By Kirk Blad
Bishop Richard C. Edgley, spoke about Satan’s deceptive tactics, comparing them to snipe hunting.
He began by relating an experience he had with a co-worker while working as a youth in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
His co-worker Jill was an out-of-towner from California whom Bishop Edgley and friends figured was naive and a perfect victim for a snipe hunt.
“I and a few friends felt it our obligation to teach her about the ways of the real west,” Bishop Edgley said.
He continued relating Jill’s experience with the snipe hunt and how she ended up duping the group.
“There is another snipe hunt going on all around us and we may be the na?ve victims,” Bishop Edgley said. “It is not a practical joke, and it will not end with a good laugh and a little warm fellowship.”
He explained that Satan is inviting all to join him on a snipe hunt; to fill the hunters’ bags with excitement, fun, popularity, and ‘the good life.’
“His promises are as illusionary as the nonexistent snipe,” Bishop Edgley said. “What he really offers are lies, misery, spiritual degradation and a loss of self-worth.”
He stated that Satan’s sales pitch is “Eat, drink, and be merry … for tomorrow we die” and that it may seem enticing and convincing.
“Satan would have us put in our bags immorality in all its forms, including pornography, language, dress and behavior,” Bishop Edgley said.
“But such evil deeds bring emotional distress, loss of spirituality, loss of self-respect, lost opportunity for a mission or temple marriage and even unwanted pregnancy.”
Bishop Edgley also shared clues on how to recognize Satan’s influence.
Some hints he shared were, ‘everybody is doing it,’ ‘nobody will know,’ ‘it’s not really hurting anyone’ and ‘it won’t hurt just this once.’
Bishop Edgley explained that when such justifications are given either outright by others or subtly by the whisperings of the tempter, a warning is sent out.
“Don’t listen. Don’t experiment. Just don’t do it,” Bishop Edgley said. “I testify that wickedness never was happiness, and wickedness never will be happiness.”
Bishop Edgley finished his talk by informing the priesthood that they have the power to discern between Satan’s snipes and God’s true principles of happiness.
Stephen Craig, 17, from Provo who was in attendance said, “It (Bishop Edgley’s talk) had comical value and yet was spiritually uplifting.”
“He made it very clear that Satan is tempting us,” said Ben Foreman, 18, from Los Angeles.
“His words brought to light the everyday evils we have to deal with and the pressures we face” said Jose Boix, 24, from Miami. “They made me re-evaluate what matters.”