It has been awhile since I have posted anything on this site. I recently posted an article about the Fulness of the Father over on the Anarchy Site.
I also recently did a post over there about Trying the Spirits. That topic has been on my mind lately. In the post I mention a recent press release pertaining to the bright star currently in the heavens that supposedly heralds the emergence of Maitreya, a coming world teacher;
“Bright star heralds the emergence of Maitreya the World Teacher
LONDON, January 22 /PRNewswire/ –
I included in the post, an article by Joseph Smith which talks about the seducing spirits in the earth and how important it is to be able to try the spirits. (I highly suggest you read the article by Joseph Smith on Trying the Spirits if you have not done so)
The Prophet begins his article with the following paragraph;
“Recent occurrences that have transpired amongst us render it an imperative duty devolving upon me to say something in relation to the spirits by which men are actuated. It is evident from the apostle’s writings that many false spirits existed in their day, and have “gone forth into the world,” and that it needed intelligence which God alone could impart to detect false spirits, and to prove what spirits were of God. The world in general have been grossly ignorant in regard to this one thing, and why should they be otherwise. “For no man knows the things of God, but by the spirit of God.”
In the article Joseph Smith points out that virtually all groups have a distinctive spirit about them. There is a specific guiding spiritual force behind every religion and virtually every group.
I have certainly noticed that as I have taken the opportunity to speak with many people from many religions.
One day, years ago, a Jehovah’s Witness knocked on our door back when we were living in Holiday. I love speaking to anyone about religion so we got into an interesting discussion with her.
She was a very typical Jehovah’s Witness. By that I mean, she had the same spirit about her that all of the JW’s have had that I have spoken with over the years. She was guided by the exact same spirit they all are guided by.
About half way through the conversation I felt prompted to looked her in the eyes and asked “Why did you leave the LDS Church?”
She was surprised at the question because she had not said anything to indicate she had ever had anything to do with Mormonism. In fact she had gone out of her way to pretend ignorance about LDS doctrine. She said “what makes you think I used to be LDS?”
I didn’t answer her question; I simply said “you WERE ONCE LDS, why did you leave the Church?”
Finally she confessed that she had left the Church and proceeded to give us the details.
Strangely enough, the spirit about her was totally the one that governs the JWs. It was only through the prompting of the spirit that I knew she had previously been a Mormon.
Anyway, I have spoken to countless people from various churches over the years and I have noticed that although there are individual and unique personalities with differing doctrinal opinions even within the religious organization they belong to, there is a very distinct spirit that governs each organized group of people.
We live in a day when so much delusion and deception is going forth in the earth.
I have watched as “Christopher” the false prophet that claims to have brought forth the sealed portion has accumulated a following of believers, solely based on his charismatic personality and the scriptural ignorance of those that follow him.
Within days of posting the article about trying the spirits, one fellow replied to a post who claimed to have sacrificed all things. The implication of his remarks is that he has parted the heavens and received the greater things.. even the mysteries. He condescendingly let the group know that if they had been as enlightened as he has been, they would be discussing different topics. Which spirit guides this person? Only someone who can discern spirits can really know.
Also within a very short period of time, another person made a reply. She is a native America Woman that claims that God has revealed greater truths to her and she is to enlighten any of the darkened LDS people that will listen to her… which spirit is guiding her? Only those who can discern the spirits can really know.
I feel that within a very short period of time the amount of false spirits in the earth and the depth of deception associated with them will be magnified ten fold.
It is going to become increasingly important for people to know how to discern false spirits and how to avoid receiving false revelations.
With this in mind, I have asked my wife if she would be willing to share an experience she had years ago;
“I WILL TELL YOU IN YOUR MIND AND IN YOUR HEART”
My experience in being deceived
By WaitingAndWatching alias Mrs. Watcher
With comments by OneWhoIsWatching
It was mid – 1980s. We had just moved from a two bedroom home into our new five bedroom home in Holiday, Utah and life was great! We now had a larger home, we had four wonderful kids and we were enjoying a very happy marriage.
My husband had recently been issued a computer by the company for which he worked. Although his personal goal had been to pass away of old age before learning how to use a computer, it had been mandated by his employer.
After finding out that it was not that difficult to use, he eventually discovered “infobases” a word crunching software program he purchased from Deseret Book that enabled him to search the scriptures. He used to lovingly refer to this computer and software program as his terrestrial urim and thummin.
He became a bit obsessed with and addicted to his new toy. There were some days he would get involved in his searching from sun up to sun down and then deep into the night.
He had a sales job with a quota. His boss said if he fulfilled his weekly quota by Wednesday, the rest of his time was his own. He spent nearly every spare minute searching the scriptures with the aid of the computer and then compiled the information and documentation of concepts he had learned into a book.
I remember a neighbor friend of mine asking me why the corner light in our house, where he studied the scriptures, was on until 2:00 in the morning so many times.
One day I went into my husband’s office and he looked at me as though he had had a profound epiphany.
He shared with me the conclusion he had come to.
I felt sick to my stomach.
He was suggesting that my religious paradigm might be wrong.
There were certain things in my belief system that I was positive would NEVER change.
Armed with the teachings of my youth and preconceived notions of “what was what” I declared;
“You are wrong”.
I then slipped away into the other room, closed the door and got on my knees to get a confirmation on what I thought the Spirit had told me.
During my prayer I got a strong spiritual confirmation that I was correct and that my husband was mistaken.
I triumphantly went back into his office and happily informed him of my confirmation.
I remember how calm he was and not even the least annoyed or threatened at my “profound answer”. He then asked me if I would be willing to do him a favor.
“What is it,” I asked.
“I would like you to read this list of scriptures, pondering them over, then go and pray the same prayer”.
I thought it was a rather strange request but had no problem doing it.
I remember saying, “Sure, fine.”
As I read the scriptures I could feel a subtle feeling taking place in my heart and in my mind, but outwardly, I was still convinced that I was right.
After finishing the passages I confidently knelt back down, knowing that the answer would be the same. Feeling somewhat defiant, I thought, “I will show him the error of his ways, I know my prayer will be answered.”
I went to my bedroom to pray. I had a spring in my step feeling like this was no big deal, I would get the answer I was expecting.
I was so sure I would be right that the consequence of if I was wrong never even entered my mind.
I was blissfully unaware that my life was about to change to a degree and manner that I never could have imagined.
This time as I prayed, I got the same strong manifestation I got before EXCEPT that this time, it was confirming just the opposite answer to me.
This time it was confirming to me that my husband’s interpretation of the scriptures was correct.
I was stunned.
I was stunned, not only that my husband’s interpretation was correct and the implications of this, but mostly, that I could be so deceived. How could I get two different answers to the same question and the exact same prayer?!?!
My mind went back to when I was 16 years old and had questioned if everything I believed in, as far as religion was concerned, was correct.
I had decided to read the whole Book of Mormon by myself and test the promise at the end of the book of Moroni. I read the entire book within a couple of months and, by myself, in my bedroom, knelt down by my bed, and asked if what I had read was true.
I received the most amazing witness with the burning in my bosom and my body and mind being illuminated and beyond a shadow of a doubt, knew it was, indeed, the word of God.
This and other experiences led me to believe that I could receive answers and would receive an answer to this current dilemma.
I fasted and prayed.
I knelt down in a depth of need from my Father that was one of the greatest needs for any answer that I had ever had. I told God;
“I want the truth at all costs.”
I really meant it. I didn’t care what the answer was; I just wanted to know the truth! I started reading at the beginning of the Doctrine and Covenants, feeling like I would find my answer there.
As I read in the D&C, I was reminded about what the Lord had told Oliver Cowdery in sections 8 and 9. I felt as though the words in these revelations were written specifically to me concerning this incredible dilemma I was having;
7 Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.
8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must astudy it out in your bmind; then you must cask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your dbosom shall eburn within you; therefore, you shall ffeel that it is right.
The Lord told Oliver that when he had a question, he needed to study it out in his mind.
The Lords statements to Oliver Cowdery helped me realize that the problem with my first prayer is that I had neglected to study things out in my mind.
I was also led to the words of Paul wherein he mentioned the importance of searching the scriptures and gaining knowledge so that I would have an accurate point of reference while studying things out in my mind;
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and asearched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
The Lord also told Oliver;
I realized that I had to search the scriptures and know if the interpretations of the scriptures by those teachers in my youth were correct or if what my husband was presenting to me out of the scriptures was correct.
I realized I couldn’t just ask, I had to study it out in my mind by searching the scriptures and gaining knowledge first and then asking the Lord and getting an answer in my mind and feeling it in my heart.
When I had prayed about the truth of the Book of Mormon, I hadn’t just asked, I read the entire book. I followed the formula that Moroni had given me in chapter 10 of Moroni:
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how amerciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and bponder it in your chearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would aask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not btrue; and if ye shall ask with a csincere heart, with dreal intent, having efaith in Christ, he will fmanifest the gtruth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
I came to the conclusion that the second answer I got was the correct one because I took the time to search the scriptures and to prayerfully study it out in my mind instead of just asking.
It has now been nearly 20 years of intensive word search cross-referencing in the scriptures and I now have a much stronger testimony of the answer I got back then, I have also been blessed with a much deeper love and understanding of the scriptures. I know from my personal scripture searches that all 4 standard works testify of each other and they promise and prophecy of the same things.
I have gained a very strong testimony of the importance of searching the scriptures.
A couple of months ago a very dear person to me mentioned that he felt he was a good person and that he didn’t really need to study the scriptures. I shared the following scripture with him;
“9 And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.
10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.
11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.”
As we study the Word with heed and diligence, if we will not harden our hearts against what the Spirit reveals in the scriptures, we will receive the greater portion of the word until we know the mysteries of God in full.
We seem to be receiving a pattern of which comes first. Joseph Smith frequently seemed to ask a question based on questions that would surface while he was reading or translating the scriptures and then God would answer the question. He would get the answer to the question and then God would also give him more information.
Another experience I had about 4 years after the first experience I told you about, also had a profound impact in my life in the realization of one of the ways deception and discernment works and of the importance of having a strong foundation in the Word of God in order to avoid being deceived.
Before relating this to you I want to share a statement that is in my husband’s patriarchal blessing. It says “you will not be afraid of the truth.” He has never been afraid to talk to anyone and check out their claims or facts or opinions. So much so, that I have been fascinated at the different people that he has been willing to listen to.
Some of these people I would probably have prematurely judged and discounted. But the message is more important than the messenger and as the Apostle Paul says, we need to be willing to prove all things. He has been willing to dig into the scriptures and other historical documents in order to gain a more accurate understanding of what went on in LDS Church history.
Anyway, we were invited to go to someone’s house to listen to a speaker. For the purposes of this article I will simply refer to him as “Tolman”.
We joined several other couples, one of whom was a very good friend of the speaker. This same couple had told us, as we drove to the meeting together, that Tolman was one of the most knowledgeable and spiritual people they had ever met.
We were really excited to hear this person as we had heard so much about him even before our friends invited us to the presentation. This person had created a remarkable memory system that had been marketed nationwide. He had also written several popular books.
We walked into a large room and within a few minutes he proceeded to speak to us all.
My husband was perched with legs crossed just below where Tolman was seated. His head was bent upward and it appeared he was taking in everything that Tolman was saying.
Tolman began talking about the importance of Zion and said he had felt impressed to purchase some property in Jackson County.
He then began presenting a new form of consecration that involved groups of 12 couples. Polyandry was a part of this new system that Tolman was proposing, all of the wives in each grouping were to be married to all of the husbands in the group. My heart sank as I realized what was being proposed and as I noticed my husband intently listening to Tolman, I was worried that my husband might be believing it.
As I listened to the teachings of this fellow, and to the statements he was making, I had one of the most incredible experiences of my life.
In the room, the overwhelmingly good feeling and “spirit” was so thick you could cut through it with a knife. However, different scriptures that I had studied in the last several years came to mind and proved this fellow’s teachings were not correct.
In my heart was a feeling of peace as I was assured this man was deceived and was deceiving others. I had never supposed that the spirit and feeling attending false doctrine could feel so warm and intoxicating.
I was feeling confident in my answer but as I looked over at my husband a feeling of concern enveloped me because he had a faint smile and was listening intently to Tolman.
I worried that my husband might not be having the same supernatural experience I was having. As I sat there, the Holy Ghost was putting the scriptures in my mind that disproved the false doctrines being taught and it was bearing witness to me of the truth, yet I was also aware of the charismatic aura of the speaker and the warmth of the seducing spirit everyone was feeling.
Tolman kept talking, almost exclusively to and looking at my husband. He kept making comments about how much he connected with and liked my husband and that he could tell they were going to be fast friends.
I had a heavy heart and wanted to talk to my husband in private to tell him my experience, yet people were around us and there was no opportunity.
We drove home, I in silence, and my husband chatting away with the couple that had driven us and that admired Tolman so much.
We walked into our home and I immediately went to a back bedroom and prayed to God committing myself to Him and telling Him that if my husband believed Tolman and decided to follow this strange group into the wilderness, then I would give up my husband to follow God.
It was VERY TRAUMATIC AND INTENSE.
I then asked my husband to come into the back room alone with me so I could talk to him. I asked him;
“So….. did you believe this guy?”
“are you kidding? What a bunch of BS! Of course I didn’t… that guy is going to destroy a lot of marriages”
I burst into tears of complete relief and told him that it looked like he believed the guy. He said he not only didn’t believe him but told me he had a similar experience to that which I had. He felt that intoxicating warmth of the spirit and the magnetic personality of the speaker while all of the scriptures condemning the false doctrines being taught kept going through his mind.
I was overcome with the grace of God. This Tolman fellow had such an incredibly magnetic personality and spirit, if I hadn’t known the scriptures and hadn’t been blessed with the Spirit witnessing of the error of his teachings, I would have very possibly been deceived by his message.
Although this experience was unique and extreme, I have come to realize that a similar phenomenon happens frequently in church meetings from ALL branches of Christianity.
People are seduced into believing false doctrines because of warm and intoxicating feelings.
Again, the realization that the feeling in the room could feel so good and that the message could be so wrong had never occurred to me.
The thought of how we need to study it out in our mind (facts, in this case, of how the doctrine measured up to the scriptures) and in our hearts (feelings of the Spirit) were both imperative to not be deceived. Just having one or the other would not be sufficient for a witness.
The first time I prayed about my husbands conclusion, I had been greatly influenced by the “Traditions of my Fathers” (see D&C 93:39)
How grateful I am for this incredible experience in deception that God was kind enough to let me experience. I know that we are commanded to “prove all things, hold fast to that which is good”.
This has to do with ALL teachers.
I have learned to be more concerned with the message than with the messenger.
Many well loved and trusted people in or out of the church may say things that are not true. No matter what we are “feeling” we need to compare the doctrine that they teach with the scriptures. We need to use the four standard works as the measuring yard sticks to measure EVERY man’s doctrine. As Joseph Fielding Smith’s inspired statement that he made when he was president of the church states:
“It makes no difference what is written or what anyone has said, if what has been said is in conflict with what the Lord has revealed, we can set it aside. My words, and the teaching of any other member of the Church, high or low, if they do not square with the revelations, we need not accept them. Let us have this matter clear. We have accepted the four standard works as the measuring yardsticks, or balances, by which we measure every man’s doctrine.
You cannot accept the books written by the authorities of the Church as standards in doctrine, only in so far as they accord with the revealed word in the standard works.
If Joseph Fielding Smith writes something which is out of harmony with the revelations, then every member of the Church is duty bound to reject it.”
(Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 3: 203.)
The Prophet Hosea made this profound observation;
My people are destroyed for lack of aknowledge: because thou hast brejected cknowledge, I will also reject thee… I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings…. they shall commit whoredom… for the bspirit of cwhoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God… therefore your daughters shall commit whoredom, and your spouses shall commit aadultery.
It was heart breaking to see the couples that were deceived by the teachings of Tolman because they were not familiar with the word of God.
Within less than a year, the attempt at Tolman’s version of consecration and Polyandry ended in heartache and the dissolution of several marriages. Many lives were shattered.
As we read the scriptures under the power of the Holy Ghost, the scriptures become our Iron Rod;
1 Nephi 15:
23 And they said unto me: What meaneth the arod of iron which our father saw, that led to the tree?
24 And I said unto them that it was the aword of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would bhold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the ctemptations and the fiery ddarts of the eadversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.
25 Wherefore, I, Nephi, did exhort them to give aheed unto the word of the Lord; yea, I did exhort them with all the energies of my soul, and with all the bfaculty which I possessed, that they would give heed to the word of God and remember to keep his commandments always in all things.
Nephi reveals to us what the iron rod is, that it is the word of God that would protect us from blindness and that we should hold fast to it.
The Holy Spirit validates and confirms what we learn in the scriptures. The mysteries we learn will not contradict them. I would like to end this testimony of mine by witnessing that the only way to “the Love of God” which is the Tree of Life is by holding on to the Word of God. This would be the words of the prophets in the scriptures which would be the measuring yardsticks for ANY revelations by ANYONE.
I realize that some people think the word of God spoken of in the above passage is limited to personal revelation; however, I have come to believe that those who bypass studying the scriptures leave themselves wide open to be deceived when they pray for personal revelation.
New revelations would never contradict previous revelations.
Observations by OneWhoIsWatching——————————–
The experiences that Mrs Watcher has shared have had a tremendous impact on both of our lives. I have really come to realize the importance of how God speaks to our Minds and our Hearts. I think this provides a checks and balances in discerning personal revelation.
It is so easy for human beings to become lop-sided in how we receive personal revelation. Some people rely almost completely on what they are feeling in their hearts. They quickly pray for an answer without searching Gods word and searching out and pondering what they are asking God about. This leaves a person wide open to being deceived.
Others do just the opposite. They approach prayer in a very left brain way, putting lots of thought and study into it without being sensitive to the Spirit and listening to the confirmation of the Spirit. This also leaves a person wide open to being deceived.
We must combine the heart and mind as we pray so that we will get the true answer back, witnessing to both our mind and our heart.
Revelation is a sobering undertaking…
In Ezekiel the Lord states that if the Elders of Israel come to the Lords anointed prophet and ask a question when in fact, their hearts are not right before God and they are practicing idolatry, God will give them a false answer. He will actually answer them according to the wickedness of their hearts;
“Then came certain of the aelders of Israel unto me, and sat before me. And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their h eart, and put the stumblingblock of their ainiquity before their face: should I be benquired of at all by cthem? Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the astumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the Lord will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols; That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.” Ezek 14
David Whitmer tells of an amazing experience he had with the Prophet Joseph Smith. He reveals that even Joseph Smith got deceived from time to time, he learned that some revelations come from the devil.
“We were waiting on Martin Harris who was doing his best to sell a part of his farm, in order to raise the necessary funds. After a time Hyrum Smith and others began to get impatient, thinking that Martin Harris was too slow and under transgression for not selling his land at once, even if at a great sacrifice.
Brother Hyrum thought they should not wait any longer on Martin Harris, and that the money should be raised in some other way. Brother Hyrum was vexed with Brother Martin, and thought they should get the money by some means outside of him, and not let him have anything to do with the publication of the Book, or receiving any of the profits thereof if any profits should accrue. He was wrong in thus judging Bro. Martin, because he was doing all he could toward selling his land.
Brother Hyrum said it had been suggested to him that some of the brethren might go to Toronto, Canada , and sell the copy-right of the Book of Mormon for considerable money: and he persuaded Joseph to inquire of the Lord about it. Joseph concluded to do so. He had not yet given up the stone. Joseph looked into the hat in which he placed the stone, and received a revelation that some of the brethren should go to Toronto, Canada , and that they would sell the copy-right of the Book of Mormon.
Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery went to Toronto on this mission, but they failed entirely to sell the copy-right, returning without any money. Joseph was at my father’s house when they returned. I was there also, and am an eye witness to these facts. Jacob Whitmer and John Whitmer were also present when Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery returned from Canada .
Well, we were all in great trouble; and we asked Joseph how it was that he had received a revelation from the Lord for some brethren to go to Toronto and sell the copy-right, and the brethren had utterly failed in their undertaking.
Joseph did not know how it was, so he enquired of the Lord about it, and behold the following revelation came through the stone: ” Some revelations are of God: some revelations are of man : and some revelations are of the devil.” So we see that the revelation to go to Toronto and sell the copy-right was not of God, but was of the devil or of the heart of man.
When a man enquires of the Lord concerning a matter, if he is deceived by his own carnal desires, and is in error, he will receive an answer according to his erring heart, but it will not be a revelation from the Lord.” From David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, p.30 – p.31 [It will be on slightly different pages in different editions of Whitmer’s pamphlet. Emphasis added]