It is astonishing to witness the scriptures come true. It is scary to see how the things I read and learned about my whole life are now playing right in front of my eyes and it is scary to watch these things unfold, but at the same time we can be comforted because we were warned about it.
In 2 Peter the second chapter, Peter talks about characteristics of those who are false preachers and teachers, those who try to lead us away from the Lord. It is interesting to see those around us all the time and yet sometimes it is so hard to distinguish between someone who is a disciple of Jesus Christ and someone who isn’t simply because the false teachers stick so closely to the truth that you can’t really tell. I love how the second chapter gives us some clues though.
- Covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you
- chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness
- despise government
- Presumptuous and self-willed are they that are not afraid to speak evil of dignities
- speaking evil of the things they understand not
- perish in their own corruption
- pleasure to riot in the day time
- sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they fest with you
- eyes full of adultery
- beguiling unstable souls
- following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness
- when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh
- while they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption
False teachers are definitely sneaky and they are that way because they are led by Satan. We see all these things in our time right now. Corruption is everywhere and things are turned upside down: Good is made evil and evil made good. We truly have to listen to the Holy Ghost and pay good attention to the things people around us say and claim and listen to the Holy Ghost to see whether or not they speak the truth. We can never be careful enough.
Escaping the pollutions of the world is the key to overcoming evil. We need to escape the world by going to the Lord, accepting the gospel into our lives and live righteously. God gave us the commandments for a reason and He wants us to keep them. He wants us to not sin and if we do repent and come back to Him right away. D&C 82:3 is clear on this: “For of him unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation.”
We need to hold on to the iron rod and never let go. When we have the Holy Ghost with us and try to be the person God wants us to be, really try, and avoid sin to the best of our ability we will be blessed. When we have the Holy Ghost with us, it will be hard for Satan to deceive us because we can feel in our heart what is right and wrong. A few years ago, some of my relatives read a book, written about the second coming from a member of the church and the “visions” they had. It talked about preparing for the second coming and was stressing it was urgent. My relatives encouraged me to read it too and they were all ready to jump into action, but I just had a bad feeling about it and it just didn’t feel right. I tried to caution them and not just believe everything they read, but they didn’t listen to me at first. To me it made no sense the way it was written and presented because even though the prophet and apostles have advised us for many years to prepare and be ready, I never felt the urgency that was presented in the book. Luckily one of my uncles is a seventy and so I asked my relatives to contact him and asked him what he thought of it. His reply confirmed my own feelings about it. He said we need to be careful with these things because even members of the church can lead us astray. They themselves might be deceived. Visions and personal revelation are usually very sacred and special and should not be shared with everyone around us. He also reminded us that the prophet and apostles will be the ones receiving revelations with regards to the church. As long as there is a prophet on this earth, the Lord will speak through Him and nobody else when it comes to the gospel and church as a whole.
I am grateful we have the Holy Ghost because He can help us in so many ways. I am also grateful for our church leaders because they will lead us by the hand of the Lord and will not lead us astray. It is a promise Heavenly Father gave to us and all we have to do now is trust in the Lord and follow the counsel of His prophet and apostles. If we do that, we will be blessed and will be strong against Satan’s temptations.