Sunday, May 23, 2021

Come Follow Me: D&C 58-59

 Come Follow Me: D&C 58-59


In D&C 58, we continue to see the Lord discussing the Gathering. The Lord explained that the Gathering requires a righteous people, and the Lord prepares a righteous people through tribulation and challenges. 

"For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand." (vs 5).

 His/ promises here are conditional for those particular saints. But they will come to pass. There will be a center city/place of Zion established in Independence Missouri someday. 

For this, the Lord often talks about things as if they are near. We just don't live on the Lord's timeline. Moroni spoke to us as if we were present, even though we were 1500 years in the future. Alma spoke of the first coming of Christ as if it had already happened. Time, in this instance, is not viewed as linear, but cyclical. 

The Lord's time, while perhaps having a linear dimension of some sort, focuses more on cycles of time, what the scriptures call an "eternal round" (1 Nephi 10:19, Alma 7:20; 37:12, D&C 3:2; 35:1).

In some of these verses, the Lord describes his path as straight (linear) and his course as one eternal round (cyclical). So, if a prophecy does not occur in linear fashion for us, we sometimes think that it did not happen. However, in the larger cycle of life, these things are accomplished.

"For verily I say unto you, blessed is he that keepeth my commandments, whether in life or in death; and he that is faithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven." (vs 2)

In other words, this life is the linear portion, where we keep on the straight path and hope for the blessings to arrive NOW. However, in God's cyclical eternal round, he sees that we will receive our reward in life or death - the bigger picture.

The Lord discusses the role of bishop and Edward Partridge's responsibilities as bishop of Zion. He and all those who go to Zion are warned to keep the commandments. They are told that those who keep the laws of God will keep the laws of the land. Clearly, there were many members not willing to be obedient to the laws of God, and damaged the reputation of the Church in Jackson County Missouri, for we shall see that mobs arose primarily because the saints were not being saints. Many bragged about building Zion and casting the Gentiles out. They openly spoke out against slavery in a land where slavery was legal. They did all their purchases within the Latter-day Saint community, setting themselves economically apart from their neighbors, and were often not friendly towards the Missourians. Later they would establish the Danites, a radical and secretive militia movement that would use violence as a means to an end in protecting the saints.

The Lord then explained to Partridge and the families in Zion:

"Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;

"For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.

"But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned." (vs 27-29)

The saints seemed to wait for a revelation from Joseph Smith before they would do anything. In not being "anxiously engaged in a good cause" they neglected their Missourian neighbors, making enemies of them. Here, the Lord called upon the Saints to receive personal revelation to guide themselves, and to do good things just because they sought to be good.

In today's application, we hear from our prophet at least twice a year. We hear from bishops and stake presidents more often. Yet, we often hear them with doubtful hearts. We are slothful in being obedient. We are Laman and Lemuel, whining because we are commanded to do a hard thing.

In being "anxiously engaged" we don't look at "anxious" as a negative term (as in anxiety attack). Instead, it is defined: "ardently or earnestly wishing." In the Book of Mormon, Ammon and his brethren sought to preach to the Lamanites, because they were anxious for their souls, not being able to bear the thought of anyone dying without hearing the gospel message (Mosiah 28).

How anxious are we to keep God's commandments, to build Zion, and to help the Savior redeem all of mankind? How engaged are we in the work? Are we diligent, or slothful?

Martin Harris is commanded, again, to give his wealth to the Church. This money would be used as a consecration to purchase lands in Jackson County for the building of Zion. Again, Martin is warned about being a wicked person, seeking the glory of the world. While we think we live a linear life, we can see in Martin Harris that often we also go through cycles. God continually has to give us the same command, because we forgot the previous lesson, and slouched back towards Babylon.

And so we all must seek to break our cycles of wickedness.

"Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.

"By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them." (vs 42-43)

Part of being anxiously engaged is to be anxiously engaged in saving ourselves. It is a daily thing to remember the wrongs of our past, so we do not repeat them. It is necessary to be anxiously engaged in our own salvation, otherwise our hearts become hardened, and we forget the teachings and blessings of the Savior. We become slothful.

Not all were called to go to Zion yet. For some, it would be years, according to the Lord. Instead, they were to preach the gospel and, "push the people together from the ends of the earth." (vs 45)

The Gathering is real. By this time in the Church, the missionary work had gone through the Midwest and Northeast, and entering the South. Today, We still are to push the people together from around the world. As D&C 45 and 133 tell us, the Gathering will increase until the time comes when the world is in chaos and at war with one another, Zion being the only refuge that is not at war with anyone. Millions of immigrants will flee the violence to Zion from the "north countries" and make America their home. It will be a time when we embrace the refugees of the world, as part of our blessing in Zion.

And the inheritances promised, whether in Zion, Kirtland (or elsewhere for us today) must be purchased peacefully, otherwise they will be obtained only by bloodshed.

"And let the work of the gathering be not in haste, nor by flight; but let it be done as it shall be counseled by the elders of the church at the conferences, according to the knowledge which they receive from time to time." (vs 56)
Today, We must prepare now for the Gathering. Are we ready for our part in it? Have we prepared our children? Are we ready to build Zion when asked, or will we ill prepared? Are we financially and spiritually prepared? Or will we be in flight from our creditors and demons, quickly trying to prepare ourselves to dwell there?

"And let my servant Sidney Rigdon consecrate and dedicate this land, and the spot for the temple, unto the Lord." (vs 57)

Zion, her stakes, and temples go hand in hand. Without stakes, there is no one to do the work of the temple. Without the temple, there is no way to prepare a holy people to build up Zion and her stakes.

A big part of the Gathering is to bring people to the temple. There is no Zion without the temple. There is no one endowed with power from on high without the temple. Today, we are called to build up the stakes of Zion. Temples are being built at a faster pace, so that stakes of Zion can truly be holy places with temples at the center. It is necessary to create a pure people that are anxiously engaged in the work of the Lord. One of the reasons the early saints failed is because they did not understand the importance of temples and the endowment. They sought to build Zion on their own terms, and not on God's terms. 

Why did the Utah settlement succeed when Jackson County and Nauvoo failed? Because the Saints didn't have the spiritual knowledge nor the endowment of power they received as they left Nauvoo for Utah. The endowment gave them the courage and ability to be more anxiously engaged in the work: which included traveling through the wilderness to the Great Salt Lake Basin. It helped them to become a dedicated people that God could use (as a whole). We still have work to do before Zion can be redeemed, but the time is much closer now than it was in Joseph's time.

Are we ready?

D&C 59

Given in August 1831, this revelation focused on fasting, prayer and the Sacrament. In other words, even after more than two years, there still were key issues to deal with on some of the most basic and important things in the gospel.

The Lord gives a new set of commandments, beginning with the two great commandments: Loving God with all our heart and soul, and loving our neighbor as ourselves.

Then God repeats some of the Ten Commandments no stealing, adultery, killing, or anything like these.

"Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things." (vs 7)

Here is something new. What does the Lord mean by "all things?" Does he mean, "all blessings?" That isn't what he said. He said, "all things." When was the last time you thanked God for a trial or tragedy? How often in the past year have you risen from the bed and thanked God for the Covid virus' benefits in your life? (more time with family, for example).

"Thou shalt offer a sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in righteousness, even that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit." (vs 8)

In ancient times, sacrifices were animal sacrifices. It meant giving up financial wealth to kill an animal and give it to the Lord. Today, a broken heart and contrite spirit are the primary sacrifice. It opens the door for paying tithes and consecrating ourselves and possessions and wealth, but those are not the main purpose of the sacrifice. God owns all things. The only thing we truly own is ourselves. In offering a contrite spirit and broken heart, we are offering ourselves up freely to God. We are saying to God, the only thing I possess is what I am, and I'm freely giving it to Thee.

Next, the Sabbath is discussed. It is a time to go to "the house of prayer." It is where we offer up our sacraments of a "broken heart and contrite spirit." As we partake of the Sacrament, and the symbolic elements of Christ's flesh and blood lay upon the altar of the Sacrament table, we also offer up ourselves to God.

Our Sabbath activities should be done with "singleness of heart." We are to be One with God. We give thanks for all things. We have given our free will, our own selves to God. In doing so, our prayers and fasting become "rejoicing and prayer."

In worshiping this way, the Lord promises blessings of the land, health and prosperity.

"And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion." (vs 20)

We are to use the fruits, vegetables, trees, animals and all things on earth that God has given to man to use with "judgment," or with caution. We are not to use them in "excess, neither by extortion."

When we mistreat the earth, we are using excess and extortion. When we raise animals in inhumane ways, we are using them in "extortion." As for excess, each individual must consider how much we consume and whether we can reduce our use. This not only includes how many animals we eat, but how much wood is used to make our homes, how much rare earth elements and steel is used in our automobiles, etc. Again, it is a thing to ponder for ourselves.

Joseph taught this concept. On the Zion's Army march to Missouri, he shot a squirrel and then walked off. Some of the brethren caught on to this lesson, picked up the squirrel and noted it needed to be used for food and clothing.

When we use things in excess or extortion, we are raping the earth. When we care for the earth and God's Creations, we are righteous stewards of things that belong to God.

When we give our broken hearts and contrite spirits to God, we will love Him, our neighbors, keep the commandments, and treat the world as God would treat it.






Sunday, May 16, 2021

Come Follow Me: D&c 51-57

 Come Follow Me: D&c 51-57

 These chapters deal primarily with the Law of Consecration and the Lord preparing saints to settle the center place of Zion in Independence Missouri, which the Lord identified in section 57.

The saints were often not saintly. They were expected to consecrate their lands and possessions for the bishops to divide, The saints, then and now, still do not understand the concept of stewardship. We focus on getting gain and keeping our own possessions. Such refusal to continue in the Law of Consecration and the covenant, forced many New York saints to be forced off of their stewardships in Kirtland. In doing so, the Lord revoked many blessings promised to those who had consecrated their possessions and reneged on their covenant. Many of the Saints were sent on to Missouri, to establish themselves in the center city of Zion.

Of the issues discussed in these sections, missionary work, publishing the Church's writings, the duties of the bishops and agents, and establishing a consecrated people in a consecrated land are foremost issues. All are related.

Missionary work would bring in converts, who would then be called on to consecrate themselves, some to go on missions, some to share their farmlands, some to move to Independence. All would have to meet with the bishop and his agent to deal with issues of the United Firm/Order. 

As with the Nephite people during their time of peace in their "Millennium" of 200 years, found in 4 Nephi, there were no poor among them and no "-Ites." All were brothers and sisters, and children of God.

It would require constant reminders to get the new saints to live peacefully, humbly and righteously in a true Zion.

"Behold, thus saith the Lord unto my people—you have many things to do and to repent of; for behold, your sins have come up unto me, and are not pardoned, because you seek to counsel in your own ways.

"And your hearts are not satisfied. And ye obey not the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness.

"Wo unto you rich men, that will not give your substance to the poor, for your riches will canker your souls; and this shall be your lamentation in the day of visitation, and of judgment, and of indignation: The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and my soul is not saved!

"Wo unto you poor men, whose hearts are not broken, whose spirits are not contrite, and whose bellies are not satisfied, and whose hands are not stayed from laying hold upon other men’s goods, whose eyes are full of greediness, and who will not labor with your own hands!

"But blessed are the poor who are pure in heart, whose hearts are broken, and whose spirits are contrite, for they shall see the kingdom of God coming in power and great glory unto their deliverance; for the fatness of the earth shall be theirs." (D&C 56:14-18)

The Lord warns both the rich and poor. Greed and envy are wrong, regardless of one's status. God doesn't excuse anyone for their sins. Instead, he focuses on the  inner person: pure in heart, broken hearted and contrite. The humble and those willing to serve God are the ones he is pleased with. These are what make up Zion, the pure in heart.

Yet, we find the ways of men are the same in Joseph's day and in our own. Many enjoy the blessings of being members of the Restored Church, but do not the work to become a Zion people. The day will come when those who will not truly and fully consecrate themselves, will be rejected.  There is no room in Zion for the materialistic, the proud, the greedy, the selfish.

There is lots of room for those willing to repent, humble themselves, and become a consecrated people. It is a place for the pure in heart, and none other.

We shall see that due to the sins, pride and greed of the early Saints, they were driven from Kirtland and Missouri. It was most often those who were apostates that became the greatest enemies of the Church, who stirred up the Gentile non-members to anger, who caused people to fear the Latter-day Saints, to drive them to violence.

As we see today, there is no city of Zion in Independence Missouri. There are memories of violence, rape, murder, theft, and government abuse. There are stories of Saints, who failed to support the prophet in his trials, whether at the collapse of the Kirtland Savings and Loan, or as he sat in Liberty Jail after being duped by some of his closest allies.

Those who were breaking their covenants of consecration  and obedience in 1831, would be the same type who would cause the failures in Missouri and Nauvoo.

Some saints understood this. Benjamin Franklin Johnson, a close friend of Joseph in Nauvoo, would note in his journal about returning to Utah after a long mission. His family barely looked at him and suggested they didn't need him and he could just keep going. He went into his house, knelt down, and prayed the Lord would take away their pride. As he finished his prayer, a twister came down out of the sky and wiped out the crop. They would have a difficult year, struggling just to feed themselves. It was what Johnson wished for his family. He realized that living a comfortable life with pride would cost their exaltation. Only in humility, even if thrust upon them, could they learn to be the pure in heart. Only then could a true Zion people be created.









Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Come Follow Me: D&C 49-50

 Come Follow Me: D&C 49-50

D&C 49

Joseph Smith's time was a period of many new churches springing up. The United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, or Quaking Shakers, as they are known because of the ecstatic behavior during worship, came from England to America in 1774. Their beliefs included: celibacy, revelation, communalism, equality of the sexes, and pacifism. They also believed the 2nd Coming had already occurred, with Jesus returning in the form  of Mother Ann Lee, one of the founders of the religion. While in the mid-19th century they had 15 communities, due to celibacy practices and few converts, today they only have one community in Maine.

Leman Copley, a new convert who previously was a Shaker, was called to reject his old beliefs that were not in concert with the revealed truths of the Restored Church. This included the concept that Christ's 2nd Coming would be one in power and glory, not another person born on the earth. Christ would bring a Millennium across the entire earth, which would last one thousand years; not create a few small congregations.

We see a major difference in the religions in this thing. The Shakers were a good people, but were not missionary-minded. As with the Amish today, they do not seek to convert and change the world, only develop and maintain their own little communities.

Meanwhile, the Lord was teaching Joseph Smith that the Restored Gospel was revolutionary. While beginning small, it would someday fill the earth. Revelations regarding Zion were already providing great insight into the small Church. 

"Behold, I say unto you, that they desire to know the truth in part, but not all, for they are not right before me and must needs repent." (vs 2)

This is how much of the world is today. They want only the parts of truth that sound good to them. Changing our will to match God's will, shifting our beliefs to match God's truth, is hard.  Today, we hear many people seeking to speak their "truth." Suddenly, truth is whatever a person believes or feels. Beliefs and feelings are important things, but they do not necessarily equal truth.

When we choose our own truth, rather than God's truth, we are fall into error and sin. We are called to be "agents unto themselves," who will choose God and His truths. Instead, much of the world now seeks their own truths, becoming free of God, whose laws and truths often are not comfortable to lifestyles and ways of thinking.

"And my servant Leman shall be ordained unto this work, that he may reason with them, not according to that which he has received of them, but according to that which shall be taught him by you my servants; and by so doing I will bless him, otherwise he shall not prosper." (vs 4)
The world is full of the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture. Even Latter-day Saints, like Leman Copley and us, can be heavily influenced by such beliefs. It isn't easy to distinguish between God's truth and the philosophies of men, especially when they quote scripture, as did the Shakers. To minimize being influenced by the world (either by men or devils, as discussed in the last lesson), we can generally rely on two things: the Holy Ghost and the teachings of living prophets. It requires a combination of these two guides to believe the things of God and to do the will of God.

Why the two? First, we do not always listen well to the Holy Ghost. As with Martin Harris and Joseph Smith regarding the 116 manuscript pages, we often ask God to bend to our will, and continue to beg until God gives in, allowing us to learn from our mistakes, because we would not truly listen to God. We allow our will and the philosophies of men and devils to replace our bending our will toward God.

Second, even prophets can make mistakes. Brigham Young is a good example of this. While he did some very incredible things as a prophet, he was wrong on a handful of teachings, such as blood atonement, Adam-God, the reasoning for the priesthood ban, and plural marriage required for exaltation. 

Combined, the Holy Ghost and the guidance from prophets and other servants the Lord has given us (stake presidents, bishops, etc), keeps us close to God's will and truth. With time, we can then receive revelation upon revelation, until we know all truth (D&C 42:61).

D&C 50

When Joseph first arrived in Kirtland, he found members who had confused the Holy Ghost with deceiving spirits. As mentioned in a previous lesson, some members thought the Spirit was leading them into strange actions: scooting along the ground, making weird noises, even acting like a baboon. Some believed they were receiving revelations, which were received from the wrong source. Hiram Page, with his seer stone, was not the only person being deceived.

This section gives us a guide on how to determine which spirits are of God and which are not. It can help us to determine if we are really listening to the Holy Ghost, or some other source. Again, we find the deceiving spirits can include devils and men. The section calls the men, "hypocrites" and "deceivers," who are leading many astray. The Lord promises that those who have been deceived shall eventually be reclaimed, once they realize the truth. However, judgment awaits those who actively teach false doctrines in order to deceive.

Our world is currently filled with deceivers, many of whom are true believers in the things they teach. We should not follow any human, whether famous actor, politician, or intellectual, without deeply pondering and considering what the person is teaching.

The Lord offers to reason with us, as men reason one with another. This gives us a guide in how we should consider the teachings of men around us. Use our heads. Don't take anything for granted. Consider every little bit, because we need to know if some, all, or none of it is true.

"Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?

"And if it be by some other way it is not of God." (vs 17-18)

In a series of question and answers, God discusses the role of teacher and listener. In each case, he asks if the teaching is from the Spirit of truth or some other source. While the thing may be taught is a political, scientific, medical, religious, or other teaching, if the Holy Spirit confirms it to both the teacher and listener, then it is from Him.

In addition, for those of us having received a testimony of living prophets, we can rely upon their teachings and examples to help us determine truth from error. Recently, they have discussed political events, black lives matter as an eternal principle, immigration, and Covid 19 vaccinations, among other important guidance.

With so many philosophies sweeping around the world today, it is important for us to find God's truth whispering on the wind. We can no longer turn a blind eye to these things, or stand firm on our own philosophy, or a philosophy taught us by our favorite talk radio show host. We will need to be pliant enough to change our minds when the Spirit guides us to a higher truth. We will also need to stand firm on the things the Spirit and prophets have reaffirmed.

Without using these guides, we can easily get lost and confused by the deceiving spirits that are all around us today.

Monday, May 03, 2021

Come Follow Me: D&C 46-48

 D&C 46

This section discusses the importance of allowing people into most of our meetings. There were some who felt that only members should attend the Sacrament meeting. In this, the Lord clarified that peaceable people should be invited and welcomed into our open meetings.

"But ye are commanded in all things to ask of God, who giveth liberally; and that which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all holiness of heart, walking uprightly before me, considering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and thanksgiving, 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." (vs 7)

Note that there are doctrines of God, men and devils. (see also 3 Ne 27:11). Only the doctrines and commandments of God can bring us eternal life and joy. As Jesus notes in 3 Ne 27, the doctrines and commandments of men and devils will bring temporary happiness, but eventually bring us down into misery. The world is swirling today with various beliefs. Whether they be political, social, emotional, or intellectual, if they are not based on the teachings of Christ, they will fail.  

It isn't that these things are necessarily devoid of truth. They lack the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For example, there's nothing wrong with the concept of evolution, as long as it is connected with God and Creation. However, when God is taken out of the equation, suddenly evolution lacks an important and key element: the power of God that initiated the process.

So it is with any other doctrine or teaching. If God did not inspire it, it is not from Him. It is incomplete at best, and devilish at worst. While the Pharisees taught the Mosaic Law, their teaching was incomplete without the Messiah. Christ warned that the Pharisees were stopping others from entering heaven by their corrupt teachings.

It is very important to separate out our personal beliefs from actual doctrine of Christ. There is not much core doctrine in the Church. Most of what we believe is actually speculation. Christ is our Redeemer is doctrine. HOW that redemption occurred exactly, falls into the realm of speculation. Christ created the world is doctrine. HOW he created the world is in the realm of speculation. The same holds true in politics, where there currently is a battle in the Republican party for where it is going: does it hold onto Donald Trump, or does it accept Mitt Romney as a good Republican conservative? The same goes with the Democrat party, which is battling between being moderate and socialist.

"Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given;

"For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited that seek or that ask of me, that ask and not for a sign that they may consume it upon their lusts." (vs 8-9)

How many of us are deceived by the doctrines of men or devils? Do we really believe that a politician can save us? Do we really believe that some actor or rock star can bring us eternal happiness. It isn't that these are necessarily bad, but they can deter us from what is Celestial. President Dallin H. Oaks noted the difference in his talk, "Good, Better, Best."

D&C 46 then speaks of the Gifts of the Spirit. Each of us is given at least one gift, if not more. At times, we may have one gift and other times another. 

Are we seeking out the "best gifts?"

Brigham Young’s counselor, George Q. Cannon noted this about the gifts of the Spirit:

” We find, even among those who have embraced the Gospel hearts of unbelief. How many of you, my brethren and sisters, are seeking for these gifts that God has promised to bestow? How many of you, when you bow before your Heavenly Father in your family circle or in your secret places, contend for these gifts to be bestowed upon you? How many of you ask the Father, in the name of Jesus, to manifest Himself to you through these powers and these gifts? Or do you go along day by day like a door turning on its hinges, without having any feeling on the subject, without exercising any faith whatever; content to be baptized and be members of the Church, and to rest there, thinking that your salvation is secure because you have done this? I say to you, in the name of the Lord, as one of His servants, that you have need to repent of this. You have need to repent of your hardness of heart, of your indifference, and of your carelessness. There is not that diligence, there is not that faith, there is not that seeking for the power of God that there should be among a people who have received the precious promises we have.....

“I feel to bear testimony to you, my brethren and sisters, ... that God is the same today as He was yesterday; that God is willing to bestow these gifts upon His children.... If any of us are imperfect, it is our duty to pray for the gift that will make us perfect. Have I imperfections? I am full of them. What is my duty? To pray to God to give me the gifts that will correct these imperfections. If I am an angry man, it is my duty to pray for charity, which suffereth long and is kind….So with all the gifts of the Gospel. They are intended for this purpose. No man ought to say, "Oh, I cannot help this; it is my nature." He is not justified in it, for the reason that God has promised to give strength to correct these things, and to give gifts that will eradicate them. If a man lack wisdom, it is his duty to ask God for wisdom. The same with everything else. That is the design of God concerning His Church. He wants His Saints to be perfected in the truth. For this purpose He gives these gifts, and bestows them upon those who seek after them, in order that they may be a perfect people upon the face of the earth, notwithstanding their many weaknesses, because God has promised to give the gifts that are necessary for their perfection.” (Millennial Star, 23 Apr. 1894, 260)

The prophet Mormon noted the greatest gift is charity, and explained:

"But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen." (Moroni 7:47-48)

Seeking the gifts of the Spirit is one of the key things to prevent us from being deceived by men or devils. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is guided by revelation - a very important gift of the Spirit. President Nelson has frequently encouraged us to seek for personal revelation. Are we actively seeking gifts, like revelation and charity, or are we just a door swinging on its hinges? 

Are we willing to give up many of our current beliefs, so that God can reveal his higher truths to us? Are we willing to change, so that God can work his mighty work within us? Are we ready to have God reveal himself to us? Just what are we seeking most in life? How much effort do we give to seeking God and his kingdom through the gifts of the Spirit?