“…there is none else save God that knowest thy thoughts and the intents of thy heart.”
For Family Home Evening a while ago, we read Elder Lawrence’s article in The Ensign titled, “The War Goes On”. He discusses some of Satan’s tactics in bringing down God’s children; it’s a fabulous and insightful article that’s worth reading in detail. One thing he mentioned that I had never thought of before is how Satan’s power has limits, and one of those limitations is that he cannot know our thoughts unless we vocalize them. I’ve always been a fan of optimistic living, but this idea reemphasized the need for that within my own life.
Sometimes, being optimistic is a difficult thing. Let’s put it this way: there’s a lot of bad in the world, and there’s a lot of reasons to not be optimistic. Here’s the thing though, in my own life experience, pessimism has rarely helped a situation. I’m not saying you have to always be optimistic. There are things in life that need to be grieved and that you should feel sad about. However, in general, I’m a great believer that being optimistic will get you farther in life.
Let me tell you about my dad. He’s an odd ball, really and truly. When he went to BYU, he was bullied by his freshman roommates and floor mates because he took tap classes. He was bullied so much, that his Resident Assistant moved him into his own room. However, if you were to read my dad’s journal from those days at BYU, you would never know, because he was always optimistic. He always wrote about the good in his life. In his mind, the bullying is just a tiny part of his freshman year. What he really remembers is the joy he felt at BYU and the fun times he had there. The power of optimism is that it allows you to see through the bad and focus on the good.
In the scriptures, those who murmur are always those who are unhappy. Those who recognize and pronounce the goodness of God are those who are happy. When we murmur and complain, Satan can use those words against us and draw us deeper into his hole of misery. When we think those things, but decide to be positive on the outside, Satan cannot tamper with those thoughts and bring us deeper into his hole. One of the goals of this life is to lessen the power we give to Satan in our lives. We can lessen that power by retaining those negative thoughts, by not complaining, by being optimistic. Give it a try! I promise it will brighten your life!