What is True and What is False

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First Presidency Statement

The test for determining what is true and what is false in prophecy was clearly set down for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In a statement issued in August, 1913, by the First Presidency of the Church (consisting of President Joseph F. Smith, President Anthon H. Lund, and President Charles W. Penrose) one reads:

"When visions, dreams, tongues, prophecy, impressions or any extraordinary gift or inspiration conveys something out of harmony with the accepted revelations of the Church or contrary to the decisions of its constituted authorities, Latter-day Saints may know that it is not of God, no matter how plausible it may appear. Also, they should understand that directions for the guidance of the Church will come, by revelation, through the head.

All faithful members are entitled to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for themselves, their families, and for those over whom they are appointed and ordained to preside. But anything at discord with that which comes from God through the head of the Church is not to be received as authoritative or reliable.

In secular as well as spiritual affairs, Saints may receive Divine guidance and revelation affecting themselves, but this does not convey authority to direct others, and is not to be accepted when contrary to Church covenants, doctrine or discipline, or to known facts, demonstrated truths, or good common sense...The Lord's Church 'is a house of order.'

It is not governed by individual gifts or manifestations, but by the order and power of the Holy Priesthood as sustained by the voice and vote of the Church in its appointed conferences."

"A Warning Voice," Official letter of declaration by the First Presidency, quoted by Harold B. Lee, CR, April, 1970, p. 55.

Reprinted in Gerald Lund's book The Coming of the Lord, p. 10.