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Sadliers posted a topic in LDS Gospel Discussion"15 ¶Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit." (Matthew 7:15-18) There is much to be said regarding these verses. Ironically it is the false prophets that uses these verses to "prove" they are true prophets. But first, what is a prophet? Simply put, a prophet is one that receives revelation from God. Communication and direction may be received by anyone, inside or outside the church, but that is not the same as revelation. Revelation is a more pure form of communication. False prophets sincerely believe they are receiving revelations from God thus one cannot expect them to confess the errors of their ways. It is failing to be able to differentiate between God and the other sources of revelation (self or Satan) that leads one to being a false prophet. Interestingly it is pride that always plays a role with false prophets because they are unwilling to entertain the idea that their revelations are not from God - one that is prideful is not teachable. How do false prophets use that scripture to their advantage? By misinterpreting it. They substitute "works" for "fruits". Once they make the substitution then they'll point to their "good works" as proof that they are a true prophet. They aren't the only ones that make that incorrect substitution, though. How many times do members point to the Book of Mormon as a "fruit" of Joseph Smith? It is not a fruit but rather a work, and what a work it was to do the translation! But it is still a work, not a fruit. Nor is faithful home teaching and visiting teaching a fruit but rather a work. Just as it is incorrect for false prophets to substitute "works" for "fruits" so also is it incorrect for us members to make that same mistake. So then what is a "fruit" if it is not synonymous with "work"? It is the core attributes/characteristics of a person. It consists of those individual attributes that make up the "fruit of the Spirit": Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. It also includes the opposites: indifference, hate, miserable, contention, impatience, evil, doubtful, pride, and hot-headed. It is those core attributes that define our characteristics. Once we are attuned to observing those key attributes then false prophets are readily weeded out. Take President Monson, for example. Is he more of a loving man or one that is indifferent towards others or hates others? All who personally know him know that love best describes him. How about faith? Is he one that seems to live by faith or doubt? Those that know him know he is not a doubter but rather is faithful. We can go right down the list, comparing him to those attributes that make up the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and see that his being is in line with those of the Spirit. Yes, he is a true prophet. Just the same we can take others and compare them. Take Charles Russell, founder of a popular religion. Followers willingly admit that he was one that liked to debate and argue. How does that fit with the comparison of "peace" vs "contention"? One of such character also lacks love - how does that compare with "love" vs "indifference/hate"? Once the fruits are examined it becomes clear that he was not of God. A false prophet usually does not know that they are a false prophet. They honestly believe they are a true prophet. The deception is either from Satan or from themselves, or both. That's how Snuffer got his start - by relying on his own understanding and wisdom through studies, but then Satan was able to get a foothold by appearing as an angel of light. Snuffer truly believes that which he espouses and apparently makes good arguments since many seem to be taken in by it. If one that personally knows Denver will examine the fruits then it will be guaranteed to reveal that he is a false prophet. How am I so sure? Because he does not have the Holy Spirit with him - those that do will reflect the attributes that make up the fruit of the Spirit. But because he did not know the Spirit he did not know when he was straying away. When Satan provided a false manifestation he failed to compare ALL the attributes in the fruit of the Spirit to prove that it was the Spirit, and that fatal neglect led him to excommunication along with many others. And the followers are making the same mistake of failing to consider that ALL the attributes must be present otherwise it is not the fruit of the Spirit and, hence, is not the Spirit. In a nutshell all one is doing to detect a true or false prophet is to look for whether the Spirit is with them. That is observed by how well they match the attributes that makes up the fruit of the Spirit. That doesn't just apply to proclaimed prophets but rather to all people, whether member or nonmember. Righteousness is not based on what one does but rather how close they come to matching the Spirit, which is the same as measuring up to the stature of Jesus Christ. That seems to be a touchy subject especially for those that don't have the Spirit but think they do. They immediately retort that it is a judgment. But is that what the scripture says? Does the scripture say "ye shall judge them by their fruits"? No, it says "ye shall know them by their fruits". There's no judging because it is simply known just as it is known whether a person is black or white without having to judge. Stating a fact is not a judgment just like stating the race of a person is not a judgment. Any angry person does not have the Spirit with them - there's no judging but rather it is self evident and simply known. A contentious person does not have the Spirit with them and it is not judging to make that observance. "the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center." (1 Nephi 16:2) Failing to recognize the Spirit is a first step in becoming a false prophet. Thinking the Spirit is felt in different ways is a failure to recognize the Spirit because the Spirit only has one fruit and only feels one way. If one adds Satan's counterfeits, normal human emotions, and/or only part of the characteristics of the then there will be the appearance that the Spirit feels different ways but in reality that the person does not know how to distinguish between the Spirit from other sources. And, just the same, their fruits will reveal that they are failing to know the Spirit. A common characteristic of those that fail to know the Spirit is anger, impatience, pride, and/or contention. It is very easily remedied by simply becoming humble, turning to God, and seeking the Spirit's guidance.