Three Essential "Words" The Elect Use to Avoid Deception

This past year in my religious community there has been a unique phrase shared inviting us to increase our ability to hear the voice of the Lord more clearly. In the April 2020 Worldwide Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson exhorted all followers of God to seek out greater direction for our lives from the Lord Jesus Christ as he invited us to “Hear Him.” In his first address to this same congregation in 2018, he prophetically declared,

In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.”

He then pleaded,
“I urge you to stretch beyond your current spiritual ability to receive personal revelation, for the Lord has promised that “if thou shalt [seek], thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal.”
“Hear Him.”

These words, spoken two millennia ago from the heavens, were once again heard in our day by a 14 year-old boy who knelt to pray in a grove of trees in upstate New York in the year 1820.

Young Joseph Smith had for some time been observing the war of words and opinions, as the preachers and pastors of various denominations in the surrounding New England religious communities argued over Biblical doctrine. Many differing viewpoints and interpretations of the Bible often caused great contention. He noticed with concern that his parents were not fully united as to which denomination was most correct according to their knowledge of the Bible. Joseph himself began wondering and asking which of all the churches was most correct and which he should join. As he was seeking for answers, he found direction through this serious wondering way as he read in the New Testament, in the Book of James, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God.” This scripture came with great power into his heart and he determined to do this. He later recorded his remarkable Vision of the appearance of God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ to him. His account reads: “One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other-This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”

Since the onslaught of the worldwide pandemic of 2020 began, it has become clear that, much like the time of Joseph Smith, we also, in our day, find ourselves in the midst of a war of words and tumults of opinions. Contrary voices continue to barrage us daily from all directions.  Images are passed like food platters around the family table, all intended to persuade, dispute, divide, and even suppress. Shocking seen and unseen censorship has come in the form of fact-checkers and recent articles in support of this censorship.  To rephrase Joseph Smith’s words in a way that describes our similar situation,

"In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions," of virus and death numbers, media images, uncertainties in the economy, business losses, Dr.'s whose experiences with the people and medicines contradict the gov't authority... [italics represent parts added]

"I often say to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?" ~ Joseph Smith Jr. (read the full account here)
Today, if any person needed wisdom from God, as the Book of James says, it is truly us!

I have recently seen an increase in confusion as World Leaders pose for photo ops showing their personal decisions to support suggestions from governments to take part in popular pharmaceutical experiments that claim to solve the immediate fears of death all in the name of protecting health.

Who of all these persuading parties are right and how shall we know it? How are we to know what we are to do? Should we look to these great leaders and what they do in their personal lives and just follow along? Or, should we do as President Nelson, when speaking under the direction of the Spirit of the Lord in that role, stewardship and position he holds as a Prophet of the Lord, said to do? ~ To “seek our own direction from the Lord and “Hear Him””?

Whether it is today’s troubling current events, overcoming widespread generational iniquity, or any difficult earthly challenge we may face, I suggest using three guiding principles, or “Words”, to understand how to direct our choices with wisdom, and receive verification that we are truly “Hearing Him.”  Matthew 24:24 states “if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”  I know it is not possible for the Elect to be deceived because they are wise enough to use these three “Words” as Gate Keepers, Guide Posts and Light Houses.  They help us discern false worldviews, see through subtle and crafty deceptions, and illuminate our way through spiritual mists of darkness.

The 1st Word:

The Word to Ancient Prophets recorded in Scripture.
The direction and instructions written and recorded in ancient scriptures which are time tested and have endured through the ages are the Words of the Lord Jesus Christ to the hearer and recorder of those records. The answers to today’s challenges are found there. Read, search, ponder, pray about them. Consider our current challenges, and look for the principles taught within these ancient records. Read again. Repeat.

The 2nd Word:

The Word to Modern Prophets as Mouthpieces of the Lord. 

Today, many are fortunate to understand the Lord does give today's news, today, to authorized servants that proclaim His Official Doctrine and direction of the Restored Church of Jesus Christ. When directed through the Holy Spirit, these men speak, write, and record direction consistent with scripture for these last days. If you do not know this yourself, use the other two “Words” to guide you.

The 3rd Word:

The Word to our Heart & Mind from the Holy Spirit.
The Lord himself and His Holy Spirit will guide us as you seek for their direction. Each of us were born with the Light of Christ (same as conscience or chi) to guide us through discerning goods and bads, rights and wrongs, the comfortable and uncomfortable. If that voice is not as strong as we’d like, we can remove distraction around us and become more sensitive and aware. We must nurture this light and educate our conscience for it to grow. This is the same as “Hearing Him!” We must practice day by day, following inspired and good thoughts and ideas which come into our minds and hearts.  For all good comes from Christ!  Recording these thoughts, ideas and experiences will help our mind remember them, become more aware of them, and increase our capacity to receive more.

As we hear and receive instruction and direction, including the good, better or best, or even that which may be contradictory and cause confusion, we can hear this “Word” from the Spirit of the Lord helping us test, verify, confirm these goods or bads. By comparing what we hear and receive with all THREE of these “Words”, we can look for the truth confirmed by 2-3 witnesses of “The Word.”

The Elect, who are wise and have taken “The Word” to be their guide, always verify the truth by using all three “Words” in order to avoid deception.

Resources to read more: