Packer’s Shocking Warning: Feelings can’t be Trusted

02 July

Ensign, ‘The Candle of the Lord,’ January 1983; “We Can Be Deceived…

The spiritual part of us and the emotional part of us are so closely linked that is possible to mistake an emotional impulse for something spiritual. We occasionally find people who receive what they assume to be spiritual promptings from God, when those promptings are either centered in the emotions or are from the adversary.” – Elder Boyd K. Packer

Jeremiah 17:9; “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Wow! How does this man sleep at night? How can he take part in a system commissioning young and old alike, to pound pavement and tell people to trust in a feeling they get after praying?

One has to wonder what was going through his mind when he gave that speech…Isn’t he denouncing the canon he’s trying to sell?

Moroni 10:3-5;“Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. 4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. 5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”

What about this one?

Doctrine and Covenants 9:8. We want to know – is this really biblical?

 “But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.”

Jeremiah’s astute warning is exactly why Dr. Walter Martin always said not to explain Christianity by experiential reasoning but through ‘demonstrative explanation’. You can read more at Help for Mormon Friends.

God has given us a complete ‘how-to-guide’ on why Joseph Smith’s ideology is wrong that we see all throughout His word. One of His precious reminders is from Proverbs.

Proverbs 28:26 “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.”

Another reminder is found in a sermon by Oswald Chambers who preached on Luke 21:19. The name of his sermon was ‘Taking Possession of Your Own Soul’. Here in part is what he said about trusting your feelings –

“There are certain things in life that we need not pray about—moods, for instance. We will never get rid of moodiness by praying, but we will by kicking it out of our lives. Moods nearly always are rooted in some physical circumstance, not in our true inner self.”

We’ve written on the dangers of trusting your own feelings – see The Burning in Your Bosom and Man’s Deceitful Heart, and Burning in the Bosom. They both give several biblical reasons why we should never trust what our feelings tell us!

It’s worthy of attention when the leaders of your church warn you not to do what they’ve always told everyone to do…sigh…what’s a Mormon to do now?

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