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Wednesday, July 29, 2009


In Matthew, Chapter 4, we read of Satan's attempts to tempt the Savior during his forty-day fast. A recent article in the Ensign discusses the story and classifies his temptations into three categories:

1. Temptations of the appetite
2. Yieldings to the pride, fashion, and vanity of the world
3. Gratifying of the desire for riches of the world, or power among men.

In the story of Satan tempting Christ, we see examples of all three methods. "When Satan said, 'Command that these stones be made bread' (Matthew 4:3), he was appealing to the appetite. He knew that Jesus was hungry, that He was physically weak, and he thought that. . . he could awaken a desire to eat. Failing in that. . . Satan then tried Him in another way--an appeal to His pride, to His vanity. . . But the Savior answered him in terms of scripture, 'It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God' (Matthew 4:7). What was the third? An appeal to. . . power, domain, wealth: 'All these things will I give thee if thou wilt fall down and worship me' (Matthew 4:9). 'Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written Thou shalt worship the Lord they God, and Him only shalt thou serve' (Matthew 4:10)" (David O. McKay, "Unspotted from the World," Ensign, August 2009, 27).

The article goes on to suggest that we might classify our own temptations into these three categories, allowing us to better understand how Satan works on each of us, and thus how better to defeat Him.