Priestcraft amoung us?

A huge stumbling block that I think (this is the gospel according to MK) we will see in the last day is that of “False Prophets” and “Priestcraft”.  I think we need to be very vigilant and remember where divine revelation comes from, and return to the basics of the gospel.  Spending to much time worrying about the unknown leaves your faith, hope, and charity in a venerable place.

Jesus warns of this in Matthew 24:11,24

11. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

24. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. [Source]

In The Doctrine and Covenants Section 33:4, the Lord revels to Joseph Smith, Ezra Thyre and Northrup Sweet the following:

And my vineyard has become corrupted every whit; and there is none which doeth good save it be a few; and they err in many instances because of priestcrafts, all having corrupt minds. [Source]

So what is priestcraft?  Dallin H. Oaks in a October 1985 BYU devotional address, “The Desires of Our Hearts

The Book of Mormon illustrates this same principle in its definition of priestcraft, the sin committed by those who preach the gospel to gain personal advantage rather than to further the work of the Lord:

Priestcrafts are that men preach and 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. [2 Nephi 26:29; see also Alma 1:16]

Priestcraft is not a sin that is committed solely on the basis of our desires because it involves acts. Those acts becomes sinful only when they are done with the wrong desire, to get gain or praise. The sin is in the desire, not in the act. [Source]

Elder Oaks then adds to his definition in June 1992 a BYU fireside, “Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall“.

Another illustration of a strength that can become our downfall concerns the charismatic teacher. With a trained mind and a skillful manner of presentation, a teacher can become unusually popular and effective in teaching. But Satan will try to use that strength to corrupt the teacher by encouraging him or her to gather a following of disciples. A Church or Church education teacher or LDS university professor who gathers such a following and does this “for the sake of riches and honor” (Alma 1:16) is guilty of priestcraft.

Priestcrafts are that men preach and 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. [2 Nephi 26:29]

Teachers who are most popular–and therefore most effective–have a special susceptibility to this form of priestcraft. If they are not careful, their strength can become their spiritual downfall. They can become like Almon Babbitt, with whom the Lord was not well pleased because, as the revelation states,

He aspireth to establish his counsel instead of the counsel which I have ordained, even that of the Presidency of my Church; and he setteth up a golden calf for the worship of my people. [D&C 124:84] [Source]

When we hear things that do not come directly from the scriptures or the voice of a prophet, we need to look at the source of the doctrine.  That doctrine should be prayed about and pondered before being followed.  Satan is very crafty, and will try to do anything to lead us down an easy, or slightly wrong path, if it takes us off the path that the Lord wants us to follow.

Some of my (very few) readers will know of what/whom I am talking about, but I am not going to mention any names at this time.  Just be weary of following doctrine that does not come directly from official revelation channels.  Make sure you find out everything you can about the person giving the doctrine, especially if the doctrine predicts the future or adds revelation to things already revealed.

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