Peace


I really enjoyed your inspired words on humility. I consider that the body of truth we acquired was greater than I could have written on my own. Thank you.

I would like to propose a different question. This is one I’m personally not sure about. One of our readers asked “Can Satan imitate peace?” She wondered if by the dark ones withdrawing their opposition to something for a short time can they imitate peace just by lifting the conflict?

I don’t want to use this question to post ghost stories or harrowing events with the “dark side” if we can avoid it. If you have an inspired opinion or awesome quote, this is what I hope you will share.

What say you?

I will be out of town until next week. I will look forward to your input.

God Bless,

Brother John

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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38 Responses to Peace

  1. Joel says:

    “There are certain distinct feelings of the Spirit which Satan cannot counterfeit. Some might ask: How can I distinguish between my own psychological feelings verses impressions of the Spirit? For most this is a life-long educational process. But in the interim we can proceed with assurance that there are certain feelings of the heart and impressions of the mind that come only from heaven. Even Satan, the great counterfeiter cannot duplicate them. I share a few such feelings and impressions. One is peace. The Savior said, “My peace I give unto you.” Oliver Cowdery had been in Joseph Smith Senior’s home and prayed to know the truth of the Book of Mormon. There he received a convincing assurance of peace, but he never told Joseph Smith of this experience. …Oliver had received peace. The Lord reaffirmed his prior experience and feelings. There was no way Joseph Smith could have known of Oliver’s earlier experience except through revelation. This was the Lord’s confirmation that peace comes only from Him. (Elder Tad R. Callister, “Receiving and Recognizing Revelation”, BYU-Hawaii Dev., Aug 18, 2009)

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  2. How To Develop the Gift of Discernment, LDS Church News, 1995, 11/18/95
    His Spirit is always one of warmth, peace and joy, a feeling of “rightness.” Satan cannot counterfeit this peace and warmth, but his temptations come with a dark, confused, anxious or fearful feeling. The Lord’s spirit of love casts these out. The more we practice hearing and obeying the Spirit in our lives, the more we can discern the spirit in anything we read, hear, see or do as being good or evil. The main principle by which we can discern is to always do that which will be edifying, uplifting and beneficial to our Father’s children in bringing them back home to Him.-Hollye Holmquist, Lancaster, Calif.

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  3. Robin Carlson says:

    Dear Bro John:
    After reading all 29 previous comments I find myself with 2 thoughts as follows:
    1. Satan can TRY to counterfeit practically anything, being the arch deceiver and liar, but the projected consequences of accepting the counterfeit would
    be a dead giveaway.
    2. The gift of discernment would be most useful in detecting Satanic counterfeits. Perhaps seeking to Father in Heaven in the name of our Lord and Savior for this gift of the Spirit is something to be considered?
    Thank you for posing the question.
    Sincerely,
    Robin Carlson

    An afterthought: I too don’t want to SHOUT but there doesn’t seem to be a way to emphasize other than the all caps. Is there something else?

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  4. Rusty says:

    Long ago I was taught that Satan can’t imitate peace. I told my husband about your question and what I had been taught and he said he had never heard that teaching. So I started searching – on LDS Collector’s Library 2005 and LDS.org. This was the only quote I could find…
    Hartman Rector, Jr., and Connie Rector, No More Strangers, 4 vols., 4:, p.69
    “He outlines eight points of Catholic doctrine which caused him consternation. After much tribulation and refining, the miracle occurred and Edwin Granger is at peace at last. Satan cannot counterfeit the gift of peace.”
    Perhaps the key is “the gift” of peace. Satan tries to imitate anything he can to deceive people. The account of Moses in the PofGP (Moses 1) is the perfect example. Moses had just been in the Lord’s presence. He knew what real glory was like and he couldn’t be fooled by Satan’s imitation. So when we have experience with the gifts of light, love, peace, Spirit, truth, etc., whatever Satan comes up with is easily distinguished from the real thing. I had a similar experience on my mission with someone giving a prayer that was inspired by the wrong source and I FELT the darkness.
    Satan may TRY to imitate gifts of the Spirit, but he can’t produce the real thing. And we can only distinguish his lies if we have experienced God’s true gifts and we have the Spirit with us to help us see and feel the truth. When pride enters our hearts, we can be deceived. That’s why it’s so dangerous to our souls. There is only one Prince of Peace.

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    • Denise says:

      I recently heard that an elderly man was asked what the most important lesson he had learned in his life was. After a brief pause he stated, “Satan can’t imitate peace.” I appreciate your comments & insight.

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  5. Dean says:

    I think one of the reasons the road to heaven seemingly goes through hell is because of the understanding that comes in no other way. We have to fall short and then pick ourselves up through the enabling power of the atonement over and over. These trials enable us to learn to distinguish the voices of God and the voice of the adversary. It is neccessary to have a knowledge of both voices- there flavor and attributes so we can clearly distinguish between the two.
    We can’t clearly and perfectly discern the voice of God unless we learn through experience. I believe the peace of the Lord becomes clearly discernable through the same process.
    We can’t perfectly obey Gods voice untill we can distinguish it clearly. Gods peace is a part of his voice. They are inseparable. It is truly a peace that surpasses all understanding.

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  6. James says:

    I saw this last night and didn’t have much in mind to comment. But today at church I heard something that brought insight I hadn’t considered before.

    A speaker made the passing comment regarding how non-members or recent converts often seem more sensitive to the spirit because the feeling is new to them, as opposed to we who have had the gospel and have grown ‘accustomed’ to having the spirit all the time and do not notice it as easily. We’ve all heard this, likely believed it and even taught it at times. However, in light of this post and considering true doctrine, I believe this to be an example of the adversary mimicking peace. We ponder – why don’t I feel the same love/zeal/enlightenment as Joe-convert? Satan whispers, ‘you’re just so spiritual you can’t tell. Joe’s stretching to hit 60 watts while you’re on standby at 120…’ Whew, glad to know I’m ok and don’t need to change anything. Satan says, ‘mission accomplished’.

    ‘The Spirit shall not always strive with man’, is true. However, it’s never like, ‘there’s the spirit again, (yawn)’. The sublime influence of the Holy Spirit is never mundane, routine or boring. Understanding the doctrine of the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost is key, in that the ordinance says ‘receive the Holy Ghost’ as an admonition into the future, and not a mandate from that moment on (i.e. the recipient is not infused with the gift at that moment). Elder Bednar taught this in the Oct 2010 conference.

    Symptoms of this same spiritual dillemma are apparant by Alma’s query (Alma 5:26), ‘my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?’ Evidently, Alma did not think that time and exposure was meant to dampen sensitivity to the spirit. In particular, I like the rest of Alma 5 and 2 Ne 31 for solutions.

    I learned a lot from pondering this today and I thank Bro. John for providing this forum and thank all for your comments and personal stories, many of which I relate to almost verbatim. Good Sabbath to all.

    James

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  7. darrell brashear says:

    I do not believe that Satan can imitate peace in any way. The scriptures say that ALL good things come from God (Moroni 7:12). Another scripture in Alma reads, ” Yea, and I also exhort you, my brethren, that ye be watchful unto prayer continually, that ye may not be led away by the temptations of the devil, that he may not overpower you, that ye may not become his subjects at the last day; FOR BEHOLD, HE REWARDETH YOU NO GOOD THING”. (Alma 34:39)

    In Galatians, there is a list given whereby we can recognize the Spirit of the Lord from any other spirit. It reads, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, PEACE, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law”. ( Galatians 5:22-23)

    I do not believe these things would be listed as ways to recognize the Spirit of the Lord if Satan could imitate things like love or peace or joy.

    The last scripture I would like to quote comes from Moroni. It reads, “For behold, a bitter fountain [Satan] CANNOT bring forth good water; neither can a good fountain [Christ] bring forth bitter water; wherefore, a man being a servant of the devil cannot follow Christ; and if he follow Christ he cannot be a servant of the devil. Wherefore, ALL things which are good cometh of God…..” (Moroni 7:11-12)

    The last thing I wanted to mention is that all things are in the hands of our Father in heaven (including Satan), and Satan cannot do anything but what he is permitted to do. The most he can do is give us a false sense of security.

    Brother D.

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  8. cheyenne brashear says:

    I don’t believe Satan can imitate peace. I believe that Satan’s bounds and limitations are set by God. I think if Satan had his way, he would assault us continually without ceasing.

    The power that Satan is allowed to oppose us with in each of our lives is different depending on what our Father in Heaven knows we need for our growth, learning, and experience; anything more than this would be harmful and therefore not allowed by God. I feel the more a person grows spiritually, the more leeway Satan is granted to try to oppose us because our confidence, faith, and trust in God increases and so does our power and grace with and in the Lord.

    I know that even people who are addicts aren’t continually barraged with temptation, they act out in cycles. I’ve spoken to people that have had certain addictions that say that alot of times their mind is clear and the temptations aren’t overwhelming, but then when the moment of temptation comes, they lose all reason and the only thing that matters in that moment is acting on the temptation.

    I feel that even for people who have continually made wrong choices even to the point of addiction, that God grants them and us grace periods without the opposition so that we can prepare( scripture study, prayer and supplication, fasting, etc..) so that when the time of temptation or opposition comes we won’t be overwhelmed or taken off guard. It reminds me of the Nephites who built great walls, barriers, and towers around their towns and cities during peacetime, so that when the Lamanites came to war against them, they could see them coming and were protected against the Lamanites’ assaults. Brother C.

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  9. Jeremy says:

    I personally don’t know what he cannot disguise himself as. The GREAT deceiver.

    Once I placed high value on a certain brand of sunglasses. When I saw for the first time a fake pair, it was very apparent. I was at a little shop with a friend at the time. When the owner noticed me telling my friend the glasses where not genuin he promptly told me to leave.

    True peace is much the same I think. If you value it and are familiar with it, most likely the counterfeit will be apparent. Maybe not at first when you look with your eyes, but when you put it on it will fit a little awkward.

    (I currently don’t value sunglasses the same way and therefore might easily be deceived into purchasing a counterfeit or a poor product)

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  10. My friend shared this with me today:
    In DC 9, the Lord tells Oliver to cast his mind back to the peace he had felt before. Sometimes the Lord blesses us with peace and assurances long before we need them, trusting us to treasure it up in our hearts and cast our minds back in a moment of need, exercising continued faith that if the Lord cared for us then that he does so now.

    In my own life, I have sometimes received revelation years before I actually needed it. On reflection, it seems this is one way the Lord he’s us to not be deceived: only he can know the future, and so only he could give us that guidance.

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  11. Ilene

    I suspect that Satan never stops trying to ensnare us in his ways. It seems likely that if we stop hearing his ‘voice’, it could be because we are following his way, or have decided to follow his way, so he has no more reason to continue ‘speaking’ to us.

    Example: Let’s say I’m trying desperately to decide if it’s OK to install a marble counter top in my kitchen. I’ve struggled with this decision for months, weighing the ‘right and wrong’ of it. One voice says of course it’s right because it will add to the value of my home. That seems a good reason. Another voice reminds me of the many worthwhile uses for the extra money marble will cost. Feeding the hungry, financing missionaries to name only two. I finally decide to install the marble. I feel at peace.

    Is it possible that because Satan is now pleased with my decision he doesn’t need to talk to me anymore about it? His tactics are so subtle.

    Learning to distinguish which voice is speaking, or what’s really going on, is one of the most important lessons we need to learn.

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  12. jodee maas says:

    True peace is more than the absence of conflict. It is like saying the absence of darkness is light. True peace is a joy and love that flows from the Holy Spirit and I do not think the adversary is capable of imitating it.

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  13. wil says:

    My name is Wil (I am the son of Genevieve and William living in France).
    I am actually working and living in China.

    I would like to quote a scripture that came to my mind as soon as I saw your question.
    In 2 nephi 28:21 we can read:

    “And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well- and thus he devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.”

    When us members, take the commitment to follow OUR Savior and LORD Jesus Christ no matter what, Satan will bring and send us his BEST soldiers.

    I always think about Gospel topics like an army.

    In every army, there is what we call SPECIAL FORCES.
    Even Moroni had his special forces; SPECIAL FORCES are soldiers that went through a HARDER training than normal soldiers do, soldiers that are stronger, faster, better, have more capacities than normal soldiers.

    We use SPECIAL FORCES when we need something VERY special, OR that the enemy that we have in front of us is REALLY strong, and a REAL threat to us.

    Well Satan does the same, when us members take that commitment to follow Our Savior NO matter what, we are OPENLY and FREELY giving war to Satan.

    We become a REAL threat for Satan; so he sends us “HIS special forces”.
    BUT on the other end, if we do not commit to that, why would Satan spend and use “HIS special forces” on someone, weak and that is not commited.

    We read in 2 Nephi 28:21 that he will pacify and lull some away. If someone is not commited, it is NOT a threat so his plans, so why should he bother to give him troubles?

    He will surely do the opposite and give us “some peace”.

    We should ALWAYS remember that he is the MASTER of LIES and SINS.

    Master means someone that know EVERYTHING about a subject.

    Like OUR Savior knows EVERYTHING about love, compassion, sacrifice;

    Satan knows everything about lies,deceiving people ….

    He can give us a “peaceful time” to get us, so we can relax and think that the hard time is gone, and in that way put down our barriers and relax.

    In the Book of Mormon, Moroni did that with the Lamanites.
    He made them feel relax, confortable, so they could put down their barriers of protection, and feel like if everything was peaceful.

    It was just a stratagem, to better get them (Alma 55).

    Moroni gave them something they liked and that made them relax (in that case it was wine).
    Once they were drunk (once we are in that “satan’s immitated peace state”) he came and took over them, and took them as prisoners of war.

    Satan does EXACTLY the same.

    Satan ALWAYS works by stratagem, he has more than 6000 years of experience in the field of deceiving people.

    I KNOW that Satan can imitate peace, that is why the Lord told us to NEVER cease to pray.

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  14. loralcl says:

    I was taught years ago that one of the hallmarks of distinguishing the source of “revelation” was that Satan cannot give peace, that one can know with confidence that revelation is of heaven if one feels peace in the process. I have found this guideline to be accurate and helpful. I do not believe that by merely withdrawing, Satan or his minnions can create a false peace. Nor do i believe that they will want to withdraw- opportunities are too tempting to them as well.

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  15. Jon Richardson says:

    John 14:
    27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

    It seems that there is more than one kind of peace, so maybe we just need to be careful to distinguish between them. Jesus said that the peace he gives is not as the world gives so I think the devil cannot mimick the Lord’s peace.

    I have seen people battling with the spirit, getting weary; then falling away to find some peace. That is a sort of peace which is temporary.

    BY said: For a man to undertake to live a Saint and walk in darkness is one of the hardest tasks that he can undertake. You cannot imagine a position that will sink a person more deeply in perplexity and trouble than to try to be a Saint without living as a Saint should, without enjoying the spirit of his religion.

    It is key to get the spirit right or the Gospel will not give you peace in the long run either.

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  16. Heather Joyce says:

    The absence of stress and adversity is a wonderful thing! However, it does not feel the same as peace. If the glow of love for all around me is not there, I do not have the Spirit with me. That is the hallmark for me of the Lord’s influence.

    Joseph Smith wrote “Love is one of the chief characteristics of Deity, and ought to be manifested by those who aspire to be the sons of God. A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.”

    When I happily and eagerly serve and love others, I am filled with the Lord’s peace and contentment. His peace fills me with a deep joy that cannot be surpassed! Phil 4:7

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  17. ken h says:

    President George Albert Smith gave this promise to Church members that we may all remember in times of trouble:
    “There are two influences in the world. The one is the influence of our Heavenly Father and the other is the influence of Satan. We can take our choice which territory we want to live in, that of our Heavenly Father or that of Satan.
    “I have many times repeated what my grandfather said. He, too, talked from this stand, and it was he who gave me his name. In advising his family he said, ‘There is a line of demarcation, well defined. On one side of the line is the Lord’s territory. On the other side of the line is the devil’s territory.’ And he said, ‘If you will stay on the Lord’s side of the line, you are perfectly safe, because the adversary of all righteousness cannot cross that line.’
    “What does that mean? It means to me that those who are living righteous lives, keeping all of the commandments of our Heavenly Father are perfectly safe, but not those who trifle with his advice and counsel” (George Albert Smith, in Conference Report, Oct. 1949, pp. 5–6).
    Satan will not stop seeking our misery and is obsessed with us, the saints of God, in failing miserably in our duties to God and ourselves. Peace only can come from the Prince of Peace, even Jesus Christ. If Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace, then the Holy Ghost is the Messinger of Peace. When we keep the commandments of God we have the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Only then when we are in harmony with the Godhead can we experience true peace. Satan possesses knowledge but not wisdom which is the righteous use of knowledge. If he were wise he would command his followers to sit down and do nothing. That would thwart the Father‘s plan by eliminating the “opposition in all things.” But he and those who follow him are completely determined to see that we become miserable as they are.

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  18. Rand says:

    In my opinion no, the adversary cannot mimic the virtue of peace. From my experience and my view, peace is created by viewing a life situation or circumstance from the same perspective as God does. We thus feel the same about it as God does. The sense of peace comes from having the same view as God has of the topic of interest or the circumstance of interest. It is what draws us toward being one with him.
    Satan’s attempt to mimic peace have an edge of agitation or excitement that leaves one feeling slightly short of breath, while true peace has no sense of anything but complete rightness.

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  19. WildIvy says:

    Satan seems to have a counterfeit for just about everything. It seems to me that perhaps his poor corollary here is apathy?
    And what a poor counterfeit it is.
    Apathy promises to remove us from our troubles now, by disconnecting us from everything as we curl up inside ourselves and attempt to cease existing.
    But with true peace, we experience an expansion of self, an increased awareness of harmony and all that is good, and a sense of perspective that carries us past life’s waves on this end of the pond, however large they may be. We are connected and expanded.

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  20. Steve H. says:

    The Yorgasons mentioned this a bit in “Spiritual Survival in the Last Days.” There is man’s peace, which is an illusion, perhaps a lull in the series of wars that plague certain regions, and the Lord’s peace, which can only really exist on the Earth during the Millennium.

    Man’s peace, in my mind consists of peace treaties and military peace keeping forces. Governments impose tyranny fir the sake of man’s peace, and, as under Mao, millions are slaughtered. Satan, in my opinion, can only counterfeit peace. Man’s peace,in most cases is Satan’s version of true peace, but because deceived men can only conceive of forced peace, they aim to bring it about through force.

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  21. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

    To the world, peace is an absence of conflict. The peace Jesus gives is the quiet assurance that we please God and are on the right path. Jesus seems to have known some might get confused looking for the wrong peace. Jesus instructed his disciples to open their hearts (not troubled or afraid) so that they would be able to feel His peace. Jesus’ peace comes because of our faith in Him.

    Satan doesn’t want us to exercise faith in Jesus. If we know the voice of the Lord and have unshaken faith in Him, we will know the real peace and not be deceived.

    I have been deceived by false assurances of things I wanted, but only as an attempt to shake my faith in Christ. As I realize that now, I know that the right thing to do after being deceived (and we will all be deceived sooner or later) is to press forward with faith in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

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  22. Mark says:

    An ancient Indian proverb says, “Where there is peace, there is truth.” I have found a lot of comfort in that and haven’t really questioned it until now. I’ve always believed and still do believe that peace is not counterfeit-able, unlike just about every other feeling including love. I wish I could quote a prophet and then just accept it as truth, but isn’t that the whole point of life eternal, to know God the Eternal Father and Jesus Christ ourselves? We must know their voice and be able to decipher what is truth, independent of any quote, statement or even scripture. As such, I believe that peace can only be delivered from one source, Jesus Christ the Peacemaker himself. John 14:27
    “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
    I am not convinced that the peace given by the Savior is the same as a feeling of intermission from a storm. Relief is different than peace. The feeling of peace given from the Savior, not as the world giveth, is unique and fully recognizable when felt, but a bit difficult to adequately describe. I have felt the euphoria of relief from a dire situation, but I would still prefer the gift of peace delivered by the Lord. It’s not only a feeling of relief, but an assurance of care from and by the Creator himself. It’s a feeling of calm, confidence and humility light, truth and knowledge all quietly felt at once. I know the adversary and his legions cannot produce that. Moses 1:13-15 describes this contrast. So, my answer is a resounding NO! The adversary cannot imitate the peace given by, through and from our Savior. Can we possibly mistake a feeling of relief as peace? I would say, only if you have never felt the peace offered by and through the Savior. They are two different, distinct feelings.

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  23. LCP says:

    My first comment here on the unblog and I’m not yet sure what exactly I’m going to say. I guess I will just start typing my gut reaction and see if it makes any sense. I think that Satan can imitate peace, I think that he can probably come very close to the “real thing”, and I think that he can probably fool many people. Only when we know the real peace that comes from the spirit of the Lord, will we be able to distinguish what is real and what is counterfeit. (Something I am still learning, little by little.) I guess I think that Satan can give us the peace that comes from the ABSENCE OF DARKNESS, but he will never be able to give us the peace that comes from the PRESENCE OF LIGHT.

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  24. Kent says:

    I have noticed, peace from our Father is always accompanied with unconditional love which inspires me to share that love, and to uplift and edify others through service. Peace and love can be felt even during conflict, as we pray for help with our problems and concerns. Lack of conflict in my life doesn’t necessary provide me this same peace, but a feeling of being calm or rest.

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  25. DHP says:

    I say no. But I believe he can lull us into thinking we are “at peace” when we “prosper” and think it is a sign of divine approval. 2 Nephi 28:19-21 is an excellent example of what I am referring to. The peace God gives is a peace “which passeth all understanding” – and that cannot be counterfeited.

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  26. JohnD says:

    I had an experience while knocking on doors on my mission where an evangelical couple invited us in, we shared our message but it did not go well so we asked if we could end in prayer, agreeing to disagree. They accepted but wanted to say the prayer and so they did. At first it was a nice prayer, mostly preaching to us, and then he started to talk in what later he said was tongues, and at first I was shocked, I felt the spirit and was kind of taken back, but as he continued it was obvious to me it was the wrong spirit I was feeling, it turned dark, my companion later told me , he actually used the priesthood, non verbally, to cast out the evil spirit at which time the man stopped “speaking in tongues” and went back to English, then started up again and my companion used the priesthood again, and again he stopped, this went on for a few minutes. The man finally stopped and we left. The point is however at the beginning of his prayer in “tongues” I felt what I thought was the Lords spirit, and maybe had I not known what the true spirit of the Lord feels like; I could have been fooled longer. It did feel good for a few seconds before turning ugly.

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