Quotes on False Prophets

See also: Joseph Smith – Matthew 1:22   

The Prophet Joseph Smith warned:  “When a man goes about prophesying, and commands men to obey his teachings, he must either be a true or false prophet.  False prophets always arise to oppose the true prophets and they will prophesy so very near the truth that they will deceive almost the very chosen ones” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 365).

He also taught:  “The world always mistook false prophets for true ones, and those that were sent of God, they considered to be false prophets, and hence they killed, stoned, punished and imprisoned the true prophets, and these had to hide themselves ‘in deserts and dens, and caves of the earth,’ and though the most honorable men of the earth, they banished them from their society as vagabonds, whilst they cherished, honored and supported knaves, vagabonds, hypocrites, impostors, and the basest of men” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 206). Pearl of Great Price Student Manual, p. 46

Brothers and sisters, the exact time of the Second Coming is known only to the Father (see Matt. 24:36). There are, however, signs that scriptural prophecy relating to that tumultuous day is being fulfilled. Jesus cautioned several times that prior to His Second Coming, “many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” (Matt. 24:11). 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. — M. Russell Ballard, “Beware of False Prophets and False Teachers,” General Conference, October 1999

Of such President Joseph F. Smith warned when he spoke of the “proud self-vaunting ones, who read by the lamps of their own conceit; who interpret by rules of their own contriving; who have become a law unto themselves, and so pose as the sole judges of their own doings” (Gospel Doctrine, 381).  (Elder M. Russell Ballard, Conference Report, Oct. 1999, 77-78; or Ensign, Nov. 1999, 62-63) Pearl of Great Price Student Manual, pp. 46-47

If these false religious systems with their false teachers invite you to the desert to find Christ in a life of asceticism [strict self-denial], go not forth, he is not there; if they call you to the secret chambers of monastic seclusion [withdrawal from the world] to find him, believe them not, he is not there” (Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:648). Pearl of Great Price Student Manual, p. 47

Unfortunately, along with much of the world, some of our loved ones are influenced by false prophets, false Christs, and modern movements of spiritualism. Some have become victims of satanic influences because they do not understand or realize the power of the adversary who knows human weaknesses and is ever present. — David B. Haight, “Power of Evil,” General Conference, April 1973

. . . since a true prophet by definition is a minister or religious teacher who receives revelation from God, it follows that a false prophet is a person who pretends to be a minister of Christ and a teacher of his truths who does not in fact receive revelation.  Thus Joseph Smith said: “When a man goes about prophesying, and commands men to obey his teachings, he must either be a true or false prophet.  False prophets always arise to oppose the true prophets, and they will prophesy so very near the truth that they will deceive almost the very chosen ones.”  (Teachings, p. 365)  Also: “If I profess to be a witness or teacher, and have not the spirit of prophecy, which is the testimony of Jesus, I must be a false witness; but if I be a true teacher and witness, I must possess the spirit of prophecy, and that constitutes a prophet; and any man who says he is a teacher or preacher of righteousness, and denies the spirit of prophecy, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; and by this key false teachers and impostors may be detected.”  (Teachings, p. 269) — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, Vol. II, pp. 121-122