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July 12, 2022 - The Word of God

For in those days there shall also arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch, that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect, who are the elect according to the covenant.

Matthew (Joseph Smith translation) 1:22

How scary is this prophecy. The very elect of God will be deceived in today's world. The very elect? How are we supposed to succeed in obtaining eternal life if even the elect of God will be deceived? Is there any hope? Or, are we subject to a mighty gamble where only some will be picked for eternal life while the others have no chance?

Thank goodness, Joseph Smith translated, in verse 37 of Matthew, the answer.

And whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived.

Matthew (Joseph Smith translation) 1:37

Treasuring up the word of God does not mean burying the scriptures to keep them secure or putting the scriptures high up on the shelf to keep them from being worn out.

Another word for treasuring is "feasting" on the word. Immersing oneself in them, not just sprinkling a bit on the head. There is a significant difference between casual reading of the scriptures and a careful reading of them. The latter leads to conversion.

Conversion leads to not being deceived.

Elder Boyd K. Packer said that...

True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior.

Elder Packer, "Little Children", Ensign, Nov 1986

How powerful is God's word then? Words that we already possess, I might add. He already gave them to us. So if there is something in our lives we want to change or adapt, studying how to do it is not as effective as studying God's words...period. We must start there. And to be protected from deception all around us, we must also immerse ourselves and feast on His word. The proverbial two birds, one stone.

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