God wants us to receive light. He wants to help us recognize truth and overcome false beliefs.
In May, 1831, the Lord said to Leman Copley, a recent convert to the church: “Be not deceived, but continue in steadfastness” (Doctrine and Covenants 49:23). He corrected some inaccurate beliefs, and then promised to help Leman grow in understanding. “I will be in your midst,” He promised, “and you shall not be confounded” (Doctrine and Covenants 49:27).
Two days later, the Lord spoke to the elders of the church. They had allowed false spirits to deceive them, He said, but He was willing to reason with them to help them better understand. He taught them how to recognize truth: It edifies, enlightens and brings joy. It builds unity. It comes iteratively—as we accept and apply truth, we receive more (Doctrine and Covenants 50:21-25).
Mormon taught his people that they could distinguish truth from error with the help of the Spirit of the Lord. They could recognize this spirit because it “inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him” (Moroni 7:13).
Here are some things I have learned about the process of gaining spiritual knowledge, together with some relevant blog posts:
- Thoughts which lead us to do good and love God come from the Spirit of the Lord: How Can I Tell the Difference Between Promptings from the Holy Ghost and My Own Thoughts?
- Morning and evening prayers are a useful time to seek light and knowledge from God: What Does It Mean to “Counsel with the Lord?”
- It’s important to remember that the process of receiving spiritual knowledge is incremental: What Should I Do When There Are Questions I Can’t Answer?
- Sometimes, additional learning is contingent on our appreciating, believing, and acting upon the principles we already understand: Then Shall the Greater Things Be Made Manifest unto Them – 3 Nephi 26:9-10
- When teachers and students all seek inspiration together, they can all “be edified and rejoice together:” They Are Plain unto All Those Who Are Filled with the Spirit of Prophecy – 2 Nephi 25:4.
- Therefore, it is wise for teachers to encourage their students to be active learners: Open Your Ears That Ye May Hear – Mosiah 2:9.
- Godly fear can help us overcome worldly fears: What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About Fear?