“The scriptures talk about the “discerning of spirits” as a gift of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:10; D&C 46:23). It means “to understand or know something through the power of the Spirit. … It includes perceiving the true character of people and the source and meaning of spiritual manifestations” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Discernment, Gift of,” scriptures.lds.org).
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has taught that the gift of discernment can help us (1) “detect hidden error and evil in others,” (2) “detect hidden errors and evil in ourselves,” (3) “find and bring forth the good that may be concealed in others,” and (4) “find and bring forth the good that may be concealed in us” (“Quick to Observe,” Ensign, Dec. 2006, 35).”
1 John 4:1 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
1 Corinthians 12:10 “To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues”.
Ah, discernment, the indispensable gift our Lord gives believers to shield them from heresy. Whenever a new believer asks me about this, the best way I can explain it is to study. The closer your walk with Jesus is, the less likely you’ll buy into the nonsensical rhetoric like that of Mormonism. God’s Holy Spirit then reminds you of what you’ve learned at the time it’s needed.
Mr. Bednar’s definition is part of their foundational reliance on witchcraft, sprinkled with the obligatory truth to lure people into the lies.
Discernment doesn’t give people the ability to detect hidden error, or evil in people. What he’s describing is akin to the antics of fortune-tellers looking into a crystal ball. No one knows a man’s heart except for himself, and of course, God. 1 Corinthians 2:11
We’ve pulled three reliable sources that speaks about this you can read below. One thing is for certain – if you want true discernment, you need to worship the true God of the Bible and most unfortunately, Mormons do not. You’ll also want to take note that none of the definitions we found included Mr. Bednar’s idea of discernment.
“One of the gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:10). It apparently refers to the God-given ability to tell whether a prophetic speech came from God’s Spirit or from another source opposed to God.”
The transliteration for discernment is ‘diakrisis’. Here’s the info to share with the Mormon you know –
‘G1253 from <G1252> (diakrino); judicial estimation :- discern (-ing), disputation’.
DISCERN, verb intransitive
To see or understand the difference; to make distinction; as, to discern between good and evil, truth and falsehood.
To have judicial cognizance.
One last thing. Oswald Chambers provided some great insight about discernment, and how to identify what we need to pray.
“Can Jesus Christ see the agony of His soul in us? He can’t unless we are so closely identified with Him that we have His view concerning the people for whom we pray. May we learn to intercede so wholeheartedly that Jesus Christ will be completely and overwhelmingly satisfied with us as intercessors.” – Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, March 31
With Love in Christ;