Don't Leap with the Sheep: And Other Scriptural Strategies for Avoiding Satan's Snares

by S. Michael Wilcox

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One summer. . . we came across six lambs out on the desert. . . They were wild, and roughly a year old. We decided to try to catch them and take them back to the ranch. . .

For over an hour we ran around, making grabs for them as they broke through our tightening circle. After many unsuccessful attempts, we got an idea. There were many cliffs in the area, so we thought we would back them against the edge of a cliff, thus blocking off their escape. We were closing in on them when the biggest one turned and ran for the edge of the cliff. To our amazement, instead of stopping he leaped over the edge and plunged to his death. We backed off when we saw this, to give the remaining lambs some room, but to our shock the other five raced toward the cliff. One by one all five of them jumped to their deaths. . .

In spite of all our talk about individualism and doing our own thing, mankind seems to have a built-in herd instinct. This can work for us or against us, depending on which way the herd is moving. Unfortunately, most of the herd in the modern world is jumping over a moral cliff.

In Lehi's dream, "numberless concourses of people' pressed forward toward the tree whose fruit would 'make one happy." (1 Nephi 8:21, 10.) But as they traveled, "there arose a mist of darkness ... insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wandered off and were lost." (V. 23.)

In Don't Leap with the Sheep, author S. Michael Wilcox identifies more than 25 "mists" that Satan uses to ensnare us — mists we can avoid if we're aware of them. Each mist is illustrated with a memorable story from the scriptures or from Brother Wilcox's life. Among others, the stories include:

  • Don't Leap with the Sheep
  • Don't Go to Caiaphas' Palace
  • Talking with the Donkey
  • Making Bricks without Straw
  • Listen to the "Wild Men"
  • Facing the Lion and the Bear
  • Avoiding Delilah's Barber Shop
  • Beating Down the Gopher

Brother Wilcox writes, "The multitudes Lehi saw wandering in the mists were looking for the fulfillment that only the tree can offer. It is no wonder the tempter wishes to hide the fruit 'desirable to make one happy' (1 Nephi 8:10), 'for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.'(2 Nephi 2:27.)

"When the potential to receive 'a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory' (D&C 132:16) rests upon us; when we view our own frailness in facing the opposition spoken of by Nephi; when we feel compelled to pray, 'Father in Heaven, don't let us fail! Clear the mists of darkness from before us that we may partake of the fruit of the tree of life!' there is calm assurance available. If we listen carefully, we will hear the Lord answer."

About the Author

S. Michael Wilcox

S. Michael Wilcox received his PhD from the University of Colorado and taught for many years at the LDS Institute of Religion adjacent to the University of Utah. He has spoken to packed crowds at BYU Education Week and has hosted tours to the Holy Land to China to Church history sites. He has served in a variety of callings, including as bishop and counselor in a stake presidency. He has written many articles and books, including House of Glory, Sunset, 10 Great Souls I Want to Meet in Heaven, and Finding Hope. He and his late wife, Laurie, are the parents of five children.

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(based upon 4 reviews)

A true "Pearl of Great Price"
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

I have now read this book two times, and the second reading was even greater than the first. Every page is a gem of spiritual insight. The truths explained are simple for all to understand and yet profoundly insightful to contemplate.

This book is a rare "Pearl of Great Price"

Great stories/lessons for families
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

This book contains great insights into scripture stories - We have used many with our teenagers for FHE and we have all enjoyed the lessons presented from its pages. Highly recommended to all...and it's a book you'll read again and again!

This is a book that makes you think
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

Has many words of wisdom. One of those rare books that is worth reading more than once because of its depth of wisdom.

This is one to add to your library
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

Has many words of wisdom. One of those rare books that is worth reading more than once because of its depth of wisdom.

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