(by Dennis B. Horne)
have deception cunningly making its way into the Church and attacking faithful
people and families, not only in regard to false doctrine about the origin of
man but also concerning LGBT practices and activism, and various other strange and
seducing doctrines of men and devils (see D&C 46:7). The below comments
mostly relate to evolution but can apply to other methods Satan uses to
infiltrate the Church, much of it from within. BYU biologists, NAMI, and the
editors of BYUSQ are tragically at great fault here, pitting their
worldly learning against the revelations of God. The Brethren warn and warn
again against listening to or believing these counterfeit doctrines.
It seems sometimes as if the darkness that surrounds us is all but impenetrable. I can see on all sides the signs of one great evil master-mind [Satan] working for the overturning of our civilization, the destruction of religion, the reduction of men to the status of animals. This mind is working here and there and everywhere. (Conference Report, October 1935, 92; emphasis added.)
In the Book
of Mormon the prophet Nephi exclaims: “O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I
will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I
know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed
is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.” (2 Ne. 4:34.)
of our day, Nephi said, “. . . they have all gone astray save it be a few, who
are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many
instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.” (2 Ne.
Yes, it is
the precepts of men versus the principles of God. The more we follow the word
of God, the less we are deceived, while those who follow the wisdom of men are
deceived the most.
the Latter-day Saints must choose between the reasoning of men and the
revelations of God. This is a crucial choice, for we have those within the
Church today who, with their worldly wisdom, are leading some of our members
astray. President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., warned that “the ravening wolves are
amongst us from our own membership and they, more than any others, are clothed
in sheep's clothing, because they wear the habiliments of the Priesthood. ...
We should be careful of them.” (Improvement Era, May 1949, p. 268.)
have not been using the Book of Mormon as we should. Our homes are not as
strong unless we are using it to bring our children to Christ. Our families may
be corrupted by worldly trends and teachings unless we know how to use the book
to expose and combat the falsehoods in socialism, organic evolution,
rationalism, humanism, etc.
there were in the early church those who taught for doctrines the sophistries
of men. There are those today who seem to take pride in disagreeing with the
orthodox teachings of the Church and who present their own opinions which are
at variance with the revealed truth. Some may be partially innocent in the
matter; others are feeding their own egotism; and some seem to be deliberate.
Men may think as they please, but they have no right to impose upon others
their unorthodox views. Such persons should realize that their own souls are in
cannot accept and teach the program of the Church in an orthodox way without
reservations, he should not teach. It would be the part of honor to resign his
position. Not only would he be dishonest and deceitful, but he is also actually
under condemnation, for the Savior said that it were better that a millstone
were hanged about his neck and he be cast into the sea than that he should lead
astray doctrinally or betray the cause or give offense, destroying the faith of
one of “these little ones” who believe in him. And remember that this means not
only the small children, it includes even adults who believe and trust in God.
I feel that the many people of the earth today are so infected with the works
of the flesh that they do not recognize them as such, and, therefore, many
people are not possessed of the moral courage to pay the price of peace, still
we should not, Jonah-like, sulk under a vine if some of them should turn to
apply the principles of the Prince of Peace and find its joyful rewards. On the
contrary, we should rejoice, for to proclaim peace is the sole purpose of our
life’s mission. We should find no pleasure in the fact that men’s strivings for
peace have proved ineffectual. I wage no war against their efforts. Many of
them are doing the best they can in the light they have. Nevertheless, I can see
no justification for us, who have the clear light of the revealed gospel of
Christ, to spend our lives stumbling around through the mists following the
uncertain glimmer of a flickering candle lighted by the wisdom of men. Rather,
we should devote our energies to spreading the true light, and leave the mists
to those who do not see that light.
scriptures that you may not be deceived by false theories and practices and
doctrines so prevalent in the world today. If you will do this, if you will
have in your hearts the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord which every member
of the Church has a right to have, the companionship of the Holy Ghost, you
will not be led astray by the theories of men because the Spirit of the Lord
will tell you they are false, and you will have the spirit of discernment that
you may understand. …
Latter-day Saints need not be, and we must not be, deceived by the sophistries
of men concerning the reality of Satan. There is a personal devil, and we had
better believe it. He and a countless host of followers, seen and unseen, are
exercising a controlling influence upon men and their affairs in our world
today. . . .
that the Spirit of Christ and the power of his priesthood are ample shields to
the power of Satan. We know that there is available to each of us the gift of
the Holy Ghost—the power of revelation
which embraces the gift of discernment by which we may unerringly detect the
devil and the counterfeits he is so successfully foisting upon this gullible
generation. Our course is clear and certain. It is to strictly obey the
commandments of the Lord, as they are recorded in the scriptures and as they
are being given by the living prophets.
many Christians today, influenced by the modern teaching of the evolutionary
origin of man from lower species, have long since abandoned the doctrine that
man was created in the image of God. Since before the time of Augustine, the
living God of revelation and the scriptures has been replaced by the god of
Greek philosophy—a being without body,
parts, or passions, beyond the bounds of time and space. These Christians, as
well as persons who believe in no religion whatever, expect that the chance
processes of evolution on other worlds would most likely bring about
intelligent beings quite different from man. All of us have been made more or
less familiar with this kind of thinking on a less refined scale through the
green, bug-eyed monster types of popular science fiction.
make interesting reading for the unknowledgeable, but no Latter-day Saint need
be left in doubt. There is nothing more fundamental in God’s revelations than
the basic premise that we are of the race of Gods. We are of his species. God
looks like us. We look like him. He has two arms, two legs, a head—indeed, Jesus said, “If ye have seen me, ye have seen the Father.” Obviously, God’s sons and daughters
would be of his species, would resemble him. This was one of the basic truths
Joseph Smith knew after his vision in 1820. Consequently, people on other
worlds would be like us, because we are all his children.
may think of green, bug-eyed monsters, and science fiction movies may fascinate
and enthrall, but they are pure fiction! People “out there” are like people
here, because we are all of the race of Gods.
past prophets have declared “great and marvelous things unto the people, which
they did not believe.”
It is no
different in our day. Through the years, great and marvelous things have been
heard from dedicated pulpits across the earth. Yet most people do not embrace
these truths—either because they do
not know where to look for them or because they are listening to those who do
not have the whole truth or because they have rejected truth in favor of
adversary is clever. For millennia he has been making good look evil and evil
look good. His messages tend to be loud, bold, and boastful.
messages from our Heavenly Father are strikingly different. He communicates
simply, quietly, and with such stunning plainness that we cannot misunderstand
Him. . . .
We can also
hear Him in the temple. The house of the Lord is a house of learning. There the
Lord teaches in His own way. . . . There we learn how to part the veil and
communicate more clearly with heaven.
be a great thing if all who are well schooled in secular learning could hold
fast to the “iron rod,” or the word of God, which could lead them, through
faith, to an understanding, rather than to have them stray away into strange
paths of man-made theories and be plunged into the murky waters of disbelief
I heard one of our own eminent scientists say something to
the effect that he believed more professors have taken themselves out of the
Church by their trying to philosophize or intellectualize the fall of Adam and
the subsequent atonement of the Savior. This was because they would rather accept
the philosophies of men than what the Lord has revealed until they, and we, are
able to understand the “mysteries of godliness” as explained to the prophets of
the Lord and more fully revealed in sacred places.
issued a warning to those who would seek to destroy the faith of an individual
or lead him away from the word of God or cause him to lose his grasp on the “iron
rod,” wherein was safety by faith in a Divine Redeemer and his purposes
concerning this earth and its peoples.
The Master warned: “But whoso shall offend one of these
little ones which believe in me, it were better … that a millstone were hanged
about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matt.
was impressing the fact that rather than ruin the soul of a true believer, it
were better for a person to suffer an earthly death than to incur the penalty
of jeopardizing his own eternal destiny.
Confine your answer [to investigators] to the testimony you have that God lives
and He has revealed some things to men which demonstrate the fallacy there is