The principles taught in D&C 50:20-21 have brought so much clarity, direction, and peace. God desires for us to discern between his voice and the voice of the adversary.
There are spirits which have gone abroad in the earth. Many of those spirits are false spirits, and Satan wants to deceive and overthrow us. These deceptions are even in the church and among those that profess God’s name. D&C 50:1- 9
God is merciful and gracious and understands that many times mortals can be fooled, so he gives us keys to help us detect the tricks of the adversary. How does he teach? How can we preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth? D&C 50:10-20
God asks the big question, “Therefore, why is it that ye cannot understand and know, that he that receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth it as it is preached by the Spirit of truth? Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together.” D&C 50:21–22
Here are three grand keys to discerning between spirits sent from God and those sent from the adversary.
God always sends understanding, edification, and rejoicing. “And that which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness." D&C 50:23
Wow! Can it really be that simple? Can I judge everything in my life using this standard? Is the truth of God always accompanied with understanding, edification, and rejoicing?
This was a big eye opener for me. I can see that I’ve been in the dark because I’ve judged things of God to be of the Devil and things of the Devil to be of God. How many times have I experienced drudgery, boredom, and confusion, and yet made myself do it anyway, thinking I was somehow pleasing God by sacrificing my happiness for him. No! Those things aren’t of God. God is fun, exciting, inventive, intuitive, and always has something new to explore with me. He is also firm and clear, and when he "spanks me", I feel good and have new direction in my life.
If the enemy can trick me into thinking that boring meetings, dull exercises, tiresome tasks, numb-minding rules, dreary responsibilities, uninteresting lessons, tedious drudgeries, and dull rituals somehow represent the loving God of truth; then he can steal the truth and light that Jesus desires to give me.
“That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day. And again, verily I say unto you, and I say it that you may know the truth, that you may chase darkness from among you;”
God desires to purify and cleanse us so that we can ask for whatsoever we will in the name of Jesus and it shall be done. D&C 50:26-29
God is so good; He is so interesting; He is generous; He is kind. I look forward with joyful anticipation to participate in many more of his great manifestations. I love being edified, I love new understanding, and I love rejoicing in my God:)
“Wherefore, I am in your midst, and I am the good shepherd, and the stone of Israel. He that buildeth upon this rock shall never fall. And the day cometh that you shall hear my voice and see me, and know that I am. Watch, therefore, that ye may be ready. Even so. Amen.” D&C 50:44-46