Be Not Deceived


KJO5 asked an important question. She (I think “she”) had read in the Bible Dictionary about Satan, and how he can deceive us, even transforming into an angel of light. It also said Satan could quote scripture and use many means to deceive us. She said she was 100% committed to obedience, but was concerned she might mistake a deception for a prompting, or a true doctrine for a lie.

I am mostly interested in comments from the family of the Un-Blog. I know you have a great collective wisdom. How can someone tell for sure that they are listing to the Holy Spirit, and not a deception of some sort?

What say you?

While you’re pondering your response, I would like to add a couple thoughts.

First, we will be judged “according to the thoughts and intents of our heart”. If we are trying to obey, then we will be judged as obedient. If we do get deceived on something, we’ll learn and the Holy Spirit will teach us the difference. These things will not pull us down into a permanent deception. A permanent deception only happens when we allow it, when we prefer the lie to the truth. Permanent deceptions are common among mortals who do not receive the Holy Spirit. They are rare among those who do.

Second, Satan does not have as much power as the description in the BD seemed to indicate. Even when he tries to appear as an angel of light, there is no glory. His light like from a light bulb, but feels like spiritual darkness. There is the chill of present evil, not the peace and love of God. Most of us can tell the difference between a plastic cup and a crystal goblet of the same shape. There is a discernible difference, and we should not worry. If it ever happened to someone who was familiar with the Holy Spirit, they would instantly understand it as a deception. One of you recently referred to Moses, and his discerning of Satan who appeared and proclaimed he was also god. Moses saw that there was no glory, and commanded him to depart.

Third, there is a very sweet feeling that fills our bodies with the presence of the Holy Spirit, and a very unhappy and dark feeling when it is absent.

When you have the spirit. You feel:

  • Loving, happy, at peace, even when things are not going exactly as you hoped
  • Generous and giving
  • Understanding and patient
  • Difficult to offend
  • Not competitive with other people’s success and possessions
  • Like praying and going to church
  • You enjoy wholesome things and inspired entertainment
  • Your love of the Savior is warm in your heart, and you want to obey Him.
  • The whisperings of the Holy Spirit are precious to you

When you don’t have the Holy Spirit with you, you feel:

  • Unlovable, unloving, unhappy, irritable and possibly depressed or frustrated, even when nothing is especially wrong.
  • Possessive and selfish
  • Very little patience with other people and children
  • Easy to offend
  • Jealous of other people’s success and possessions
  • Like you don’t want to pray and go to church
  • Energized by loud, violent, sexy worldly entertainment, music and movies
  • The Savior doesn’t seem important
  • A prompting seems like a nuisance, and an inconvenience.

Brother John

© October 2011, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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34 Responses to Be Not Deceived

  1. Sandy K. says:

    The cumulative comments above are rich. Based on the experiences of some who have actually seen the adversary appear as an angel of light, here are some additional ways to detect the deception:

    1. Look very carefully at the quality of the light. You may see a slightly dirty yellowish tinge, rather than brilliant pure light.

    2. The words of the deceiver will probably be flowery and lengthy, rather than straight to the point and scriptural in quality.

    3. Even if the face of the deceiver is smiling, if you look carefully into the eyes, you will see hatred.

    4. The adversary can never imitate the love of a righteous spirit.

    5. The key in D&C 129:8 (“when you ask him to shake hands he will offer you his hand, and you will not feel anything”) needs to be read in conjunction with Joseph Smith’s more thorough counsel found in The Words of Joseph Smith, page 20: “The Devil . . . will either shrink back . . .or offer his hand.”

    6. When you suspect that it is the adversary and question him, his face will become distorted with rage, because he cannot stand to be contradicted, and he will probably come at you, at which point you cast him away if you had not done so earlier.

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  2. Miles France says:

    On Chastisement: One day my wife organized a float plane trip for us to a remote property I had purchase from my father but we had never been there. After walking the property we began our trip back to Willow Ak whereupon I noticed what seemed like hundreds of moose track in the sands and gravel bars below. In my mind I thought, ‘If I lived here I would shoot a moose whenever I pleased’ and immeadiatly, way louder than the roar of the plane came the words to the effect that ‘If you can’t live by the laws of the land you won’t be able to live by the laws of Heaven’. I looked around startled as it was so loud. My wife and the pilot were doing their own things not paying attention to me. As soon as I was home I went to the D&C and found almost the same statement there. It was amazing and I had no doubt of my ill thinking.

    Thanks John for this opportunity.

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  3. Laurence Smith says:

    There is a great fear of being deceived. The fear of being deceived is actually a way of being deceived. Satan convinces many to do nothing and by doing nothing they can avoid deception. They feel that there is safety in doing nothing. That caution in and of itself is a deception. All it really does is keep them chained down and all progress stops. They feel that they are incapable of doing anything right so they want to be told what to do. They do not seek personal revelation. They fear the battle they might face if they venture out. And so they grow safe and secure in doing nothing. Miracles cease in their lives–personal revelation is absent–Angels are bound and cannot help. And they feel justified because all appears to be going well in their lives. They focus on material things. So “things” surround them and their comfort and ease seem to show that they are blessed. They become observers–they watch and wait to be told what to do. They give away their agency. They burry their talent.
    Miracles have not ceased. Angles have not stopped striving to help and appear to man. Our faith brings them to us and allows them to help us. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He delights in the growth we make as we struggle forward. The risk is always present. But in the battle–strength is developed and our priesthood power grows strong. The gift of discernment is practiced and then strengthened and eventually perfected.
    We become agents that act–not simply something to be acted upon. Angels become our constant companions. Trails may come, but the strength of our commitment helps us overcome and grow. We do not fear the fight. We gird on the armor of God and seek His help in our battles. This is as it should be. We need to seek His hand in all things and let our eye be single to His glory.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. John D says:

    I have had an ongoing battle with depression since childhood, and firmly believe its something I was meant to deal with in this life and no different than any other mental, physical handicap or weakness. It is unbearable without the gospel for me, and at times my only prescription for relief is total spiritual immersion. However it has without doubt, as strange as it may seem, brought me closer the Lord. But like with most of life’s challenges, we can choose to be bitter, or seek after the Lord and find relief! And as with all other weaknesses we have, Satan will ALWAYS start an attack on me with depression. And I have found “clinical depression” IS different than say Godly sorrow for sin, or when the Lord withdraws his spirit for a time, or the sorrow one feels for the troubles of a loved one, these are very real, but I’ve found very different.

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  5. SBH says:

    Is it possible to be depressed and close to God? I believe so. There are so many forms of depression (biochemical, sin-related, abuse-related, grieving/mourning, etc.). I have witnessed recently a depression new to me in a family member–the depression of a soul in the refiner’s fire. There is a very real depression that occurs as a righteous man or woman sheds the natural man. It is tied to being “killed” while keeping covenants and accompanied by feeling forsaken by the Lord while on His errand.

    I did not realize that depression of this sort was part of the path until I witnessed it and then found evidence of it throughout the scriptures. Prophets at times wished they could just die. They felt deep failure and inadequacy as things did not turn out well to their mortal eyes. Moses and Joseph Smith come to mind. Even Jesus Christ expressed this feeling of being forsaken. And yet how close were each to God?

    There seems to be a paradox that as one draws nearer to God, he or she passes through a stage of feeling the furthest from Him in their life. I share these thoughts not to contradict that depression can be a sign that we are lacking the Holy Spirit or as a sign that an “answer” is incorrect, but to point out that under special circumstances (health-related, bio-chemical-related and even due to righteousness as I have recently witnessed) depression may be no indication of our standing with God.

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    • John Pontius says:

      Dear SBH,

      I am so not qualified to answer this question. I have never experienced clinical depression, and have never researched it.

      Life presents obstacles of all types, and I believe it is possible to triumph over them all. I think I will ask my friend to respond to this question for us. He is knowledgable about these issues. If he responds, I will post his thoughts.

      John

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    • Sharon says:

      Whenever I have felt spiritually depressed, reading 2 Nephi 4:16-35 out loud and with energy, always chases away the spirit of depression. Reading from the book of Psalms also helps, and If I follow up by listening to or singing hymns of praise, my joy becomes full.

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  6. darrell brashear says:

    One more thing I wanted to add mjo5. The Lord will never ask you to make those big sacrifices until you are totally familiar with His voice. Nephi and Abraham were mature in thier experience of following the voice of the Lord, therefore they had no doubts about whose voice they were following when He commanded them.

    The same goes for you and me and all of us. He will not ask us to do these really big things at first, but will lead us in little things line upon line, precept upon precept, and it will be very loving and gentle; it will not feel overwhelming to you.

    He will build your trust in His voice as you follow Him in those little things until you can follow Him to greater and greater things and can trust Him in all things and follow Him wherever He leads you. All Good Things Come From God….if a thought or feeling comes to you that causes any negative feeling, then it isn’t from God. Brother D.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Steve says:

    Galatians 5:22-23 describes the fruits of the Spirit. If you don’t have these, you don’t have the Spirit, in my opinion.

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  8. Jared Eastley says:

    One of the best ways to align our minds with the Mind of Christ is to carefully research what God’s prophets have said in scripture and in the church publications. I have found that our prophets have actually said a great deal on subjects which are largely considered to be controversial.

    One of our gravest tests of discipleship, humility, love, and patience is how we respond to the disbelief or unfaithfulness of others. We can be as right as rain on a given subject, but when we turn that understanding into animosity toward those who aren’t as insightful or perhaps faithful as we are then we loose the Spirit. The deception, in this case, is our sense of divine superiority and righteousness.

    The Lord wants us to take a stand on morality and truth, but it must be done with charity and under the direction of the Spirit.

    Also, it is common for us to reject truth because the concepts trigger within us negative associations based on our experiences. Often, we fail to embrace truth because of our own pride, prejudice, and narrow-mindedness. It is vital that we keep an open mind even when we think we already have a correct opinion on something. But when that opinion is tainted with any degree of darkness, bitterness, or uneasiness, we can be sure that there is some aspect of our opinion that is definitely untrue and needs to be corrected.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pearl says:

    I’m not trying to skirt around the 250 word rule with this, honest! I love that rule! I just thought of one more thing…

    It takes time. This is not something we learn overnight. Passages in scripture that may take us minutes to read often took years or lifetimes of study, diligence, sweat, tears and endurance. Let’s not under-estimate what we’re trying to do.

    When I read the Mentinah Archives, for example, I knew those “words of Christ” were not the words of Christ. I had read enough of His real words to know the difference. This takes time. And effort. And study. Let’s be diligent, but PATIENT in this endeavor and our confidence will wax stronger and stronger.with time.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pearl says:

    Brother John, you gave one of the greatest keys here on the UnBlog concerning this subject. (Don’t ask me where it is now!)

    Basically, you will get an idea or impression which is of God. Immediately following, Satan will throw out many reasons why you should not do it. This I have found to be true in my experience.

    Example:
    “We should read the scriptures with the kids tonight.”
    -“Oh, look at them, they are playing so well.”
    -“We can read the scriptures tomorrow, they hardly ever play this well.”
    -“It’ll cause a big stir and we’ll probably go to bed angry if I interrupt them.”
    -“Actually, they should be doing the homework I forgot about.”
    -“They’re stinky, they really should have a bath instead.”

    See, Satan cannot just throw one excuse out there, he’s got to flood you with options so you’re more likely to take the bait.

    So there’s that, and just the simple fact of learning to hear His voice over the course of time. As we seek to learn this, we will learn it.

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  11. ken h says:

    President Boyd K. Packer stated, “The spiritual part of us and the emotional part of us are so closely linked that is possible to mistake an emotional impulse for something spiritual. We occasionally find people who receive what they assume to be spiritual promptings from God, when those promptings are either centered in the emotions or are from the adversary.

    Avoid like a plague those who claim that some great spiritual experience authorizes them to challenge the constituted priesthood authority in the Church. Do not be unsettled if you cannot explain every insinuation of the apostate or every challenge from the enemies who attack the Lord’s church. And we now face a tidal wave of that. In due time you will be able to confound the wicked and inspire the honest in heart.”

    This was taken from a 1982 address to mission presidents. As stated before our hearts must be pure and our intentions sincere. I find feasting upon the words of Christ helps me have these things more abundantly. When praying, after thanking God for your blessings, Always repent of mistakes first before asking for anything else. Once forgiven then what to ask for will be with real intent as the Holy Spirit prompts. By striving to stay forgiven and filled with the words of the Master we can avoid our emotions (which Satan will try to use against us) confusing us and thus we will not be deceived.

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  12. mjo5 says:

    Thank you everyone for your help. One more question. Most of the responses dealt with promptings from the Spirit to do good. What if you think the prompting from God is one of chastisement. That He’s telling you that your are doing something wrong. One would think it would come with feelings opposite those that attend a good choice. This refers to my question about Abraham’s sacrifice We think God is telling us to do something that appears wrong; to give up something good. We resist believing it could be from Him and don’t obey it. Does Does He send feelings that make us feel bad about ourselves, or uneasy, or nervous, or scared we’re disobeying God? We don’t know if it’s Satan or God because of what is being asked. How do we know if we’re being taunted and tempted by an evil spirit or chastised by God when we’re dealing with negative feelings, not peace and light. Thank you for your help. This is a pressing question for me right now.

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    • John Pontius says:

      Dear MJO5,

      You know, I’m not a real expert on “chastisement” because I either blocked the memory, or just haven’t gotten into it too far. But, my experience is that the chastisement consists almost primarily as the withdrawl of the Holy Ghost. I have never heard angry words, or commands to do something in an accusing voice, or “You better not do that ever again!” from God. All of His words are loving and bring me peace. When I have done badly, He just withdrew His spirt and I was left alone. That is an awful feeling. No light, no guidance, no direction in my life, no whisperings of truth. That is my experience with chastisement.

      No, I do not believe God sends us bad feelings about ourselves. I think what happens is, we disobey in some way, the Spirit departs, and Satan jumps in and tells us we’re hopeless, stupid, evil and unsaveable, should have known better, and might as well just give up.

      Every feeling, every prompting – everything from God is “Light and Truth”. He doesn’t accuse. As James 1:5 says, “and upbraideth not” which means, he doesn’t “find fault, reproach severly, censure, or accuse, criticise or blame”. He just withdraws.

      I believe that if you combine this understanding, with all that the Un-Blog family has been saying about how to recognize the good promptings, and just completely turn away from whatever appears to be “chastisement” that you will find your answer.

      Remember, if it is not from God, then it is from the Devil, and everything that nasty little bugger does is meant to destroy you. Just give him no heed at all. Repair whatever little error has pushed aside the Holy Spirit, and luxuriate in the Peace the spirit brings.

      If this doesn’t answer your question yet, keep asking it until I understand what you are saying. I want to solve this issue for you before we move on. OK?

      Brother John

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      • Chris says:

        A key word that was used in this reply is “Accuse”. Brother John is absolutely right that God doesn’t accuse. The title Satan means “Accuser”.

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    • Angel Cicero says:

      mjo5: When we talk about the Abrahamic sacrifice, which is a sacrifice required of all who want to become heirs with God the Father (the type, not the exact same one) we will know of a surety the request comes from the Lord. On Lectures on Faith #6 paragraph 5 it says:

      “For a man to lay down his all, his character and reputation, his honor and applause, his good name among men, his houses, his lands, his brothers and sisters, his wife and children, and even his own life also, counting all things but filth and dross for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, requires more than mere belief, or supposition that he is doing the will of God, but actual knowledge: realizing, that when these sufferings are ended he will enter into eternal rest; and be a partaker of the glory of God”.

      We will see the progression in the way we receive revelation, to the point in which we will know of a surety something is coming from the Lord. If a person barely understands the principle of revelation through the Holy Ghost, and he is starting to be obedient, he will not be asked to do a sacrifice of the type of Abraham. That will come with time, as the person progresses in this principle of revelation…

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    • Angel Cicero says:

      Also: “THE SPIRIT OF REVELATION is in connection with these blessings. A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that by noticing it, you may find it fulfilled the same day or soon; (i. e.) those things that were presented unto your minds by the Spirit of God, will come to pass; and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus”. History of the Church, 3:379-381

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  13. darrell brashear says:

    Dear KJO5.
    My brother and I read your comment and felt we should share with you the things we learned regarding this subject.

    Believe it or not, the answer to this question is found in Moroni, chapter 7. In this chapter, Mormon sets the groundwork for what good and evil really are. This chapter gives all of the keys for being able to recognize the difference of what is truly good and what is truly evil.

    First, Mormon defines what evil really is: He says, “For behold, God hath said a man being EVIL cannot do that which is GOOD; for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with REAL INTENT it profiteth him nothing.

    For behold, it is not counted unto him for righteousness.

    For behold, if a man being EVIL giveth a gift, he doeth it GRUDGINGLY; wherefore it is counted unto him the same as if he had retained the gift; wherefore he is counted EVIL before God. And likewise also is it counted EVIL unto a man, if he shall pray and not with REAL INTENT OF HEART; yea, and it profiteth him nothing, for God receiveth none such.” ( Moroni 7:6-9)

    In verse 12 of that same chapter, Mormon further states, “Wherefore, all things which are GOOD cometh of God [including the right intent of heart]; and that which is EVIL cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God…” (Moroni 7:12)

    Mormon defines evil as giving grudging gifts or giving gifts or praying without real intent. So if the devil invites and entices us to do evil, then we can conclude that he will invite and entice us to give grudging gifts and pray without real intent, as he would love for us to give gifts as long as its not our heart. He knows if the Lord doesn’t have our hearts, then He doesn’t have us at all.

    It may seem like a strange idea for Satan to entice us to give a gift to the Lord, but we know he did the same thing with Cain when he commanded Cain to make an offering to the Lord. (Moses 5:18-19) Likewise, he can cause us to feel like we are serving God and offering acceptable gifts and sacrifices, when in reality, our hearts are no closer to God. We begin to feel like robots and the price to pay seems to high because there is no desire, or we begin to be filled with pride and feel as if we are doing all of the works on our own.

    In closing, Mormon then gives the keys on how to recognize the true promptings from the Spirit of the Lord. The keys are given in verses 13 through 17 of that same chapter in Moroni. These are the keys that we have found so far in these verses:
    1.That which is of God INVITETH and ENTICETH to do good continually. In other words, God makes good things desirable to you. If something is inviting and enticing then it is desirable to you; therefore, you are able to do good with the right intent.

    2. That which is of God causes one to feel love for God. If you get a prompting that separates your heart from God, no matter how correct it sounds in your mind, you can know it is not from God.

    3. That which is of God persuades us to believe in Christ, in other words, to put our trust in Him and His power in our lives instead of in our own strength.

    4. That which is of God is a gift. When you receive a prompting, does it feel like a gift?

    5. That which is of God is empowering. He will empower us to do good by giving us the desire and power to do good. Desire is a gift from Him. Have you ever did something that you felt to do from the heart, not for gain or from obligation or duty or for praise, but just because you felt the desire? You can rest assured it was from the Lord.

    Lastly, we wish to quote a scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants. It states, “Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind AND IN YOUR HEART, by the Holy Ghost, WHICH SHALL DWELL IN YOUR HEART [notice where the Spirit dwells].

    Now, behold, THIS IS THE SPIRIT OF REVELATION; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.” (D&C 8:2-3).

    The way to always tell is to pay attention not only to how it sounds in your mind, but especially how it feels in your heart and where it leads your heart. You can always tell if it causes a greater love for the Lord and for others.

    We are sorry if this went over 250 words. We just felt the need to include all of this. We hope it helps.
    Brothers D&C

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  14. Sharon Cox says:

    I was just pondering this question this morning!

    There is a situation going on in my life currently, to which I needed a divine answer and so I went to the temple this morning seeking the answer. As I sat in the celestial room pondering the situation, I remembered you teaching us that satan cannot imitate peace, so during and after my prayer, I paid close attention to how I was feeling – was I feeling anxious, confused, fearful, or peaceful. Fortunately, I felt the latter. But it didn’t end there. I called my mom shortly afterwards and was surprised to learn that she had received a divine message a few days earlier which she had not understood, but which, as it turned out was confirmation to the answer that I had just received!

    I have had similar experiences in the past, where I would feel inspired about something then it is confirmed by someone else. This leads me to believe that “by two or more witnesses” is a principle which God often uses to establish His word. I have never heard of or read about satan using this principle, but I could be wrong.

    Also, in my experience, answers to my prayers have come in one of 3 ways – yes, no or not yet. “No” and “not yet” always comes with an explanation and council as to what I need to be doing. If I still feel confused or have questions after I have prayed over something, I can be certain that I either asked the wrong question or I already made up my mind about it and simply wanted Heavenly Father to go along with my decision.

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  15. Angel Cicero says:

    I’ve mentioned this before, but I will again, as the Lord wants this to be known. There is a book written called “Conquering Spiritual Evil” that talks about how not to be deceived by the adversary. See, there are many more things than we supposed going on on the other side of the veil. Lucifer, and Satan, attack all of us children of Heavenly Father in ways we don’t even imagine. If we don’t have the knowledge of what’s going on on the other side of the veil, WE WILL BE DECEIVED! This book is not for sale at any store that I know of, and luckily I’ve bought a few copies for people interested on it. After sharing it with a few of my friends, they all called me back thanking me for sharing it with them.
    John, I’ll be happy to give you a copy of it any time you want, so that you can let me know what you think about it…I think it is also very related to all the work you are doing with Spencer.
    If anybody is interested, send me an e-mail through my website…
    God bless you all!

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    • John Pontius says:

      I guess I better read this book. I will contact you via email and give you my address. I’m reluctant to recommend this book until I have read it.

      I appreciate the offer, but let me read it before I recommend it to the Un-Blog family.

      Thanks, John

      Like

  16. John Costello says:

    The other day I shared an experience I had had with receiving personal revelation with a friend. I had been fasting and praying that I would be fit for such an experience in the Lord’s own time. When it happened, it was so simple and remarkable and surprising, it made me smile and even laugh. Still does. I thought on it for a day or so and made a little list of evidences of revelation for my own personal use. I suppose it is the same for all. My friend added a few of her own qualifications and sent them to me. I’ll share them here and maybe they will be a blessing to others.

    It edifies
    I would have never thought of it
    It blessed both lives at least
    It is kind
    It changes hearts
    We both, at least, grew 
    It showed the details of God’s love and concern
    Demonstrates that nothing is too small
    God hears our sincere prayers
    God is anxious to bless lives
    He hears our knocking at His door
    It required some small sacrifice on my part that made me not be sure I wanted to do it, but when I did I was greatly blessed.
    It felt too insignificant to be important enough for God to care about it so it was easy to discount
    It was not incompatible with scriptures, prophetic counsel, or good judgment
    It did not glorify me or add to my personal status or importance in the eyes of others

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  17. Donald says:

    I commented earlier that I was reading Moroni chapter 7 last night. It helped me to better understand how to discern right from wrong. These are a few of the verses that were helpful to me:

    15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.

    16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every bman, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

    17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do aevil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

    19 Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ.

    It really is as Brother John has been teaching us…. be obedient… obtain and take the Spirit as our guide…. continue to diligently press forward.

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  18. NB says:

    A WORD OF CAUTION
    If there is anything that Satan likes to do, it is to turn things upside down or get them out of proper sequence. Remember that we are hungering and thirsting after righteousness. This is the primary objective. Is there a plausible substitute with which Satan can get us sidetracked? Yes. What is it then? Truth, yes, truth. Are we not rushing about all over the land in a mad search for truth? Is this not the purpose of our educational institutions? But what of righteousness? You don’t get a diploma for that, do you? Somehow it seems to have lost its importance. One of the functions of the Holy Ghost is to teach. He always teaches the truth and He gives it to us primarily because of righteousness. Once in a while He will chastize for unrighteousness, however, pure knowledge is a byproduct of righteousness. Hunger and thirst after righteousness and truth will come in its proper order. The Savior expressed it this way:

    Then, said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, IF YE CONTINUE IN MY WORD, then are ye my disciples indeed; and YE SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE. (John 8:31,32)
    SOURCE: http://toddjumper.com/ETMC/chapter5.htm

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