[H]ow can we protect ourselves against spiritual fraud? The Correlation Department of the Church, which tries to ensure that messages from Church headquarters align with doctrine, follows a strategy that could help us. They call it “doctrinal triangulation.” When considering how a teaching aligns with the gospel of Jesus Christ, they ask:
1. What do the scriptures say about this?
2. What do modern Church leaders say about this?
3. What is the Spirit trying to communicate about this?
There is greatest spiritual safety where these three areas agree and overlap (see Jacob 7:10–12). We could use this pattern to study gospel questions we have.
Marissa Widdison, "Protecting Yourself against Temporal and Spiritual Fraud", Ensign, October 2020
There has always been people trying to trick us into giving money or whatever. It's more prevalent now with the internet and social media, emails, etc. Just remember to never give your social or credit card numbers to anyone over the phone or in an email, especially if they're the ones who reached out to you. And never click on links that request that information. Instead, call or go to the legitimate websites and login. Enough on that.
Likewise Satan tries to trick us into giving him our free agency. He's been doing this since man and woman were first on this earth. It's nothing new. But his methods may be.
He deceives us by exploiting our natural, mortal tendencies and appetites. And they may be different for each of us. But he knows what they are and he's not above shamefully exploiting them.
He counterfeits God-given feelings and freedoms. We all know he uses lust for love, or our genuine feelings of the need to be loved and causes the wrong people to supply those feelings through imitation, not love. He uses remorse that we feel which causes us to repent and turns it into shame which instead causes us to isolate.
Especially now, he is touting security for the sake of liberty and freedom.
Even worse, he deceives the very elect by appearing as an angel of light.
But one thing that he cannot do, and what all these situations or experiences lack, the one thing he cannot counterfeit in any of his plans is to imitate the Spirit of God. We will feel the difference between him and his attempts versus the peace, joy, stillness, love that permeates our souls through the spirit.
So even the very elect will know that the angel they are in the presence of doesn't feel right when he is trying to deceive them. There will be a stupor of thought, an uneasiness, even fear. We will never feel fear in God's presence.
So, if the very Church of Jesus Christ employs the doctrinal triangulation method, we should too, in everything. That is where are security and protection from fraud lies and where freedom exists.