Many false churches shall be built up in the last days—They shall teach false and vain and foolish doctrines—Apostasy shall abound because of false teachers—The devil shall rage in the hearts of men—He shall teach all manner of false doctrines. Between 559 and 545 B.C.
False and Misleading Doctrine
Think about what some of the most misleading doctrines in the world are. How often are they taught, or how many times have you heard them from those excusing themselves from sin? Nephi tells us several, that I have found to be the most pervasive — and destructive — doctrines to the soul.1. God has changed. Verse 5-6 refer to how God has changed the way he works with His children. He no longer (a) needs to direct the affairs of His church or the world and (b) is a god of miracles.
" And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles." And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust."
The last major warning that Nephi gives us is the underlying theme of the entire chapter, that men are puffing themselves up. They are teaching their own ideas and theories as doctrine, and are setting aside the teachings and wisdom of God. This is not a new concept. Pride is the root of all sin. In stead of my views on this, however, I will direct you to one of the greatest sermons of our time by President Ezra Taft Benson entitled, "Beware of Pride." I encourage you to prayerfully read this general conference address and see how you can remove more pride from your life.
Repentance and JudgmentWith all of these warnings to us, it is easy to loose track of another lesson Nephi devotes 2 verses two: that the Lord is loves His children and is merciful unto all men. While we are under commandment to abstain from all unrighteousness (more than abstain but to, "be ye perfect") He understands that we will not be perfect. Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross of Golgotha, we may repent and become, "white as snow." It is our duty, however, to initiate this process. While repentance may be difficult, remember that the Lord's, "arm is lengthened out all the day long."
ConclusionNephi has seen our day, and he has given us this warning, to avoid all false doctrines. It is up to us to receive it, not only in our minds, but also in our hearts. The best way to avoid these doctrines is to fill you mind with truth, and engrave it upon, "the fleshy tablets of [our] hearts." As we read from the scriptures, and embrace the words of the prophets, we will be directed by the Holy Spirit in the right direction. The Lord has not left us to ourselves, but is willing to reveal His will to any who is prepared and seeks to know it.