- As Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is our duty to be watchmen on the tower, warning Church members to beware of false prophets and false teachers who lie in wait to ensnare and destroy faith and testimony. Today we warn you that there are false prophets and false teachers arising; and if we are not careful, even those who are among the faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will fall victim to their deception.
Elder Ballard shares what these false prophets look like in our times.
- We often assume that such individuals are associated with small radical groups on the fringes of society. However, I reiterate: there are false prophets and false teachers who have or at least claim to have membership in the Church. There are those who, without authority, claim Church endorsement to their products and practices. Beware of such.
- Let us beware of false prophets and false teachers, both men and women, who are self-appointed declarers of the doctrines of the Church and who seek to spread their false gospel and attract followers by sponsoring symposia, books, and journals whose contents challenge fundamental doctrines of the Church. Beware of those who speak and publish in opposition to God’s true prophets and who actively proselyte others with reckless disregard for the eternal well-being of those whom they seduce. Like Nehor and Korihor in the Book of Mormon, they rely on sophistry to deceive and entice others to their views. They “set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion”
There is no middle ground when it come to following the Savior. Elder Ballard says there is no such thing as a "loyal opposition." We are either with Christ or against Him.
- Regardless of which particular false doctrines they teach, false prophets and false teachers are an inevitable part of the last days. “False prophets,” according to the Prophet Joseph Smith, “always arise to oppose the true prophets.” However, in the Lord’s Church there is no such thing as a “loyal opposition.” One is either for the kingdom of God and stands in defense of God’s prophets and apostles, or one stands opposed.
We are encouraged to be doing good things. We are encouraged to be disciples of Christ that love our fellow man.
- Let us be anxiously engaged in good causes. Let us love the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Let us sustain and live by the revelations of the restored gospel. Let us love our fellow beings and fill our hearts and souls with the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Elder Ballard concludes with word of encouragement on how we should be living our lives. He encourages us to be show Christlike attributes and extend a loving hand of friendship to all.
- As members of the Church, each of us needs to model what it truly means to be a believing and behaving Latter-day Saint. Our example will have a powerful effect on others, making the restored gospel become much more relevant, meaningful, convincing, and desirable to them. Let us, each one, radiate to others the joy, confidence, love, and warmth of being part of the true Church of Christ. Our discipleship is not something to be endured with long face and heavy heart. Nor is it something to be jealously clutched to our bosoms and not shared with others. As we come to understand the love of the Father and the Son for us, our spirits will soar, and we will “come to Zion, singing with songs of everlasting joy.”
- Let us reach out in friendship and love to our neighbors, including those of other faiths, thus helping to build better family-to-family relationships and greater harmony in our neighborhoods. Remember, too often our behavior is a bigger deterrent to others than is our doctrine.
- Let us remember that it is our duty to be faithful to the restored truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It takes faith—real faith, total and unreserved—to accept and strive to live prophetic counsel.
It seems that every couple years, we hear of a new group that believes they have a better way to leading the men or women of the church to a better place. These groups typically have a leader who teaches the basic doctrines of the church but has one or two things that they just can't get their ideas in line with. Elder Ballard warns us that any person that comes to us with ideas that are not in line with the teachings of Christ through His apostles and prophets are false prophets and we need to stay away from them. Our journey is to become better disciples of Jesus Christ and anyone that takes us away from following Christ's leaders on the earth will lead us away from the Savior and not to Him. We need to be aware of this and stay clearly on the side of the Savior.