I discovered a blog called “Upward Thought”. The blogger’s name is Robert Smith. He wrote a free eBook called The Glory of God in Intelligence. I am reading it now. here are some quotes that rang true for me:
The Lord created this earth to “prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them” (Abraham 3:25). Some have erroneously understood that the principle test of mortality is to see how you act in the absence of direction from God. This is simply not so. The test of mortality is to see how you act in relation to direction from God.
Satan recognizes we are all in bondage to our ignorance. He tries to keep everyone in ignorance through means that cause people not to think, not to question, and not to act for their own improvement. He wants them to be satisfied, addicted, unintelligent, docile, dogmatic, frustrated, confused, and angry. His strategy is to keep everyone in ignorance, but he realizes that some people have certain traits that make them dangerous. With these people, he takes a different strategy, depending on their traits.
Those who have the gift of belief, but who have not developed the skill of discernment are flooded by Satan with extraneous nonsense. You can tell these people by how much of their lives they spend on unfruitful practices—practices that might be readily recognizable by others as hokey, superstitious, or cult-like. Note the intentional use of the word “practices.” Those who are believing but neutralized by Satan remain on the hamster wheel of action without ever becoming better people. They are far too busy with their rituals to actually buckle down and learn something: about themselves, about God, etc. These people embrace a very watered-down view of God, and usually subscribe to the simplistic and weak idea that God exists to uniformly accept any and every desire they might have. Satan can rest assured that these types of people will never exert the testing necessary to let go of their time-consuming beliefs, and since their identities are so wrapped up in their false ideas, he can count on their rejection of anyone with higher light and truth who comes along trying to dislodge them.
Those who have the skill of discernment, but not the gift of belief, tend to write off out of hand (either initially or after a grace period of blind obedience to typically inherited religion) anything connected to God. These people readily accept that temporal knowledge is sufficiently complex to require years of professional education and practice, but expect spiritual knowledge to come all at once, with no effort whatsoever. They expect child-level spiritual explanations to endure the weight of adult-level problems, while having no such expectations in temporal areas. All that is required for Satan to derail these people is to expose them to greater awareness than their belief can support. They will not invest the experimentation and study required to grow their faith.
Those with a tendency towards obedience will be bound up in the dogmatic acceptance of whatever they currently believe to the crowding out of anything that is better.
As a result of these tactics, most who would otherwise acquire great light and truth end up turning away from the productive paths and spend their lives doing very little good in the world.