1. We should recognize the deceptions of Satan that can lead us into apostasy.
Video: Satan Seeks to Deceive Us Elder Oaks admonishes how Satan seeks to deceive us (D&C 50:1-9). (1:23)
Video: If They Harden Not Their Hearts This video depicts how pride led to the apostasy of Lyman Johnson and Thomas B. Marsh (D&C 112:1-16). (11:21)
‘[N]o member of the Church has the right to publish any doctrines, as the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, without first submitting them for examination and approval to the First Presidency and the Twelve. There is but one man upon the earth, at one time, who holds the keys to receive commandments and revelations for the Church, and who has the authority to write doctrines by way of commandment unto the Church. And any man who so far forgets the order instituted by the Lord as to write and publish what may be termed new doctrines, without consulting with the First Presidency of the Church respecting them, places himself in a false position, and exposes himself to the power of darkness by violating his Priesthood. ‘(Messages of the First Presidency, 2:235)
D&C 50:3 Satan hath sought to deceive you
‘Satan gives revelations to deceive the children of men… our protection is in following the order of the Church on who should receive revelation for what subject. In this, both men and women have equal responsibility to follow the duly ordained leaders of the church who have the obligation to lead and, on occasion, to correct.
Early in the second year of the Church, the Lord revealed that “there are many spirits which are false spirits, which have gone forth in the earth, deceiving the world.” (D&C 50:2.) The revelation on spiritual gifts tells the elders who were going forth on missions to be righteous and prayerful “that ye may not be seduced by evil spirits, or doctrines of devils, or the commandments of men; for some are of men, and others of devils.” (D&C 46:7.)
Other revelations give instructions that help priesthood leaders discern the spirits and avoid being deceived. Thus, in section 52 of the Doctrine and Covenants we read that “he that speaketh, whose spirit is contrite, whose language is meek and edifieth, the same is of God if he obey mine ordinances.” (D&C 52:16.) In contrast, “he that is overcome and bringeth not forth fruits, even according to this pattern, is not of me.” (D&C 52:18.)… As the Lord said: “That which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness.” (D&C 50:23; see also D&C 50:30-35; Teachings, pp. 203-4.)’ (Dallin H Oaks, “Spiritual Gifts,” Ensign, Sept. 1986, 72)
D&C 64:8 “My Disciples, in Days of Old, Sought Occasion against One Another”
President Joseph Fielding Smith explained: “The Lord declared that when he was in his ministry his disciples sought occasion against one another and failed at times to forgive in their hearts. It was this condition which prompted Peter to ask the Lord how many times he should forgive his brother, ‘till seven times?’ The Lord answered him, ‘I say not unto thee, until seven times, but until seventy times seven.’ (Matt. 18:21–22.) As the disciples of old brought upon themselves affliction and chastening, so we, when we do not have in our hearts the spirit of forgiveness, bring upon ourselves affliction and chastening from the Lord.” (Church History and Modern Revelation,1:235.)
2. We can remain valiant in our testimonies and avoid deception.
Video: Lord, I Believe
D&C 28:2 No one shall be appointed to receive commandments and revelations in this church excepting my servant Joseph Smith
‘When visions, dreams, tongues, prophecy, impressions or any extraordinary gift of inspiration, convey something out of harmony with accepted revelations of the Church or contrary to the decisions of its constituted authorities, Latter-day Saints may know that it is not of God, no matter how plausible it may appear. Also, they should understand that directions for the guidance of the Church will come, by revelation, through the head. All faithful members are entitled to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for themselves, their families, and for those over whom they are appointed and ordained to preside. But anything at discord with that which comes from God through the head of the Church is not to be received as authoritative or reliable. In secular as well as spiritual affairs, saints may receive divine guidance and revelation affecting themselves, but this does not convey authority to direct others, and is not to be accepted when contrary to Church covenants, doctrine or discipline, or to known facts, demonstrated truths, or good common sense. ‘(Joseph F. Smith, Anthon H. Lund, Charles W. Penrose in Latter-day Prophets and the Doctrine and Covenants, by Roy W. Doxey, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978], 1: 297 – 298.)
D&C 43:3 There is none other appointed
The Prophet Joseph Smith stated that “it is contrary to the economy of God for any member of the Church … to receive instruction for those in authority, higher than themselves.”
D&C 26:2 Common consent
‘It may seem rather a dry and formal matter to some of the people to come together and lift up their hands to sustain the authorities of the Church, but it is a necessary duty and if we look at it properly, we shall take pleasure therein. It may seem a little monotonous, but as I have said, it is necessary, for it was designed by the Almighty in the organization of this Church, that the voice of the people should respond to the voice of the Lord. It is the voice of the Lord and the voice of the people together in this Church that sanctions all things therein.’ (Charles W Penrose, Latter-day Prophets and the Doctrine and Covenants [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978], 1: 283.)
D&C 1:37 Search these commandments
‘Moreover, it is the duty of the members of this Church to make themselves familiar with the revelations as they have been given, and with the commandments as they have been taught in these revelations, or have been presented in them and given to the people, that we might know the truth which makes us free. And if we will study them, if we will put them into practice, if we will keep the commandments of the Lord, we will know the truth and there shall be no weapon formed against us that shall prosper. There shall be no false doctrines, no teaching of men that will deceive us. There are many cults and many false faiths, there are many strange ideas in the world, but if we will search these revelations then we will be fortified against errors and we will be made strong. False teachings will have no effect upon us for we will know that truth which makes us free’. (Joseph Fielding Smith, Conference Report, October 1931, First Day-Morning Meeting 16.)