During a home teaching visit on Sunday there was a statement made that Satan gives up on us as we resist his temptations. If we continue resisting, the temptation eventually goes away completely. The home teacher noted that he was tempted greatly by tobacco and alcohol in his youth, but now after decades of resisting such temptations, has absolutely no desire to smoke or drink. His personal testimony was that we need to keep resisting and soon Satan will simply leave us alone, giving up on us as a "lost cause".
This statement and personal witness has made me think. I don't know that I totally support his supposition that with enough resistance, Satan gives up on us and doesn't tempt us any longer. Indeed, I may believe that we may build enough strength against certain temptations, but then OTHER temptations come in their place. I don't know that in this life we are ever without temptation, no matter how righteous or resistant we are.
It's given me thought to my situation. I have never been tempted to smoke or drink and continue to have no desire to do so. So? Is it because I'm strong and righteous in this area? And yet, I continue to have "temptations" of lusting after beautiful guys. I've resisted ALL MY LIFE acting on these temptations and yet they are still there... So where is the truth in his theory?
I think we are all different and cannot judge or simplify our "weaknesses" in such a straight-forward manner. First of all, I don't believe it is Satan that is tempting me. I feel it is just me being me. I do believe that as I allow my thoughts of these feelings to dwell on them I become weaker and when I allow my thoughts to move on to other things, I become stronger - but the temptation that is part of being human and part of this physical life remains. It is always there! As for my personal experience, it will always be there.
I know I don't help the cause of trying to "remain pure in my thoughts" when I allow my thoughts to take flight... as seems to be more like the case of recent months. I seem to find myself closing my eyes at night, trying to fall asleep, and I slip into thoughts of being held by or cuddling with a guy, often times a particular guy, :-) It has become a natural reaction to falling asleep... I fall asleep in a semi-dream-like state of being embraced with Him. Elbow kiddingly mentioned that we all do this. That surprised me, as I felt I was the only one to have such a habit - to have an "imaginary boyfriend". (Am I the only one that has these going-to-sleep rituals? Am I unique here?) I guess I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it. But, this has become almost a ritual to fall asleep.
I find myself rarely dreaming a subconscious dream (not the daydreaming type, but real dreams) but when I do (and I can remember them) they are often of me in the arms of another guy on the beach, at the pool, keep house together, holding hands together - typically the romantic kind - but even having sex together (oh my!). I never have heterosexual dreams - ever! I dream of good-looking fit guys working out together with me and helping me to be more fit as well. These dreams are vivid and detailed and realistic. These dreams just come! I have tried resisting them, but they just come into my subconscious mind. I don't know if I'm supposed to wake myself up and start humming my favorite hymn or what, but I doubt that will do any good...
I know that Elder Packer has spoken about the mind as a movie theater with a perfect memory... but I really have avoided the hard-porn stuff just as I've avoided tobacco and alcohol, and yet my thought and dreams in a semi-sleep and full-sleep state are almost always now gay-centered and involve more and more intimacy. I feel that nothing can enter my mind that I don't allow in - so maybe I've allowed more "in" than I've thought. All I know is I continue to have a subconscious mind that is very actively pursuing another agenda that my conscious mind.
Are these really just temptations that can be resisted over a lifetime? Can I really resist them to the point that they go away? Or are these subconscious thoughts of some other nature? What is a temptation from Satan that I permit to enter into my mind? Or, what is a feeling of my natural man that is trying to make itself heard and known?
I don't have any answers. Or I may not be open to accepting the obvious answers (such as I'm allowing it to happen and even enjoy it so I'm becoming "beyond feeling" (note: it is getting to the point that I put up little if any resistance at all) and the still small voice is getting very tired of whispering counter-thoughts, but that really couldn't be it could it???). Maybe someone may want to spell it out for me and be my shrink dream analyst... All I know is I'm having a harder time resisting these thoughts, subconscious or otherwise... Maybe paraphrasing Enduring Eric, I've fallen off the train and at least am running along side the tracks but maybe allowing myself to not keep up, nor hop back on... and so the tool of temptation might be working after all?