Betrayal ∈ Temptation: LDS Intro Post 6

Intro - LDS

The mathematical symbol in the title (∈) roughly means "contains" or "is a subset of" so the title signifies that betrayal is a subset of temptation. Where there is temptation, there is always a hidden component of betrayal.

It was not simply that Cain slew his brother in a jealous momentary rage—something we might call 2nd degree murder or perhaps even voluntary manslaughter. From the beginning of his maturity he rejected the Lord and loved Satan more than God. (Moses 5:16, 18) Cain responded to Satan’s enticements and developed a close relationship with him thinking that he might find easy gain from it. Satan, on the other hand, desires to lead us to positions of pride wherein we think us more than we are which position always ends in misery. When the Lord rejected the very offering Satan commanded Cain to give, Cain flew into a rage. Satan, knowing this would happen, was pleased at Cain’s displeasure. If only Cain had understood Satan’s modus operandi.

This, then, is the importance of understanding the element of betrayal that always underlies evil. By seeing the true nature of Satan’s relationship with us, we can guard against positions of greed and pride with which he will entice us. If we arm ourselves to know that whatever glitter the Adversary offers always holds poison in its reflection, the easier is the rejection of the temptation. This understanding arms us with a healthy wary against even those we think are close to us by church or other organizational affiliation. Only a close relationship with the Spirit of the Lord can effectively warn us but we are required to awaken first. We cannot spiritually snooze while humming “All is well” and expect to notice available promptings. Note this interesting article about the high incidence of fraud in the State of Utah: State of Fraud. We surely have not yet learned this lesson about basic evil and it’s inherent characteristic of betrayal or the fact that many of us spend our days spiritually snoozing and, therefore, unguarded against the onslaught of Satan’s betraying efforts.

Even though Cain was not particularly interested in being taught by the Lord, He made the attempt because Cain was essentially clueless as, many times, are we. The Lord, in His unending patience, tried to teach Cain what had happened and was going to happen, in Moses 5:22-23, and ended by saying something thought-provoking. “And thou shalt rule over him...” How could Cain rule over Satan?

This is made plain a few verses later when Cain had completely rejected the Lord after He pronounced a curse upon Cain that he would be called Perdition and be the father of Satan’s lies. From this Cain lost his Priesthood and any possibility of post-mortality glory or salvation. As such he was positioned firmly in Satan’s camp such that Satan could now securely embed the hook as any fisherman understands. In Moses 5:29, Satan introduces Cain into his secret society of evil and betrayal for gain and promises to deliver Able. Verse 30 cinches the deal, “And Satan sware unto Cain that he would do according to his commands.” Now Cain has a promise from the greatest betrayer that ever existed that Satan would obey him. Hence the Lord’s pronouncement in verse 23.

Here, then, is the crux of the matter: Every promise of Satan contains an accompanying guarantee of betrayal. What looks, smells, sounds, feels, or reasons to be a good thing Satan offers, will, by design, contain an element of betrayal which, again, by design, leads to misery. This being of ultimate jealousy and impatience can’t wait to wrap his chains around us and then laugh at the misery we invited him to invoke upon us. When we see him in his true light, his promise that we can rule over him and that he will do our bidding is as hollow as his ridiculous taunting of the savoir in the desert. Jesus knew his game. So should we.

Here, then, is a picture of consummate evil and a commitment to betrayal in Cain’s own words: “truly I am Mahan, the master of this great secret, that I may murder and get gain.” Moses then further describes Cain’s attitude: “...and he gloried in his wickedness.” (Moses 5:31)

The rest of the story is familiar as Cain slew Able in the field and “gloried in that which he had done.” As a result of his cold-blooded murder, Cain was additionally cursed to be a fugitive and a vagabond because the earth would no longer yield her strength to him. As a farmer, that would create a fairly difficult problem. And then, of course, Cain cries out to God that the burden is too great and that people will discover his cursedness and try to kill him. The Lord’s response is simple with a message both to Cain and the rest of us: “Whosoever slayeth thee, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And I the Lord set a mark upon Cain lest any finding him should kill him.” (Moses 5:40) How many understand that the black skin placed as a mark upon Cain was for his protection? It is the Lord’s to curse whom he will curse and mark whom he will mark. It is not for us to worsen anyone’s mortal plight. We have enough to do for ourselves.

Now we continue with history: Cain and his family leave to dwell apart. Time goes by and Cain’s 3rd great grandson Lamech became Master Mahan by entering into a covenant with Satan and taught the secrets of murder for gain by secret society, or combinations. Irad, Lamech’s grandfather and Cain’s grandson, also knew the secrets and began to reveal them. So Lamech slew Irad but “not like unto Cain, his brother Abel, for the sake of getting gain, but he slew him for the oath’s sake.” (Moses 5:50) Here was the first instance of murder simply to silence a whistleblower.

There is one additional aspect of this that needs to be explored due to its modern implications. This will be sensitive to some but important to understand for all. I will allow you to come to this realization individually. Simply compare the term “knew” in verse 42, regarding Cain and his wife, with the same term in verse 51, regarding those committed brothers of the noted secret combination. Is this the beginning of what may be termed the greatest counterfeit relationship ever devised? Since the men appeared to be married, can we assume this act was a right of passage or entrance requirement?

God is a creator. His work and glory is our development. Satan’s work is destruction. This is why Satan’s deepest work involves murder or the destruction of mortal life. Satan also knows that destruction also may be invoked even before life begins by convincing his sons that an abnormal relationship is viable. This does not provide license for condemnation of anything other than sinful acts and behavior. If confused and betrayed brothers and sisters are to be brought into the light of the Gospel, it must be by patience, longsuffering, and love unfeigned. Knowing the source of such strong temptations and its resulting behavior provides reasons to replace excuses or scientific nonsense. Discovering betrayal is most difficult in itself without additional stress caused by self-righteousness, pride, and bigotry. Satan continues to betray even those who profess righteousness. Please be careful in your use of this knowledge. Use it to help, not to justify causing pain.

Verse 55 ends our Cain narrative: “And thus the works of darkness began to prevail among all the sons of men.” We could extend this study through the scriptures and secular history to discover these works of darkness throughout the recorded history of man to our modern day. The willingness of man to earn trust and then betray it for gain using all manner of nefarious means including, seduction, lying, sedition, and even murder, is commonly found. The common denominator is secrecy.

There are those who balk at the idea of “conspiracy theory” when alternatives to official explanations are offered for occurrences involving evil. Some decry the notion that the world could possibly be controlled by centralized forces simply because it is too big and there are too many to control. Surely, they say, someone would blow the whistle and all would be exposed. Viable as this sounds there is a piece of the puzzle missing in this logic. What if the ultimate source of control was not a man or council of men but a nefarious being influencing many men in disparate places and groups to the same end?

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