Companion to Your Study of the Doctrine and Covenants, 2 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1978], 1:98.) Do we realize the reality of the devil—that he seeks to destroy us and our loved ones—and that we are under a covenant obligation to make plans to overcome him and his influence?
Satan has power to deceive and get possession of the heart. Let us never doubt the reality of the devil and his power to deceive the world (see Revelation 12:9). The devil will stir people up to all manner of iniquity, puffing them up with pride, tempting them to seek for power, riches, and the vain things of the world—and thus Satan leads away the hearts of the people to do all manner of wickedness. Those who have already been taught the will of God, and follow Satan nonetheless, act willfully in their sin (see 3 Nephi 6:15–18). Satan’s purpose is to deceive and blind men and lead them captive to his will (see Moses 4:4). Whenever Satan gets hold of the hearts of men, they become unbelieving and will not hearken to the word of God (see Alma 8:9); they are blinded and will not understand the word (see Alma 10:25). We have power to resist, but if we yield ourselves to the power of Satan, iniquity is sure to follow (see 3 Nephi 7:5). Remember that the devil is the father of contention (see 3 Nephi 11:29). He either rages in the hearts of men and stirs us up to anger, or pacifies us and lulls us to a sense of carnal security, or yet he flatters us until we are in the grasps of his awful chains (see 2 Nephi 28:20–23). He is the author of sin and the works of darkness (see Helaman 6:30). The counsel of Amulek is imperative: watch and pray continually that you not be led away by the temptations of the devil that he may have power over you and become his subjects at the last day (see Alma 34:39).