I have thought for a long time how successful Satan has been in getting people to open the door to pathways that lead to greater and greater sin. (By the way, it is also the door to greater and greater unhappiness.) He has had thousands of years of practice and knows every trick in the book. One of his greatest tricks is getting people to explore transgression by enticing them with subtle invitations to what may appear to be harmless, or, at least, not blatant sinful behavior.
Today it is common to find competitive sports teams that are designed to be “feeder teams” to high school athletics and even college teams. These “feeder” teams are usually the beginning for young players to learn the higher level team’s playbook and ways of executing the game. It becomes a preparation for bigger things. Participants become groomed for the next step. Satan employs this same technique or strategy.
I will give you four examples of what I mean:
1. “Good drivers drive as close to the edge of the cliff as possible without going over” – You remember the story about the company that wanted to hire the best wagon and horse driver possible for transporting gold from the mine high on the mountain to the bank in the city below. In actuality, the best driver is the one that can drive as far away from the edge of the cliff as possible. We don’t need to manage our lives so that we are edging as close to sin as possible without crossing over the line.
2. “If you are fasting, that doesn’t mean you can’t look at the menu” – Do some people say that it is okay to view pornography as long as you are not physically involved in sexual activity?
3. Sports Illustrated – Satan would have us believe that looking at the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated is a pretty innocent, okay thing to do. Heck, they sell it in the wide open of grocery stores. Could it be that the thinly-clad to almost no-clad women can jump start the hormones and encourage us to more explicit pictures and videos?
4. A little bit won’t hurt anyone – If you work for an employer and you decide that walking out the door from work with a small amount of product they produce won’t hurt anything or anybody, you have fallen into the “Feeder Trap.”
If we can develop the discipline to avoid the little things that can get us to open the wrong door, the door to sin and unhappiness, then, we can go a long way to prevent unfortunate and unfavorable, consequential problems in our lives. Remember the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Plus, there is great joy in knowing that we are 100% committed to the Lord, not just a superficial “look-like-we-are” commitment.
We have all seen in person or at least in pictures the giant Redwoods that reach to the sky in California’s High Sierra forests. These are some of the oldest, strongest and tallest trees in the world. They have weathered unrelenting storms, lightening, fire and wind. However, some of the biggest of these giants have fallen due to the little beetles and bugs that have bored their way into the heart of the tree. We have to be so very careful with the small things that can destroy our lives or get us started down that path to destruction.
“Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God.” -Mormon 9:28
We are so much better off if we look to the feeder activities that lead us to great happiness and joy. We are told in D&C 50:24 that as we accept and follow light, that it will lead to greater and greater light until we come to the perfect day. That is exactly the type of feeder program on which we need to concentrate!
As someone who never played tackle football, I shared what I thought was sage advice with David before his first high school football game. I told him to remember that when he steps between those lines the other team will be trying to take his head off – he needs to be in battle mode at all times and never let his guard down. Taking a play off or expecting someone to come in for a nice, clean and friendly tackle is asking for serious injury.
In Helaman 7:20 it says: “O, how could you have forgotten your God in the very day that he has delivered you?” To get more context, I went back a few verses and was struck by verses 15-16. In this chapter Nephi is frustrated with the wickedness of the Nephites and chastises them saying: "yea, ye ought to marvel because ye are given away that the devil has got so great hold upon your hearts. Yea, how could you have given way to the enticing of him who is seeking to hurl away your souls down to everlasting misery and endless wo?"
I love how Nephi puts it in this scripture. He essentially asks the Nephites, “how could you give way to the enticing of “him”?” Him?!? Really?!??? This is truly a marvel. The guy who is seeking to hurl away your souls down to everlasting misery and endless wo?!!!?? That’s who you’re listening to?
Do we sometimes forget the source of the "enticing" we face and what "his" goals are for us? The temptations and enticings the devil sends our way come in many varieties – whisperings “to quit,” “give up,” or “you're not good enough”; temptations not to follow the rules and to dabble in the world (pornography, drugs, alcohol); doubt, fear, pride and anxiety; and embarrassment for standing out or being different.
Just like a smart wide receiver should never forget the defense’s goal to knock him into oblivion, we always need to remember Satan’s goals and where the temptations we face are coming from. His goal is to "hurl us down to everlasting misery and wo." We cannot let down our guard. There is no such thing as a clean, friendly tackle from Satan.
This must be why the word “remember” is used so often in the scriptures. As Helaman taught his children in Helaman 5:12:
And now, my sons [and daughters], remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.
1. Remember to build upon the rock of Christ – when we do, we cannot fall
2. Remember the source of the mighty winds, the shafts in the whirlwind, the hail and all the storm – it is from our enemy. Do not give it any heed.
 “Remember” appears 404 times according to this source: https://www.ldsbc.edu/devotionals-archive/494-remember-remember.html