Satan, you little Devil … How’s Tricks?

 

Mormon beliefs about this fellow Satan are quite specific. Satan is the villain in the LDS drama theology. Without the eternal Oil Can Harry, a lot of what is offered in the name of good versus evil would have much less substance.
 
There’s the official LDS PR statement about Satan/Lucifer buttressed as usual by literalistic scripture reading:
Answering Media Questions About Jesus and Satan

This statement has been expanded since it was originally released on 12 December 2007.

Like other Christians, we worship Jesus Christ as the divine Son of God. Satan is a fallen angel, diametrically opposite from Christ in every attribute. As the prophet Isaiah wrote, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!”

The Apostle Paul wrote that God is the Father of all. This means that all intelligent beings were created by God and are His spirit children. Christ alone, however, is the only begotten Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of mankind.
Jesus Christ represents all that is good, true, virtuous, merciful, just and godly.
Lucifer is the adversary of everything that Christ stands for. He embodies all that is evil, false, immoral, and devoid of any trace of goodness or divine light.

He is the enemy of God and of every human being who seeks to follow Christ.


There’s an endless roster of ecclesiastic sermonizing against Oil Can Harry. Some of the more recent, and mind you, these are verbally dispensed with few if any smiles, in an almost funereal gravity and in full assertion that Harry is no laughing matter.
 
That a man could get further away from God by not resisting the evil machinations.
 

O That Cunning Plan of the Evil One – Apostle Ballard
Withstand Every Temptation of the Devil – W. Rolfe Kerr
Satan’s Bag of Snipes – Richard C. Edgely
Dare to Stand Alone – President Thomas S.  Monson

 
From my perspective, a case could be made that Satan is the biggest myth – not only of Mormon theology, but across the entirety of atonement-based Christianity.
 
However … and if I must start my “however” with holy scripture, I could begin with that trouble maker that God authorizes in Job … and I can see mischief in the tradition of other points of view.
 
To wit,
 
Them pesky Pagans and their more grown-up and believable evaluation of resistance, temptation and allure and mark-missing. (Notice, “mark-missing” is my mistake descriptor of choice. I do not believe in “sin.”) …
 
Wow. Wouldn’t it be hard to be terrified and wary from someone whose actions and motivations are better explained and understood, as opposed to Lex Luthor, Oil Can Harry and Jack the Ripper?
 
And this from what I consider to be a superior class of mythology upon which to base a reverence to reality system of belief.
 

So here’s my guy … and as Lietta and I discussed my latest tactic for internally responding in my own knee-jerk way to the tossing around of Satan like ketchup and mustard at a barbecue. The following is the internal image I will attempt to cultivate every time some sober-faced or tear-stained testifier preaches about The So-Called Evil One:
wile e coyote