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G R Kane - Asking if you would please clarify D&C Section 82 : 21 wherein it states how the Lord mentions the buffetings of Satan. I do not understand what that means nor what he is telling us?
JOEL - "The soul that sins against this covenant, and hardeneth his heart against it, shall be dealt with according to the laws of my church, and shall be delivered over to the buffetings of Satan until the day of redemption" (D&C 82:20-21)
Someone who has received extensive spiritual knowledge and has entered into sacred covenants (Baptism, Temple, Sealings, etc), and then turns away from those promises to the Lord may be left to the "buffetings of Satan" until complete repentance has occurred.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained that to be "turned over to the buffetings of Satan is to be given into [Satan's] hands; it is to be turned over to him with all the protective power of the priesthood, of righteousness, and of godliness removed, so that Lucifer is free to torment, persecute, and afflict such a person without let or hindrance. When the bars are down, the cuffs and curses of Satan, both in this world and in the world to come, bring indescribable anguish typified by burning fire and brimstone. The damned in hell so suffer" (Mormon Doctrine, "Buffetings of Satan").
"And I now give unto you power from this very hour, that if any man among you, of the order, is found a transgressor and repenteth not of the evil, that ye shall deliver him over unto the buffetings of Satan and he shall not have power to bring evil upon you. (D&C 104:8-10.)
In the early days of the Church this was an actual edict that was pronounced over church members who had sinned against the Church.
Sidney Rigdon may be cited as a case in point. After the death of Joseph Smith, he sought unlawfully to lead the Church and finally came out in open opposition to the authority of the Twelve. Thereupon he was tried for his conduct, and at the conclusion of the trial William W. Phelps moved that he "be cut off from the church, and delivered over to the buffetings of Satan until he repent." After this proposal was discussed and voted upon by the assembled Saints, "President Young arose and delivered Sidney Rigdon over to the buffetings of Satan in the name of the Lord, and all the people said, Amen." (History of the Church, V, pp. 391-392)
Satan is able to tempt them to commit more sin and to inflict spiritual pain and mental sufferings over such people who have violated the covenants that they have made with God. In a sense they must suffer for their sins while in this life until it is resolved by complete repentance and returning to God and once again keeping the covenants that were originally made. It is an actual painful step in the repentance process (godly sorrow and regret) that a sinner must go through in order to obtain repentance.
People who commit sin in ignorance and have not made the same covenants to God would not suffer as much as those who have made those covenants, although they may suffer the natural consequences from the sins they do commit.
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