Why Truth and Discernment are Important to Distinguish

Wicked vs. righteous prayer

  • Proverbs 28:9 – “If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.”
  • Psalm 119:18 – “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.”

Related articles: Praying About the Book of Mormon – Is it Biblical?Searching for Answers or Seeking Confirmation?

Feelings are fallible

  • Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
  • Proverbs 14:12 – “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 – “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

Related article: Are Feelings a Good Source for Truth?

Test of a prophet

  • Deuteronomy 13:1-3 – “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”
  • Deuteronomy 18:20-22 – “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”

Related article: True and false prophets

Test the spirits

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:21 – “Prove [test] all things; hold fast that which is good.”
  • 1 John 4:1 – “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
  • 1 Timothy 4:1 – “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”

Be like the Bereans

  • Acts 17:11 – “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

“Study it out in your mind”

  • D&C 9:7–8: “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. But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.”
    • Don’t just ask – Notice that D&C 9:7–8 teaches that if one thinks they can simply ask for an answer, they “have not understood”; rather, they first “must study it out in [their] mind.” While we disagree with the rest of the passage, which hinges belief on a feeling, we can at least plead with a Mormon that they consider important information that would help them better “study it out in their mind.”
    • “Brothers and sisters, as good as our previous experience may be, if we stop asking questions, stop thinking, stop pondering, we can thwart the revelations of the Spirit. Remember, it was the questions young Joseph asked that opened the door for the restoration of all things. We can block the growth and knowledge our Heavenly Father intends for us. How often has the Holy Spirit tried to tell us something we needed to know but couldn’t get past the massive iron gate of what we thought we already knew?” – Dieter Uchtdorf (source 1source 2)

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