Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Three False Prophets

The Savior warned that prior to His Second Coming, "many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many." (Matt. 24:11.) False prophets come in different types. This post will examine three.


This false prophet has received instructions from God to overthrow the existing prophet and run things himself. Howard W. Hunter once met someone who is an example of this type of false prophet.

"On February 7, 1993, President Hunter went to Brigham Young University to speak at a fireside that was attended by 17,000 people. He was just beginning his address when a man rushed onto the stand, carrying a briefcase in one hand and a black object in the other. 'Stop right there!' the man shouted. He threatened to detonate what he claimed was a bomb unless President Hunter read a prepared statement. President Hunter refused and stood resolutely at the pulpit the entire time the man was threatening him. As fear and commotion spread through the building, the audience began to sing 'We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet.' After a few minutes of suspense, two security personnel restrained the man, and President Hunter was lowered to the floor for safety. When order was restored, he rested briefly and then continued with his remarks. 'Life has a fair number of challenges in it,' he began, and then added, 'as demonstrated.'" (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Howard W. Hunter, pp. 28-29.)

The man later told the Deseret News in an interview from his jail cell, "I am just doing exactly what the Lord has commanded me." He said he had asked President Hunter to "read a three-page letter that released the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency of the church and confirmed [himself] as president of the church." He also said that when the audience started singing "We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet," he thought they were singing to him. (See Deseret News, Feb 9, 1993.)


This false prophet doesn't claim to be a prophet, but is a false prophet nevertheless because he views his knowledge of God as being more reliable than revelations received by the true prophet.

The Lord, in D&C 124:84, identifies such a false prophet in Nauvoo who "aspireth to establish his counsel instead of the counsel which I have ordained, even that of the Presidency of my Church."

The group "Ordain Women" is an example of this type of false prophet. The group openly advocates the ordination of LDS women to the priesthood, based on logic, scripture, personal inspiration, and the carefully selected words of certain early Latter-day Saint leaders; but not based on any special or current revelation from God. Nobody in the group claims to be a prophet, but they all want to fix the current LDS doctrine with respect to women and the priesthood.


Ezra Taft Benson, quoting N. Eldon Tanner, said: "'The Prophet spoke out clearly on Friday morning, telling us what our responsibilities are...

"'A man said to me after that, 'You know, there are people in our state who believe in following the Prophet in everything they think is right, but when it is something they think isn't right, and it doesn't appeal to them, then that's different.' He said, 'Then they become their own prophet. They decide what the Lord wants and what the Lord doesn't want.'

"'I thought how true, and how serious when we begin to choose which of the covenants, which of the commandments we will keep and follow, we are taking the law of the Lord into our own hands and become our own prophets, and believe me, we will be led astray, because we are false prophets to ourselves when we do not follow the Prophet of God.'" (Liahona, June 1981.)

According to D&C 84:44, we should "live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God." If we can't do that, we are false prophets to ourselves.


1.  Dallin H. Oaks: : "Our Heavenly Father has given His children two lines of communication with Him—what we may call the personal line and the priesthood line. All should understand and be guided by both of these essential lines of communication.

"In the personal line we pray directly to our Heavenly Father, and He answers us by the channels He has established, without any mortal intermediary....

"The priesthood line is the channel by which God has spoken to His children through the scriptures in times past. And it is this line through which He currently speaks through the teachings and counsel of living prophets and apostles and other inspired leaders....

"Unlike the personal line, in which our Heavenly Father communicates with us directly through the Holy Ghost, the priesthood line of communication has the additional and necessary intermediaries of our Savior, Jesus Christ; His Church; and His appointed leaders....

"We cannot communicate reliably through the direct, personal line if we are disobedient to or out of harmony with the priesthood line.... Unfortunately, it is common for persons who are violating God's commandments or disobedient to the counsel of their priesthood leaders to declare that God has revealed to them that they are excused from obeying some commandment or from following some counsel. Such persons may be receiving revelation or inspiration, but it is not from the source they suppose." (Ensign, Nov. 2010.)

2.  Spencer W. Kimball: "An important rule was given to us by the Prophet Joseph with which you are probably familiar: 'I will give you one of the Keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom. It is an eternal principle, that has existed with God from all eternity. That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is on the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives.'" (Ensign, Jan. 1973.)

3.  Spencer W. Kimball: "President [George Q.] Cannon warned.... that the Lord gives the authority to judge and condemn only to the regularly constituted councils of the Church and not to man generally; 'and those who lift their voices … against the authority of the Holy Priesthood ... will go down to hell, unless they repent.'" (Ensign, Jan. 1973.)

4.  M. Russell Ballard: "Beware of those who speak and publish in opposition to God's true prophets and who actively proselyte others with reckless disregard for the eternal well-being of those whom they seduce." (Ensign, Nov. 1999.)

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