Lead us not into Temptation

Two weeks ago we heard from one of the leaders of the LDS Church, President Henry B. Eyring. He is an apostle of Christ and I love hearing his counsel to us. What he said has changed the way I pray.
Growing up Catholic I had the Our Father prayer memorized and recited it at least once a week. I always thought the part about “lead us not into temptation” was odd. Why would God lead us to temptation? Why do we need to pray and ask Him not to cause us to be tempted? Satan causes temptation, not God. It seemed to me we should be praying for His strength to fight temptation.
Now I know what “lead us not into temptation means”.
President Eyring told a story about being in another country and having a friend of his give him a walking tour of a little European town. His friend was not a member of the LDS Church but knew President Eyring was and knew his standards.
His friend got a little ways ahead of him and turned into what looked like a quaint little village store. President Eyring, having his head down a bit, followed his friend right in and when he looked up he saw large, full color pornographic images on the walls. He turned right around and walked out.
He said that the images were of things he had never seen or even thought of before but after just mere seconds of exposure they were burned into his mind.
He went about his life for awhile and every so often those images would come back to him. He could not get them out of his head.
Once, while praying about it he had a very distinct answer from Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father told President Eyring that He had been protecting him his whole life from many things. President Eyring was not grateful for this, or even aware and so Heavenly Father had taken that protection away for just a moment to help him understand the power of that protection. President Eyring said that after that the images were gone and he can not recall them to this day.
This made me reflect on all the times I have been protected in my life. How grateful I am for that. It also made me realize that I need to pray for that protection to continue.
Can Heavenly Father lead us into temptation? Yes. Does He? Apparently He does when necessary to His purposes. Are we praying not to be lead into temptation because He is a mean or uncaring Father and wants us to fail? No. “Lead us not into temptation” is really about protection.
It turns out we really are praying about strength to fight the temptations we face but there’s much more.
We have to face temptation but not all temptations. “Lead us not” is about asking for God’s protection so that we don’t even come in contact with those temptations we don’t need in order to progress.
In the prayer, right after “lead us not into temptation” is “and deliver us from evil”. Since hearing President Eyring’s words I have tried to remember to pray to be protected from temptations but also that I and my family will be kept from evil. Specifically I think of protection against hatred, violence, sexual harm and accidents.
The school shootings, the awful crimes against women and children, terrorism. These are all very, very evil things that exist in our world and Christ has shown us, through example, that we are to pray to be kept from these things.
If we do this; will we be spared from all evil? No. There must be evil to know what good is and we must have the chance to suffer in this life to grow more like Christ and our
Father in Heaven. But I know that by consistently praying for divine protection and to specifically be kept from evil that our instances of being harmed are greatly reduced and that when they do happen we will still have Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ with us and that all will be well in the end.


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