General LDS Information
Basic LDS Beliefs
LDS Videos
Critics' Questions
Submitted Questions
Scriptures/LDS Literature
LDS Temples
Music and Arts
LDS Online Stores
Priesthood, Humor, Miscel.
Site Map

Suggest a Site
Now accepting banner ads!

Bookmark and Share

JOHN - Several General Authorities have said something to the effect of Satan can hear our spoken thoughts. What is the context of these statements? Is it based on some revealed pronouncement? Does it have some significance for us. Or, is it perhaps, simply a statement of the implied opposite of D&C 6:16? Searched TPJS to no avail.

JOEL - Elder Joseph Fielding Smith taught,
“We should be on guard always to resist Satan’s advances. … He has power to place thoughts in our minds and to whisper to us in unspoken impressions to entice us to satisfy our appetites or desires and in various other ways he plays upon our weaknesses and desires.” (Answers to Gospel Questions, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., 5 vols., Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1957–66, 3:81.)

"For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good." (2 Nep 28: 20)

So we do know Satan can place thoughts in our minds if we let him, but can He read our minds or hear our spoken thoughts? As you mentioned in the D&C 6: 16 scripture he most likely cannot hear all our thoughts.

"Yea, I tell thee, that thou mayest know that there is none else save God that knowest thy thoughts and the intents of thy heart." (D&C 6:16)

I would have to include my mother in this as well. :-)

The Savior taught, a tree is known by its fruit and “of the abundance of the heart [the] mouth speaketh.” (Luke 6:45–46.) Satan most likely can see and hear our fruits as well as any person, otherwise how could he take advantage of our own personal weaknesses we exhibit and place evil thoughts in our hearts to tempt us? He has to have some way of knowing what our weaknesses are.

Elder James E Faust said:
"He(Satan) cannot know our thoughts unless we speak them" (The Great Imitator, Oct 1987)

Elder Francis M. Gibbons said:
"while Satan can convey thoughts, he does not know whether these thoughts have taken root unless they are reflected either in words or in actions. All this suggests that we should be wise in what we say and do. Often, we talk too much. We say things that need not be said or should not be said; for in saying them, we may open a crevice which enables Lucifer to wedge his way into our lives." (Francis M. Gibbons, The Dual Aspects of Prayer, Oct 1991 )

Elder ElRay L. Christiansen said:
"Satan knows all the tricks. He knows where we are susceptible to temptations and how to entice us to do evil. He and his messengers suggest evil, minimize the seriousness of sin, and make evil inviting....Surely then Satan and his followers have some knowledge of our thoughts and tendencies. He has knowledge that is superior to man’s knowledge, but he lacks the wisdom to properly use his knowledge for good purposes. Some people are like that and often find themselves opposing even that which is right and true. Satan is a great deceiver, a liar....Satan and his aides no doubt may know our inclinations, our carnal tastes and desires, but they cannot compel a righteous person to do evil if he seeks help from the Lord. Too many try to blame Satan when in reality the fault lies within themselves because they yield to his enticements." (ElRay L. Christiansen, "Q&A: Questions and Answers," New Era (July 1975).

So based on what has been said about this I think it is mostly a logical assumption that Satan, and/or his fellow fallen spirits that were cast down to earth, can hear and see what we do and say which they can use against us if we let them.

Return to top

Return to Questions