Chapter Twenty-Four: What Will Happen to Satan?

Have you ever heard the phrase "mission statement"? A mission statement is a statement written by an organization that gives a clear idea of what that organization is all about. The Articles of Faith can be considered our mission statement as Latter-day Saints. Even God has a mission statement. It's found in Moses 1:39: "For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." In other words, God's desire and main goal is to help all of his children become like him. He wants each of us to enjoy the life he enjoys. He sounds like a loving father to me.

Well, what about Satan? What do you think his mission statement is? How about, "Behold, this is my work and my disgrace—to bring to pass the spiritual destruction and misery of all of God's children. And I'll enjoy it too." He wants nothing more than to make us just as miserable as he is (2 Nephi 2:27). He spends all of his energy and time trying to succeed at that mission. He enjoys the misery we suffer in this life. He even laughs with his angels when we make poor choices (Moses 7:26). Can you imagine working for such a guy? It would be horrible! Now that we understand a little about Satan and his goals, let's take a look at what will happen to him when Christ comes. The scriptures teach us that Satan will be "bound" at the Second Coming (D&C 88:110). Not only that, but he'll be cast into a "bottomless pit" (Revelation 20:3). Cool, but what does that mean? When I think of Satan being bound, I think of him being wrapped up with ropes and chains so there's no way he can get out of his cell. But that's not exactly what will happen.

Being "bound" and cast into a "bottomless pit" are symbolic. I can't quite conceive of steel chains or pits that could hold Satan. The only power I know of that will bind Satan or render him powerless is righteous living. Nephi agreed. He said, "Because of the righteousness of his people, Satan has no power" (1 Nephi 22:26). Eldred G. Smith, patriarch to the Church, added, "The war that started in heaven has not ended yet and shall not end until everyone has proved the extent of his ability to resist Satan. Even Jesus Christ had to bind Satan when he was tempted in the wilderness. Satan had no power over him, because Jesus resisted his temptations. Then the record says, ` . . . he departed from him for a season' (Luke 4:13)" (in Conference Report, April 1970, 142).

So it's not ropes and chains that will bind Satan. When Christ comes, Satan will be bound by our righteous living. He won't be able to do anything but sit home and knit. What a boring time for him— nothing to do but wish he were out wreaking havoc somewhere. Are there other ways Satan will be bound?

The scriptures say, "And in that day Satan shall not have power to tempt any man" (D&C 101:28). It sounds like there are actually two things that will bind Satan: the righteousness of the Saints and the power of God. President George Q. Cannon said, "We talk about Satan being bound. Satan will be bound by the power of God; but he will be bound also by the determination of the people of God not to listen to him, not to be governed by him (Gospel Truth, 1:68; emphasis added; 2 Nephi 30:18; Ether 8:26).

Can you imagine being grounded for a thousand years? That's how long Satan will be bound. You think it's bad when your parents ground you for a day or two or even a week. Well, whine no more. We just discovered the ultimate grounding—a thousand years!

For the righteous, however, the thousand years of the Savior's personal reign on earth will be a time of incredible joy, peace, and harmony. Think how great it will be to live in a world without sin, bad thoughts, or even bad desires. It will be wonderful!

Eventually, Satan will be off grounding. He'll be so angry after being out of action for a thousand years that he'll be back with a vengeance, causing major problems. Actually, he'll cause a war—the final battle between good and evil. It will be Satan and his followers against Michael, or Adam, and his followers.

"And then he shall be loosed for a little season, that he may gather together his armies. And Michael . . . shall gather together his armies, even the hosts of heaven. And the devil shall gather together his armies; even the hosts of hell, and shall come up to battle against Michael and his armies" (D&C 88:111-13).

Now don't worry; we already know who'll win. (I wonder if the battle will be on ESPN.) "And then cometh the battle of the great God; and the devil and his armies shall be cast away into their own place, that they shall not have power over the saints any more at all" (D&C 88:114). I often think how awesome it would be to fight with Adam on one side of you and Captain Moroni on the other side. And what would it be like to have the hosts of heaven, including the two thousand stripling warriors, to back you up? Trust me, you wouldn't lose.

You know what the most interesting thing about this chapter is? We actually have power to bind Satan now. We can kick him out of our lives, if we choose to, by making good choices. The more righteous we are, the less influence he has in our lives.

Let's start the grounding now! Make a choice to bind Satan through righteous living. Later on we'll talk more about how to do that.

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