Saturday, January 16, 2016

Part One: Evil Speaking? Discernment?

(Concerning the Restoration & Joseph Smith)

There has probably never been a time in the history of the world when evil speakers and deceivers have had such an instantaneous, global platform—not only to spread latter-day distortions, but to resurrect ones from the past and spread them anew. Considering this, we seem quite naïve about the machinations of “father of lies” and “a liar from the beginning.”1

Do we not understand that every iota of God’s work will be subject to the intense focus of Lucifer and his minions? that lies will be interwoven into every aspect of God’s plan as Lucifer roams the earth ferreting out false witnesses, fomenting “anger against that which is good,”2 seducing grand-standers, tempting and distracting people of covenant, infiltrating congregations, making false promises, confusing, distorting, maligning, contending, and on and on?

Do we not understand that there are many persons without conscience such as John Cook Bennett3—then and now—who have fashioned and will continue to fashion “exposés” in the manner described by William Paley:4
[T]heir … enquiries (if they deserve the name) are … made rather with a view of confirming themselves in those opinions they have already imbibed, than with an earnest desire to discover and embrace Truth wherever she may be found.
Beyond that, we have researchers who rely on scholarly analyses of documents and affidavits produced years ago in an environment of intense hostility and distortion,5 or with an agenda of recording only those witnesses that favored disparagement? What happens when we run these “proofs” through God’s witness about His servants and events?
And thus he [Satan] has laid a cunning plan, thinking to destroy the work of God; but I will require this at their hands, and it shall turn to their shame and condemnation in the day of judgment. Yea, he stirreth up their hearts to anger against this work. Yea, he saith unto them: Deceive and lie in wait to catch, that ye may destroy; behold, this is no harm. And thus he flattereth them, and telleth them that it is no sin to lie that they may catch a man in a lie, that they may destroy him. And thus he flattereth them, and leadeth them along until he draggeth their souls down to hell; and thus he causeth them to catch themselves in their own snare. And thus he goeth up and down, to and fro in the earth, seeking to destroy the souls of men  (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 10:23-27).

Thus Satan thinketh to overpower your testimony in this generation, that the work may not come forth in this generation. But behold, here is wisdom, and because I show unto you wisdom, and give you commandments concerning these things, what you shall do, show it not unto the world until you have accomplished the work of translation. Marvel not that I said unto you: Here is wisdom, show it not unto the world—for I said, show it not unto the world, that you may be preserved. Behold, I do not say that you shall not show it unto the righteous; But as you cannot always judge the righteous, or as you cannot always tell the wicked from the righteous, therefore I say unto you, hold your peace until I shall see fit to make all things known unto the world concerning the matter  (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 10:33-37; bold emphasis added as a caution to us all).
And well before this 1828 plot, do we imagine that Lucifer was twiddling his thumbs while Joseph Smith, Jr. and his family were being led and prepared by God for the great work of the Restoration? Or was Lucifer already at work? Joseph wrote:
So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision [in 1820], yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation  (Pearl of Great Price | JS-History 1:25, bold emphasis added).

… there were many things which transpired that cannot be written and my Fathers family have suffered many persecutions and afflictions … [one of which was the malicious rumor circulating in the fall of 1824 that the body of Joseph’s brother Alvin had been dug up from the place of his internment and dissected6].
Can we even fathom the evil that would invoke such cruelty?

How can we even begin to discern where the webs of Luciferian lies begin and end in this momentous time in world history? Are we participating in evil speaking by asserting “facts” that are really speculations, opinions, beliefs, persuasions, even outright historical fabrications—“facts” that contradict God’s witness? Are we bearing false witness?

Many seem so quick to mock “seer stones” and “glass-looking” despite:
the white stone mentioned in Revelation 2:17 [which] will become a Urim and Thummim to each individual who receives one, whereby things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms will be made known; And a white stone is given to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom, whereon is a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it. The new name is the key word (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 130:10-11);
all the while we spend large portions of our own day, glass-looking7 in our devices that magically transport megabits of data to our vision, even to the extent of taking 3-D tours of ghost towns in China—even to panning, at leisure, buildings, sites, and events no longer existing. Could God have an infinitely greater “technology," or even a simpler one like seer stones, or the Liahona8 that Nephi described? Technologies dependent not on batteries but on faith?
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the pointers which were in the ball, that they did work according to the faith and diligence and heed which we did give unto them. And there was also written upon them a new writing, which was plain to be read, which did give us understanding concerning the ways of the Lord; and it was written and changed from time to time, according to the faith and diligence which we gave unto it. And thus we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things  (Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 16:28-29).
How prevalent has it become to discount the witness9 of God, Joseph Smith, and Oliver Cowdery (the primary scribe) about the use of the Urim and Thummim in Joseph’s translation work because others did not remember or record it that way? Can we even be sure that these alleged memories / records are correctly attributed? Does the previously quoted D&C 10 not put us on notice of the “revision / false attribution” strategy of those early deceivers? Even in our own Mormon historical records, how can we be sure what is original-Joseph and what is revision-Joseph?10

Why is it that we put so much trust in the (alleged?) words, memory, and witness of fallible humans (often recorded or attributed years after an event) which contradict the witness of God? Is that not a form of evil speaking? to disregard, discount, disparage?

In the morass of deception that now floods the WorldWideWeb, how do we discern what is true? This is what Joseph said:11
[W]e shall at last have to come to this conclusion, whatever we may think of revelation, that without it we can neither know nor understand anything of God, or the devil; and however unwilling the world may be to acknowledge this principle, it is evident from the multifarious creeds and notions concerning this matter that they understand nothing of this principle, and it is equally as plain that without a divine communication they must remain in ignorance (TPJS:206).
So the gist of this? Lucifer has spent millennia evil speaking and weaving webs of deceit and only the words of Christ, written and revelatory, “can carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise [and truth].” In other words, we have a responsibility.
And now, my son, I would that ye should understand that these things are not without a shadow; for as our fathers were slothful to give heed to this compass (now these things were temporal) they did not prosper; even so it is with things which are spiritual. For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land. And now I say, is there not a type in this thing? For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise. O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever. And now, my son, see that ye take care of these sacred things, yea, see that ye look to God and live (Book of Mormon | Alma 37:43-47).
Part Two: Evil Speaking? will explore the déjà vus of dissent.

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NOTE: To readers who don’t believe in scripture; who believe that Joseph’s revelations were self-serving; or who believe that everything was a hoax or fraud, this reference and reliance on scripture may, itself, seem self-serving and circular, but in this writer’s view there has to be a measure somewhere, and that measure is God’s word, though discernment is still essential considering that man has at various times, mistranslated, omitted, revised, even deliberately changed God’s word. And for those who believe that God cannot or will not add to His word, try an experiment—read the Book of Mormon and ask God if He has.

1. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 93:24-25 ~ And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come; And whatsoever is more or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning.
Book of Mormon | Ether 8:25 ~ For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning.
Pearl of Great Price | Moses 4:4-6 ~ And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice. And now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which I, the Lord God, had made. And Satan put it into the heart of the serpent, (for he had drawn away many after him,) and he sought also to beguile Eve, for he knew not the mind of God, wherefore he sought to destroy the world.
New Testament | John 8:44 ~ Ye [Pharisees] are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
2. Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 28:20 ~ For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.
3. Re: John Cook Bennett ~ http://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.ca/2015/12/could-it-be.html
4. A discussion on this abbreviated quote from Twelve Letters on the Evidences of the Christian Religion by an Enquirer, First printed in the Oriental Star (1802) can be found in at https://www.metabunk.org/einstein-condemnation-without-investigation-is-the-height-of-ignorance.t7015/ ; and the source of the quote at https://books.google.ca/books?id=LQJeAAAAcAAJ&dq=%22contempt+prior%22+investigation&pg=PA10&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22contempt%20prior%22%20investigation&f=false
See also TPJS:118 ~ Sunday, May 6, 1838, I [Joseph Smith] preached to the Saints, setting forth the evils that existed, and that would exist, by reason of hasty judgment, or decisions upon any subject given by any people, or in judging before they had heard both sides of a question. (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, [TPJS] selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976]).
5. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 123:1, 3-7, 12-15 ~ AND again, we would suggest for your consideration the propriety of all the saints gathering up a knowledge of all the facts, and sufferings and abuses put upon them by the people of this State; … And also the names of all persons that have had a hand in their oppressions, as far as they can get hold of them and find them out. And perhaps a committee can be appointed to find out these things, and to take statements and affidavits; and also to gather up the libelous publications that are afloat; And all that are in the magazines, and in the encyclopedias, and all the libelous histories that are published, and are writing, and by whom, and present the whole concatenation of diabolical rascality and nefarious and murderous impositions that have been practised upon this people—That we may not only publish to all the world, but present them to the heads of government in all their dark and hellish hue, … It is an imperative duty that we owe to God, to angels, with whom we shall be brought to stand, and also to ourselves, to our wives and children, who have been made to bow down with grief, sorrow, and care, under the most damning hand of murder, tyranny, and oppression, supported and urged on and upheld by the influence of that spirit which hath so strongly riveted the creeds of the fathers, who have inherited lies, upon the hearts of the children, and filled the world with confusion, and has been growing stronger and stronger, and is now the very mainspring of all corruption, and the whole earth groans under the weight of its iniquity. … For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it—Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven—These should then be attended to with great earnestness. Let no man count them as small things; for there is much which lieth in futurity, pertaining to the saints, which depends upon these things. … [Bold emphasis added.]
Examples from 1841 records: “List of Books: Chapter 14: Vale 1840—Enter 1841—List of Publications for and against the Church— … [recorded in History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., introduction and notes by B. H. Roberts [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1932-1951], 4: 250, 253, 255.]
» The Rev. Robert Hays, Wesleyan minister, Douglas, Isle of Man, published three addresses in pamphlet form, against the Latter-day Saints, which were replied to in the following order:
» "An Answer to Some False Statements and Misrepresentations," published by the Rev. Robert Hays, Wesleyan minister, in an address to his society in Douglas, and its vicinity on the subject of Mormonism, by John Taylor, October 7th, 1840.
» "Calumny Refuted, and the Truth Defended," being a reply to the second address of the Rev. Robert Hays, by John Taylor, Douglas, October 29, 1840.
» "Truth Defended and Methodism Weighed in the Balances and Found Wanting," being a reply to the third address of the Rev. Robert Hays against the Latter-day Saints and also an "Exposure of the Principles of Methodism," by John Taylor, Liverpool, December 7, 1840.
» "The Latter-day Saints and the Book of Mormon;" being a few words of warning against the Latter-day Saints, from a minister to his flock. W. J. Morrish, Ledbury, Herefordshire, September.
» A second warning by the same W. J. Morrish, October 15th.
» "A Few More Facts Relating to the Self-styled "Latter-day Saints,' " by John Simmons, Church of England minister, Dymock, Herefordshire, September 14th.
» Several letters written by Mr. Curran, and published in the Manx Liberal, Isle of Man, in October, were replied to by John Taylor.
» "Mormonism Weighed in the Balances of the Sanctuary and Found Wanting;" the substance of four lectures by Samuel Haining, published in Douglas, Isle of Man; a tract of sixty-six pages. …
» An exposure of the errors and fallacies of the self-named "Latter-day Saints." By William Hewitt, of Lane End, Staffordshire, Potteries.
» An answer to Mr. William Hewitt's tract against the Latter-day Saints. By Elder Parley P. Pratt.
» Plain Facts; showing the falsehood and folly of the Rev. C. Bush (the Church of England minister, of the parish of Peover, Cheshire); being a reply to his tract against the Latter-day Saints by Parley P. Pratt.
» A few remarks by way of reply to an anonymous scribbler, calling himself "a Philanthropist," disabusing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of the slanders and falsehoods which he has attempted to fasten upon it. By Samuel Bennett, Philadelphia.
» Mormonism unmasked, and Mr. Bennett's reply answered and refuted. By a Philanthropist of Chester county. Published in Philadelphia.
» An Appeal to the American People; being an account of the persecutions of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the barbarities inflicted on them by the inhabitants of the State of Missouri, sixty closely printed pages second edition revised by authority of said Church, Joseph Smith, Jun., Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, Presidency.
» A Reply to Mr. Thomas Taylor's Pamphlet, entitled "Complete Failure," etc., and also to Mr. Richard Livesey's tract, "Mormonism Exposed" by Parley P. Pratt.
» The editor of the London Dispatch, published an article on November 8th, against the Latter-day Saints, containing some of the false statements of Captain D. L. St. Clair, in his tract against them, which was replied to by Elder Parley P. Pratt, in the November number of the Millennial Star. …
One further example regarding Joseph:
TPJS:270 ~ Mr. Sollars stated that James Mullone, of Springfield, told him as follows:—"I have been to Nauvoo, and seen Joe Smith, the Prophet: he had a gray horse, and I asked him where he got it; and Joe said, "You see that white cloud." "Yes." "Well, as it came along, I got the horse from that cloud." This is a fair specimen of the ten thousand foolish lies circulated by this generation to bring the truth and its advocates into disrepute.  (Bold emphasis added.)
6. See footnote 2 in The Papers of Joseph Smith Vol. 1: Autobiographical and Historical Writings, edited by Dean C. Jessee (Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake City, © 1989), p. 7. Note: If such persecution was already circulating in 1824, what other maliciousness was already contaminating memory and records.
7. Glass-Looking: http://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.ca/2014/01/glass-lookers-one-and-all.html
8. Book of Mormon | Alma 37:38-41 ~ And now, my son, I have somewhat to say concerning the thing which our fathers call a ball, or director—or our fathers called it Liahona, which is, being interpreted, a compass; and the Lord prepared it. And behold, there cannot any man work after the manner of so curious a workmanship. And behold, it was prepared to show unto our fathers the course which they should travel in the wilderness. And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day. Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey;
9. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 10:1 ~ NOW, behold, I say unto you, that because you delivered up those writings which you had power given unto you to translate by the means of the Urim and Thummim, into the hands of a wicked man, you have lost them.
Pearl of Great Price | JS-History 1:35 ~ Also, that there were two stones in silver bows—and these stones, fastened to a breastplate, constituted what is called the Urim and Thummim—deposited with the plates; and the possession and use of these stones were what constituted "seers" in ancient or former times; and that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book.
Pearl of Great Price | JS-History 1:62 ~ By this timely aid was I enabled to reach the place of my destination in Pennsylvania; and immediately after my arrival there I commenced copying the characters off the plates. I copied a considerable number of them, and by means of the Urim and Thummim I translated some of them, which I did between the time I arrived at the house of my wife's father, in the month of December, and the February following.
Pearl of Great Price | JS-History Note:1 ~ [Oliver Cowdery:] "These were days never to be forgotten—to sit under the sound of a voice dictated by the inspiration of heaven, awakened the utmost gratitude of this bosom! Day after day I continued, uninterrupted, to write from his mouth, as he translated with the Urim and Thummim, or, as the Nephites would have said, 'Interpreters,' the history or record called 'The Book of Mormon.'
Book of Mormon | Alma 37:23-25 ~ And the Lord said: I will prepare unto my servant Gazelem, a stone, which shall shine forth in darkness unto light, that I may discover unto my people who serve me, that I may discover unto them the works of their brethren, yea, their secret works, their works of darkness, and their wickedness and abominations. And now, my son, these interpreters were prepared that the word of God might be fulfilled, which he spake, saying: I will bring forth out of darkness unto light all their secret works and their abominations; and except they repent I will destroy them from off the face of the earth; and I will bring to light all their secrets and abominations, unto every nation that shall hereafter possess the land.
10. Re Mormon history revision: All the following quotes are from History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., [purported author, Joseph Smith], introduction and notes by B. H. Roberts [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1932-1951]. (All bold emphasis added.) Note: To date, we do not seem to know what BY meant by revising—just grammar and style errors or something more?
» Moreover, since the death of the Prophet Joseph, the history has been carefully revised under the strict inspection of President Brigham Young, and approved by him, (1:v-vi; 7:243.)
» Tuesday, April 1, 1845.—I [Brigham Young] commenced revising the History of Joseph Smith at Brother Richards' office: Elder Heber C. Kimball and George A. Smith were with me. President Joseph Smith had corrected forty-two pages before his massacre. It afforded us great satisfaction to hear Brother Richards read the history of the infancy of the church. Adjourned at eleven p.m. having read one hundred and forty pages in Book 'A'.
» Wednesday, [April] 2 [1845].—Engaged at Elder Richards' office with Elders Kimball and Smith revising Church History. (7:389.)
» Saturday, [May] 10 [1845].—Brother George A. Smith called upon me this morning and I [BY] accompanied him to the Historian's Office where we read and revised Church History. …
» Monday, [May] 12 [1845].—Evening, with Brothers Heber C. Kimball, W. Richards and George A. Smith at Brother Edward Hunter's revising history.
» Tuesday, [May] 13 [1845].—With Elders Heber C. Kimball, W. Richards and George A. Smith reading and revising Church History at Brother Edward Hunter's where we had retired to keep out of the way of writs reported to have been issued against us. (7:408.) …
» Wednesday, [May] 14 [1845].—Continued at Brother Edward Hunter's as yesterday; my health, and that of Brother Richards poor; but we read and revised history all day. …
» Friday, [May] 16 [1845].—I spent the day at Brother Hunter's in company with Brothers Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, George A. Smith and N. K. Whitney revising history: …
» Saturday, [May] 17 [1845].—Revising history as yesterday, with the addition of Brother John Taylor: … (7:411.)
» Tuesday, {May] 20 {1845].—With the brethren named I remained at Brother Pierce's; Willard Richards and George A. Smith joined us. We read and revised fifty-seven pages of History of Joseph Smith from Book 'B': … (7:414.)
» Wednesday, [June] 18 [1845].—I met with Elders Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor and George A. Smith at Brother Taylor's; we revised a portion of the History of Joseph Smith. …
» Thursday, [June] 19 [1845].—I spent the day with Brothers H. C. Kimball and George A. Smith revising history. …
» Friday, [June] 20 [1845].—Elders H. C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, George A. Smith, and myself engaged revising Church History. (7:427-428.)
» Saturday, [November] 8 [1845].—Revising history in company with Brothers Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards and George A. Smith till 4 p.m. (7:514.)
» Monday, [November] 10 [1845].—I spent the day with Elders Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards and George A. Smith revising Church History; …
» Tuesday, [November] 11 [1845].—Forenoon, Elders Willard Richards and George A. Smith revising history.
Afternoon, Elder Kimball and I joined them, and assisted in revising history. (7:519.)
» Wednesday, [November] 26 [1845].—At the Historian's Office with Elder George A. Smith and revised fifty pages history. …
» Friday, [November] 28 [1845].—I went to the Trustees' Office, attending to church business. Elders Willard Richards and George A. Smith read and revised history to the end of 1843. (7:532.)
» Monday, [December] 29 [1845].— … Elders George A. Smith and Amasa Lyman revised history. (7:556.)
11. More discernment quotes from Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith [TPJS], selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976]:
TPJS: 202 ~ It is evident from the Apostles' writings, that many false spirits existed in their day, and had "gone forth into the world," and that it needed intelligence which God alone could impart to detect false spirits, and to prove what spirits were of God. The world in general have been grossly ignorant in regard to this one thing, and why should they be otherwise—for "the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God."
TPJS: 203 ~ "Try the spirits," but what by? Are we to try them by the creeds of men? What preposterous folly—what sheer ignorance—what madness! Try the motions and actions of an eternal being (for I contend that all spirits are such) by a thing that was conceived in ignorance, and brought forth in folly—a cobweb of yesterday! Angels would hide their faces, and devils would be ashamed and insulted, and would say, "Paul we know, and Jesus we know, but who are ye?" Let each man of society make a creed and try evil spirits by it, and the devil would shake his sides; it is all that he would ask—all that he would desire. Yet many of them do this, and hence "many spirits are abroad in the world."
TPJS: 203 ~ One great evil is, that men are ignorant of the nature of spirits; their power, laws, government, intelligence, etc., and imagine that when there is anything like power, revelation, or vision manifested, that it must be of God.
TPJS: 204-205 ~ Every one of these professes to be competent to try his neighbor's spirit, but no one can try his own, and what is the reason? Because they have not a key to unlock, no rule wherewith to measure, and no criterion whereby they can test it. Could any one tell the length, breadth or height of a building without a rule? Test the quality of metals without a criterion, or point out the movements of the planetary systems, without a knowledge of astronomy? Certainly not; and if such ignorance as this is manifested about a spirit of this kind, who can describe an angel of light? If Satan should appear as one in glory, who can tell his color, his signs, his appearance, his glory, or what is the manner of his manifestation? Who can detect the spirit of the French prophets with their revelations and their visions, and power of manifestations? Or who can point out the spirit of the Irvingites, with their apostles and prophets, and visions and tongues, and interpretations, etc. Or who can drag into daylight and develop the hidden mysteries of the false spirits that so frequently are made manifest among the Latter-day Saints? We answer that no man can do this without the Priesthood, and having a knowledge of the laws by which spirits are governed; for as no man knows the things of God, but by the Spirit of God, so no man knows the spirit of the devil, and his power and influence, but by possessing intelligence which is more than human, and having unfolded through the medium of the Priesthood the mysterious operations of his devices; without knowing the angelic form, the sanctified look and gesture, and the zeal that is frequently manifested by him for the glory of God, together with the prophetic spirit, the gracious influence, the godly appearance, and the holy garb, which are so characteristic of his proceedings and his mysterious windings.
TPJS: 205 ~ A man must have the discerning of spirits before he can drag into daylight this hellish influence and unfold it unto the world in all its soul-destroying, diabolical, and horrid colors; for nothing is a greater injury to the children of men than to be under the influence of a false spirit when they think they have the Spirit of God. Thousands have felt the influence of its terrible power and baneful effects. Long pilgrimages have been undertaken, penances endured, and pain, misery and ruin have followed in their train; nations have been convulsed, kingdoms overthrown, provinces laid waste, and blood, carnage and desolation are habiliments in which it has been clothed.
TPJS: 205-206 ~ As we have noticed before, the great difficulty lies in the ignorance of the nature of spirits, of the laws by which they are governed, and the signs by which they may be known; if it requires the Spirit of God to know the things of God; and the spirit of the devil can only be unmasked through that medium, then it follows as a natural consequence that unless some person or persons have a communication, or revelation from God, unfolding to them the operation of the spirit, they must eternally remain ignorant of these principles; for I contend that if one man cannot understand these things but by the Spirit of God, ten thousand men cannot; it is alike out of the reach of the wisdom of the learned, the tongue of the eloquent, the power of the mighty. And we shall at last have to come to this conclusion, whatever we may think of revelation, that without it we can neither know nor understand anything of God, or the devil; and however unwilling the world may be to acknowledge this principle, it is evident from the multifarious creeds and notions concerning this matter that they understand nothing of this principle, and it is equally as plain that without a divine communication they must remain in ignorance. The world always mistook false prophets for true ones, and those that were sent of God, they considered to be false prophets, and hence they killed, stoned, punished and imprisoned the true prophets, and these had to hide themselves "in deserts and dens, and caves of the earth," and though the most honorable men of the earth, they banished them from their society as vagabonds, whilst they cherished, honored and supported knaves, vagabonds, hypocrites, impostors, and the basest of men.
TPJS: 206-207 ~ A man must have the discerning of spirits, as we before stated, to understand these things, and how is he to obtain this gift if there are no gifts of the Spirit? And how can these gifts be obtained without revelation? "Christ ascended into heaven, and gave gifts to men; and He gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastors and Teachers." And how were Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers and Evangelists chosen? By prophecy (revelation) and by laying on of hands—by a divine communication, and a divinely appointed ordinance—through the medium of the Priesthood, organized according to the order of God, by divine appointment. The Apostles in ancient times held the keys of this Priesthood—of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, and consequently were enabled to unlock and unravel all things pertaining to the government of the Church, the welfare of society, the future destiny of men, and the agency, power and influence of spirits; for they could control them at pleasure, bid them depart in the name of Jesus, and detect their mischievous and mysterious operations when trying to palm themselves upon the Church in a religious garb, and militate against the interest of the Church and spread of truth. We read that they "cast out devils in the name of Jesus," and when a woman possessing the spirit of divination, cried before Paul and Silas, "these are the servants of the Most High God that show unto us the way of salvation," they detected the spirit. And although she spake favorably of them, Paul commanded the spirit to come out of her, and saved themselves from the opprobrium that might have been heaped upon their heads, through an alliance with her, in the development of her wicked principles, which they certainly would have been charged with, if they had not rebuked the evil spirit.

 
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