It sounds like an absurd idea, having conversations with Satan.
After all, he is the Evil One. The Destroyer. The Adversary. The Father of All Lies. The Tempter. The Deceiver. The Defiler. The one who seeks to make all men as miserable as he is miserable. So why would anyone want to sit down and talk with him? Express our emotions? Discuss the most intimate details of our lives?
Yet, we do it. We likely do not realize what is going on, but we need to.
Just as the Holy Ghost uses quiet promptings to inspire us to do good, Satan uses seductive whisperings to tempt us step by step to hell. Just as Jesus Christ knows us, Satan knows us. Just as Heavenly Father seeks our safe return, Satan seeks our everlasting separation.
Think for a moment. Have you ever found yourself sinking down into a spiral of shame? Have you justified any indiscretion, no matter how big or small? Have you chosen to follow the appetites of the natural man? Have you stubbornly refused to apologize? To forgive? Have you found a small crack of doubt turned into a mighty abyss separating you from truth and light?
It is in moments like these that Satan wishes to talk with us. He is right there, waiting to share his opinion. It is part of our natural probation to experience weak and possibly wicked thoughts. The question is, what will we do with them? Satan would have us talk about them with him about them.
Yes, you should stop praying. You are just as bad as you seem. Remember that one experience? This is how you fail. You’re right. You’re totally right. Just give up.
You made a mistake, but you didn’t mean to. Besides, they made you do it. How else were you supposed to react? It’s their fault.
You just need this one thing. This person, this hunger, this addiction. Satisfy it, and you’ll feel better. God’s not here, he’s not helping you through it. You want it so much, don’t you? So just take it.
You’ve been praying for months now. No one can say you haven’t tried. It may just be the Church isn’t true. If God was really there, he’d give you all the answers. You wouldn’t feel so alone, so confused.
What should we do when we find ourselves caught in these dangerous dialogues with the adversary? We should follow the counsel of Moroni, who reminds us that if a thought inspires us to do good and be good, it is of God.
So if you have a thought that inspires you to break the commandments, forsake your covenants, discount your divine nature, or give up the fight in any way, shut it down. Leave it alone. Don’t dwell on it. Don’t let those thoughts build on each other, one by one, until the final thought is more spiritually deadly than the first quiet whisper that seemed innocent enough.
Practice mindfulness. Focus on what is going on in the present moment. Practice gratitude. Focus on the compensatory blessings of your life and any particle of faith you can hold to. Practice prayer. Take all of those thoughts and emotions and give them to God. Focus on learning how to recognize the feelings of the Spirit.
Whatever you do, no matter where you are, don’t enter into a discussion with Satan. It can be terribly difficult to make him stop talking once he starts.