There are many who claim to speak for the Lord in these the last days. Many who take upon them His name, yet He doesn’t claim them. The Lord gave us a measurement to test those who claim such high regard.
15 ¶Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 ¶Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I say, Ye never knew me: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matt 7:15–23)
With that in mind I thought I would compile a list of traits or characteristics that makes one a false prophet, priest, or teacher. Not all of the characteristics need to be demonstrated, but be leary if any one of them are being demonstrated. Here is the list of corrupt practices that help us identify corrupt fruit.
They preach that which they term to be the word of God. (Alma 1:3)
They teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost. (2 Nephi 28:4)
“Woe! Woe! be to that man, or set of men, who lift up their hands against God and his Witness in these last days.–for they shall deceive almost the very chosen ones–my apostate enemies say that I have been a true prophet–& I had rather be a fallen true prophet, than a false prophet; when a man goes about prophesying and commands men to obey his teachings, he must be either 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.” – Joseph Smith (TPJS 365)
“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.” – Joseph Smith (TPJS 205)