Latter-day Saints must be aware of false ideas and unrighteous behavior so that they might actively “contend for the faith.”
Latter-day Saints are to judge between true and false teachers so they will not be lead away from Christ.
Latter-day Saints should receive the teachings of the living prophets and of good men who abide in Christ, and reject those which reject Christ—anti-Christs.
By false teachers, John meant those who were not really believers of the gospel even though they might be members of the church.
An anti-Christ is one who denies that Jesus is the Christ.
We have the same anti-Christ doctrine and many anti-Christs among us today.
The doctrine that God has not a body of flesh and bone is prevalent in the world today, both in religious and scientific beliefs.
There are persons and societies which oppose Christ openly.
To obtain the kingdom of God and avoid deception, one must plan and build his life on Christ as the cornerstone.
Chapter 53, “For There Are Certain Men Crept In Unawares”
Acts 20:29, 30. What two problems was Paul fearful of in his day?
2 John 7. About what problem was John also concerned?
Jude 4. What warning did Jude give?
2 Nephi 28:14-16. What problem did Nephi prophecy would hinder the followers of Christ in our day?
2 Nephi 28:31. What is the standard the Lord has given to guide the judgments we make?
Moroni 7:12-18. By what standard can we judge good from evil?
Teachings, pp. 67-68. Why are apostates so likely to become enemies of the Church?
DS, 3:40, 279. Why will nations that reject Christ eventually fall?
DS, 1:209-10. Why will Christ not reveal himself to those that reject him?
M of F, p. 58. What are some characteristics of the anti-Christ?
Teachings, p. 318. What is the blessing to those who will build their lives on the Savior?
Ezra Taft Benson in CR, Oct. 1970, pp. 21-22. What are some of the false educational ideas of today?
Ezra Taft Benson in CR, Oct. 1971, pp. 24-29. How is Satan seeking to undermine the faith of today’s youth?
Harold B. Lee in CR, Oct. 1950, p. 131. Who are some modern anti-Christs?
George Albert Smith in CR, Apr. 1948, p. 179. How numerous are the anti-Christs today?
Ezra Taft Benson in CR, Oct. 1967, pp. 34-39. How can we avoid falling to the precepts of men?
Alvin R. Dyer in CR, Apr. 1969, pp. 54-57. The precepts of men exposed.
Mark E. Petersen in CR, Oct. 1969, pp. 116-19. How are the doctrines of the kingdom being challenged today?
Ezra Taft Benson in CR, Apr. 1969, pp. 10-15. How can the humble followers of Christ avoid deception?
Cassette tape (President Harold B. Lee), Wolves Among the Flock
Some Suggestions for Presentation
Persecution and Problems (Scripture Analysis and Chalkboard Discussion)
The teacher might begin by asking the class which of the following is most damaging to the Church and why:
Under each of these headings, the class could consider the specific types of problems that the Church faces from within and from without. See course manual, chapter 53, the first quote from President McKay under Points to Ponder. Why are problems from within so serious to the growth and progress of the kingdom?
What problems faced by the apostolic church (as recorded in 2 and 3 John and in Jude) are similar to those of our day? A chart such as the following could be used (information found in the student interaction
Problems in the Apostolic Church
Today’s Similar Problems
What the Saints Can Do to Contend for the Faith
The teachings of those who profess that God is dead and that Jesus is not literally divine.
Gain a firm testimony of the existence of God and of the divine mission of Jesus Christ through sincere prayer, study, and service.
How to Judge Good from Evil (A Chalkboard Illustration)
The following chalkboard illustration could be helpful in explaining what is meant by making Christ the standard of all truth.
Examine the following word relationships:
Student Handout (A Discussion)
The teacher may wish to use the following quote:
“During the early days of the Church we passed through a period of slander and misrepresentation, and we came through. It drove us together because of enemies from the outside. And we survived. We passed through a period of mobbing and driving, when lives were taken and blood was shed, and somehow the place of the martyr gave us strength. We passed through poverty, and we gained strength from the test of it. Then we passed through an age of what we might call apostasy, or betrayal from the inside—one of the severest tests through which we have passed. We are now going through another test—a period of what we might call sophistication. This is a time when there are many clever people who are not willing to listen to the humble prophets of the Lord. And we have suffered from that. It is rather a severe test.” (Harold B. Lee, “Sweet Are the Uses of Adversity,” Instructor, June 1965, p. 217.)
What is our test and how is it being manifest today? How can following the living prophets help us avoid deception?