An Introduction to Destruction: A Brief but Illuminating Discussion Among Devils Cast:
Hogglesbottom, a low-level but eager devil-trainee, attired in military gear and grenades, his generous waistline boasting hundreds of shotgun shells to match his sparkling personality.
Voldermorianton, a seasoned middle-manager who supervises new recruits at the Kishkumen School for Aspiring Mahans, somewhat underworld-weary and possibly having an existential crisis.
[In the Kishkumen Cafeteria, after finishing their lunch of undying worms]
Hogglesbottom [enthusiastically]: Time to blow up some tasty Tares!
Voldermorianton [checking his Apple Watch]: No. There will be no blowing stuff up today.
Hogglesbottom [disappointed]: But just look at those tempting Tares! Isn't it the end of the world? I've got my matches sharpened and my teeth lit―
Voldermorianton: I believe you have those mixed up.
Hogglesbottom [petulantly]: I want the world to burn! Boom boom! Aren't we supposed to be destroying the wicked?
Voldermorianton [sighing]: My dear devil, you really are a neanderthal.
Hogglesbottom [nodding his agreement].
Voldermorianton: No need to go full-on-Sodom-and-Gomorrah. Now, now; these days we have a better way of doing business. Just as effective, I assure you ― and without having to pull ash out of my goatee for the next hundred years.
Hogglesbottom [jumping up and down]: Tell me! Tell me!
Voldermorianton: You see, what good is it to kill all those humans? Good grief, look around: this place is bursting as it is. And they'll be dead before we know it anyway. No, no: we can stick it to the Enemy ― all the while letting the humans do our dirty work for us.
Hogglesbottom [confused]: How?
Voldermorianton: Remember: we're not concerned with just any people, silly serpent; we are in the business of "destroy[ing] the saints of God" (1 Nephi 13:9). Our job is to target those who call themselves God's people. Haven't you been studying your Book of Mormon with Professor Coriantumr in Secret Combinations 101, like I told you?
Hogglesbottom [abashed]: I can't get through the Isaiah Chapters.
Voldermorianton [rolling his eyes]: If we went around killing people, we might be creating martyrs of the saints; and their reward would be assured by the Enemy. Where's the profit in that? So don't be hasty, my precious pony, to burn down the world. Why? Because before the fire we must purge the salt and make it lose its savor.
Hogglesbottom [shivering with delight]: How? How do we destroy the salt, Master?
Voldermorianton [pleased]: Now you're understanding. The way to pollute the people of God is easier than you think, my precocious puppy. We corrupt them from the inside-out.
Hogglesbottom [searching for a pencil]: "Wait, let me write this down. This is good stuff; better than boom boom!"
Voldermorianton: In order to destroy the people of God, we must get them to "cast out the prophets, and the saints, and stone them, and slay them" (2 Nephi 26:3). You see my stripling snail, we have to turn the people of God against the messengers sent by the Enemy. It's that simple!
Hogglesbottom [scratching his armpit]: Simple? How are we going to get the people of God to persecute the Enemy's messengers?
Voldermorianton: Divide and conquer; by getting them to play at building Zion (so they feel good with themselves) on the one hand; while on the other getting them to build up churches unto themselves that actually prevent Zion from arising (not that they'll realize it, of course).
Hogglesbottom [eyeing a worm on his plate hungrily]: But won't the Enemy's messengers alert them to the ruse?
Voldermortianton [laughing]: Oh, you simple slug, you. You really haven't been studying the Book of Mormon, have you? I'm going to have a little chat with Professor Coriantumr. But to answer your question, the trick is to get them to "receive [a man], and say that he is a prophet [seer and revelator]; yea, [they] will lift him up [to preside over them], and [they] will give unto him of [their] substance [in the form of tithing]; [they] will give unto him of [their] gold, and of [their] silver, and [they] will clothe him with costly apparel [from ZCMI]" (Helaman 13:27-28).
Hogglesbottom: But why? Why would a people, who claim to follow God, do all of that for someone who is not preaching the Enemy's gospel, but another?
Voldermorianton: "Because (1) he speaketh flattering words unto [them], and (2) he saith that all is well [in Zion, yea, Zion prospereth], then (3) [they] will not find fault with him" (Helaman 13:28).
Hogglesbottom [tapping his pencil to his horned forehead]: So the Enemy's messenger would do the opposite? He or she would (1) speak the truth without hypocrisy; and (2) warn the people that much was wrong in Zion?
Voldermorianton: Yes! Now you see at last the great truth of it: the way we destroy the saints of God is to get them to "seek all manner of ways to destroy [the Enemy's messengers]; yea, [they] will say that he is a false prophet, and that he is a sinner, and of the devil, because he testifieth that [their] deeds are evil" (Helaman 13:26).
Hogglesbottom: But don't the people, deep down, sense what is happening? Won't they see the idolatry; I mean, how can they not see that they have filled their hearts with the deceitfulness of riches, and the cares of the world, and the precepts of men?
Voldermorianton [smiling, revealing two sharp fangs]: No, my cuddlable cankerworm; they do not see. Why? Because they have made those vices you mentioned the greatest virtues of their religion! They amass wealth and call it prudence; they oppress the widow and call it faithful sacrifice; they teach for doctrines the commandments of men and call it truth; they transfigure the word of God and call it a prophet's prerogative. And despite their steepled temples and carefully-pronounced covenants, they draw near unto the Enemy with their lips but their hearts are far from Him.
Hogglesbottom [a wicked gleam in his eye]: I've got it: let us go down ― er, I mean, up ― and have them introduce an Oath of Vengeance in their temples, making a mockery of God! How delicious it will be, having them swear an Oath to avenge the Prophet's blood when it is written, "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord" (Romans 12:19); and when the Enemy has told them, "Swear not at all" (Matt. 5:34) and to "love your enemies." How delicious, indeed.
Voldermorianton [approvingly]: Yes, yes. I think you'll do just fine here, my voluptuous viper.