The Devil in Our Pockets

I’ve always carried a pocket knife. I kind of feel lost without it. This quote got me thinking about the things I love to keep in my pockets.

“No, there is no escape. There is no heaven with a little bit of hell in it–no plan to retain this or that of the devil in our hearts or our pockets. Our Satan must go, every hair and feather.”
–George MacDonald

I have always been impressed with King Lamoni’s willingness to empty his pockets at the prospect of knowing God, and tasting his salvation.

“O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day. . .” Alma 22:18

Lamoni’s offer to give away ALL his sins is in fact a prerequisite step for having God manifest himself to us. No unclean thing can abide his presence. There are many kinds of sins we fill up our pockets with. The devils in our pocket may be big or small, trendy or scandalous (quite probably all of the above), but in the end they’ve all got to go. I guess its kind of like going through a TSA checkpoint at the airport when the guy shouts ‘your pockets must be completely empty.’

“Brethren, each of us must surrender our sins if we are to really know Christ. For we do not know Him until we become like Him. ” (Ezra Taft Benson, in Conference Report, Oct. 1983, 63; or Ensign, Nov. 1983, 43).

“When we too are willing to give away all our sins to know him and follow him, we too will be filled with the joy of eternal life” (Howard W. Hunter, in Conference Report, Apr. 1993, 80; or Ensign, May 1993, 64).

“Giving away all our sins is the only way we can come to know him. In contrast, those who hold back some of their sins will be held back.” (Neal A. Maxwell, in Conference Report, Oct. 1991, 42; or Ensign, Nov. 1991, 32). [Shades of the TSA checkpoint . . .]

I still plan on carrying my pocketknife…I don’t see any problems with that. But I definitely must work on evicting the devil in my pockets and finally tossing those favorite sins which I’m so fond of. Why are we so sentimental about these things?
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