A doctrinal expose on Satan may seem like a hard sell at first. After all, most of us have a million other things we’d prefer to read about, not to mention that curiosity about the devil usually leads away from good. But Stephen Stirling’s latest offering, Shedding Light on the Dark Side, is not a book to be afraid of. Quite the contrary, this work (subtitled Defeating the Forces of Evil) gives youth, parents, and other members key insights into vanquishing the adversary through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, obedience to God’s commandments, and reliance on the Holy Ghost and the power of the priesthood.
Stirling, a seminary teacher of nearly 20 years (and father of famous dancing violinist Lindsey Stirling) draws heavily from the scriptures, teachings of modern apostles and prophets, and documented Church history to show, time and again, that the powers of light vanquish those of darkness. The author invites us to stay on the Lord’s side. He reveals Satan’s role in the premortal existence and human history, describes the limits of his power, contrasts his actual, pathetic nature with the fearful misconceptions promulgated by Hollywood, and uncovers his subtle tactics to deceive and ensnare.
With masterful dexterity, the author provides information necessary for understanding and resisting Lucifer while directing readers’ minds and hearts to the Savior. Consider the following passage:
“Any study of the adversary should focus on the contrasts between the prince of darkness and the Prince of Peace, the Light of the World- together with a clear recognition and a resounding declaration that each of us is saved only through the grace of God and the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”
The book is only 107 pages (and is priced accordingly) because Stirling wanted to give readers only the basic knowledge necessary to discern the difference between darkness and light. Incredible stories from Church history, such as Brother Joseph casting out devils in the name of Christ or a planchette (Ouija board) ceasing to work in the presence of a righteous woman (Heber J. Grant’s mother), pepper the book, as do revelations from the scriptures and teachings from church leaders. This is an important, and utterly unique, work which will make for a fine stocking-stuffer. I’m not ashamed to admit that, having finished it a few weeks ago, I’m now giving it a second read.
Jonathan Decker is a licensed marriage and family therapist. His book, 250 Great Movies for Latter-day Families, with reviews and scripture-based discussion guides for 250 wholesome films, is now available in paperback and kindle.