Every Man Who Hath Been Warned Should Warn His Neighbor

Every Man Who Hath Been Warned Should Warn His NeighborThe Commandment from Doctrine and Covenants 88

It’s often repeated that with great power comes great responsibility. It is also said that knowledge is power. Likewise I believe that with knowledge comes responsibility.

As Latter-day Saints we believe that it is important to “teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith” (D&C 109:7).

Additionally we have been commanded to teach one another “the doctrine of the kingdom… that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand” (D&C 88: 77-78)

What specifically are these things we should learn and teach?

From D&C 88:

  • things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth
  • things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass
  • things which are at home, things which are abroad
  • the wars and the perplexities of the nations
  • the judgments which are on the land
  • a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms

Why should we learn these things?

“That ye may be prepared in all things.”

Then what do we do?

“…and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor. Therefore, they are left without excuse, and their sins are upon their own heads.” (D&C 88:82)

President Uchtdorf, during the Priesthood Session of the October 2009 General Conference, stated that “for members of the Church, education is not merely a good idea – it’s a commandment.”

Hopefully we are not just learning for the sake of learning, but learning and applying that knowledge. You’ll notice that the topics listed in D&C 88, regarding what we are to learn about, are for the purpose of being prepared in all things. These things, in practice, might range from being prepared for emergencies, food storage, getting out of debt, learning to live off the land, being more self-sufficient, being more health conscious and becoming familiar with natural remedies (Alma 46:40), even understanding correct political principles, and learning correct principles so that we are not deceived by the false teachers of this world. This education should also lead to an awakening to our awful situation, and a desire to repent of our sins (Ether 8: 20-26). As we share this knowledge with others we free ourselves from the sins of this generation (D&C 88:82).

Without a sufficient understanding of the principles of the Gospel, which encompass all areas of life, we give the adversary power over us, and will be more easily deceived and swayed to follow the ways of Babylon.

16 thoughts on “Every Man Who Hath Been Warned Should Warn His Neighbor”

  1. Melinda Sandberg

    “Without a sufficient understanding of the principles of the Gospel, which encompass all areas of life, we give the adversary power over us, and will be more easily deceived and swayed to follow the ways of Babylon.”

    Thank you Brian! I agree whole heartedly. We have had the privilege of teaching Temple Preparation class for over two years. I love teaching the Plan of Happiness/Salvation and dwelling on the scriptures associated with each part. The basics. Agency, freedom, choice, light, love and truth of Heavenly Father’s Plan v.s. Lucifer’s persuasive no risk, no choice, he controls and takes all the honor(power).

    Hmmm. As the prophets continually point out the War in Heaven continues on earth. WHY is it so hard for members to discern the basic principles when looking at our government and laws? D&C 121 seems to not even register with many.

    I continue to read, study and pray and find my own weaknesses daily. I love your blog and hope you continue to write for a long time.

    1. Might I suggest a new idea perhaps-

      Suppose it wasn’t ever Satan’s true plans to save anyone? Suppose for a moment that all he really wanted was an immortal body and thus- the power of God himself. Suppose also that it is Satan’s true plans to bring everyone down to hell where he himself is. I believe if we can see it for what it truly is we can really begin to know how and where Satan is at work.

      1. This coming from a guy who wants proof that conspiracies exist, yet tries to put forth a theory that is unsupported by scriptures or Church authorities. We’ve already seen how you twisted Moses 4 to support your proposition in another comment section of this site, so spare us your drivel.

        1. I actually showed real proof for the case…so it’s not just “drivel”.

          What proof do you have- solid concrete proof that a conspiracy within our government exists?

          1. Skirting the issue, eh? You showed nothing; no proof. None of your suppositions are supported by scripture or by Church authorities.

            You can suppose all you want. Your idea is nothing short of false doctrine.

  2. Pat,

    False doctrine? The proof is in the scriptures that Satan is trying to destroy our agency by dragging us down into captivity- the chains of hell. How much proof does one need?

    1. Pat, here is a talk by Robert D. Hales on agency-


      Here in the talk he explains how the devil causes our agency to be destroyed. I will quote-

      ”The voice will be as soft as a whisper, coming as a thought to our minds or a feeling in our hearts. By heeding its gentle promptings, we will be protected from the destructive consequences of sin.

      But if we ignore those promptings, the light of the Spirit will fade. Our agency will be limited or lost, and we will lose the confidence and ability to act. We will be “walking in [spiritual] darkness at noon-day.” 22 Then how easy it is to wander into strange paths and become lost! How quickly we are bound in the chains of sin spoken of by Lehi to his rebellious sons………Finally, remember our agency is not only for us. We have the responsibility to use it in behalf of others, to lift and strengthen others in their trials and tribulations. Some of our brothers and sisters have lost the full use of their agency through unrighteous choices”

      Ask yourself this- If Satan wants to destroy our agency, and this is accomplished through sin and other unrighteous choices, is it no wonder then that Satan’s number one objective is to get us to fall into a life of sin and into thus into the captive chains of hell? Tell me- is not the life of sin the yielding of ones agency over to Satan to be led captive by him?

      1. Stick to the issue.

        You said, “Might I suggest a new idea perhaps-

        “Suppose it wasn’t ever Satan’s true plans to save anyone? Suppose for a moment that all he really wanted was an immortal body and thus- the power of God himself. ”

        You start by saying, “Might I suggest a new idea . . .,” followed by your own suppositions, which you have introduced elsewhere on this board, as well. See, the problem here is that you are introducing your own theories. Neither the scriptures nor the authorities support you.

        You continued, “Suppose also that it is Satan’s true plans to bring everyone down to hell where he himself is.”

        Well, uh, yeah, exceeeept that was only after he was thrust out of heaven.

        And you concluded with, “I believe if we can see it for what it truly is we can really begin to know how and where Satan is at work.”

        Everybody knows what Satan is about, and he will use whatever resources available, including governments, to seduce us to hell.

        1. The scriptures support the view very well. Satan was thrown out of heaven because of his rebellion against Christ. This rebellion was not a sudden thing. Satan had sought to destroy the kingdom and was about doing that and was thrown out of heaven for doing that. He still continues doing just that today- trying to destroy God’s kingdom.

          If it were true that Satan was going to use a government to prove his plan of forced obedience why is it that no government ever as recorded in history has ever had that happen? Think about it- when was the last time a government was set up that forced everyone to repent and be baptized and from there forced everyone to obey all laws of righteousness (the ten commandments, etc).

          Satan has never had a plan of forced obedience. Neither has he ever had a plan of truly wanting to save “everyone”. Why do you suppose he was kicked out of heaven and called the “father of all lies”? Is it no stretch that he wants you to believe you can do anything you want and in the end he will save you? What do the scriptures say about this lie of his? The scriptures state that in the end Satan will not stand by his children (those who follow him). What does this say about his real plans? It says everything if one puts it all together- he wants you to follow after the lusts of the flesh, commit all manner of sins and then, in the end lead you captive into his kingdom where he can rule over you. That has always been his plan.

          If he sets up any government on earth, or is a part of any government- be it a Republic, theocracy, Democracy, Socialist, Ciommunist, etc, the fruits will always be the same- that of wickedness, whoredoms, murder, slavery, etc.

          Trust me on this- he has no plans, nor ever had, to force people into salvation or to force them into obedience. When the scriptures state that he sought to destroy the agency of man it means that he sought to take away the gift of agency given us by the Father by leading us into the path of spiritual bondage. That is exactly what he is still seeking to do. It is so replete in scripture, there can be no mistake.

  3. What a twisted piece of nonsense.

    Paragraph 1. Satan rebelled against Heavenly Father (Moses 4:1-2) and fought against the Savior (Moses 4:3).

    He doesn’t have, and never has had, the power to destroy God’s kingdom; he only has the power to deceive.

    Paragraph 2. Really, Rob. Are you like “serial?” Stop it with your stupid games.

    Paragraph 3. Satan said, “. . . I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; . . . .” (Moses 4:1) There it is right there. His plan is very clear – saving every soul through force. Can’t get any plainer than that.

    From David O. McKay: “Force, on the other hand, emanates from Lucifer himself. Even in man’s [premortal] state, Satan sought power to compel the human family to do his will by suggesting that the free agency of man be inoperative. If his plan had been accepted, human beings would have become mere puppets in the hands of a dictator, and the purpose of man’s coming to earth would have been frustrated. Satan’s proposed system of government, therefore, was rejected, and the principle of free agency established.” (In Conference Report, Apr. 1950, 34–35.)

    He became a liar and deceiver only after he was thrust from heaven and became Satan. (Moses 4:3-4).

    No, in the end, Satan will not rule over anybody. He doesn’t have a body.

    Paragraph 4. Satan does not have the ability to set up any government, but he can rule people by influencing evil men to set up governments for the express purpose of oppressing people.

    Paragraph 5. Trust you? I don’t think so. You twist the scriptures to support your ideas (theories), you make unsubstantiated claims against church leaders, you outright dismiss and/or ignore Church leaders who are at variance with your ideology, and you are critical of how the church is operated. Trust you? No way, no how.

    You are no seeker of truth. Your are blatantly obtuse and willfully ignorant, characteristics very unbecoming of a priesthood holder of the Church, and I worn you, you are treading a very dangerous path.

    1. Pat, get real.

      Put the logic together where it stands. In Moses ch.4 it starts by stating what Lucifer siad- not what he intended to really do. What was he proposing at the council- he was proposing that he himself should be the savior. What role is it of the savior? The role of a savior is to save “all” that the Father gives to the savior to save. Lucifer is just stating the formalities of what is expected of a savior. Important to the verse though is that the Lord is speaking to Moses and telling him that the very spirit who tried to decieve him in the prior chapters through “lies” was the same (liar) from the beginning. Basically what is being said in verse one is that the Lord is telling Moses that even before the world- in the council in heaven, he was a liar then too. Note that it says he was the same (liar) even from the beginning. Immediatley it then shows that Lucifer then lied about saving, or wanting to save all. It says nothing in this verse regarding agency as most somehow read that into it.

      What we must get over is the fact that in verse one it never says what Lucifers real plans are. All we are told is that even as he appeared to Moses as a liar and deceiver, at the council he was also the very same person-a liar and a deceiver.

      It isn’t until the next few verses that we are told what Lucifer’s real plans entailed- at least in part as to what he wanted. We are told that he wanted to destroy man’s agency. We are also told that he rebelled against the Savior. We are also told that he wanted to be born into mortality as the son of God.

      So in what way was he seeking to destroy man’s agency? It certainly wasn’t by allowing him to follow some plan of salvation for everyone regardless of sin. We must remember that he told a lie at the council when he said he would be the savior. That was his big lie- he wasn’t going to save anyone. So if it was all a lie in order to try to usurp authority and gain the power of godlieness (through being born into an immortal body), what does this say about agency? Nothing at this point specifically. This is where logic plays a large part. Suppose Lucifer was chosen as the savior. But, not only incapable of saving anyone, he wouldn’t want to anyway. So, as man would inevitably sin, there could be no redemption because there would be no “true” savior. Unable to escape eternal justice, fallen man would not be able to excersize his agency and all would be lost.

      Lucifer is still after the same thing- that same thing about destroying our agency. How is he doing it? By getting us to fall into the traps and chains of sin. He wants us to sin. It is what he wanted at the council. He wants to take God’s children and take them into his own kingdom where he can rule over them. It is what he wanted then and it is still what he wants now.

      If it were really true that Satan wanted to establish his plan of forced obedience, we would see some attempt at his setting up governments that force people to obey the commandments, repent and be baptized. Why is it that we see no government that has ever established forced obedience to God’s laws and ordinances? Because that wasn’t and never will be Satan’s plans. Satan’s plan wasn’t about forcing us into salvation, it was and still is, all about trapping us and chaining us down to an everlasting destruction in hell. The chains of hell by every direct definition is the “destruction of our agency”. So, when it says that Lucifer sought to destroy man’s agency, it translates directly into the fact that Satan sought to chain men down into captivity in hell.

  4. We have seen many governments, the vast majority of them in fact, which have attempted to impose some form or another of compulsory obedience to what the rulers of those governments deemed ultimate moral principles.

    The reason that these various efforts never bear any substantial resemblance to the Gospel of Christ is simply because obedience to the principles of the Gospel, true faith, earnest repentance, baptism by divinely granted authority, and the covenant to receive God’s guidance throughout life (for a start) cannot possibly be imposed by force. The mimicry is always a hollow mockery of the plan of Salvation, because the core principle of free agency has been stripped out of it.

    Your contention that it would even be possible for Satan to come up with some better simulacrum of the path of redemption than has been evidenced by those worldly counterfeits with which we are all familiar (except those of us with no familiarity with history, either ancient or recent) betrays an alarming lack of understanding. Satan’s imposed regimes of “compulsory salvation” can never bear a close resemblance to the true Gospel because respect for agency (as opposed to forced compliance) is just that central.

    Yes, Satan does seek to make all humanity miserable. But while it is certainly true that his pre-mortal offer of salvation without the implicit risks of moral agency was fundamentally a lie, you are mistaken to assert that Lucifer didn’t believe that lie himself. Satan, even now, only uses temptation to “sin” as a means to an impossible end, his plan is to eventually overthrow God and impose his own version of “redemption”. That this plan is almost hilariously stupid on the face of it is somewhat beside the point (or perhaps not), the pride of the father of lies is such that he intensely fancies victory to be possible.

    Explaining exactly how getting humans to sin and thus fail to be saved is going to result in the overthrow of God to the benefit of Satan would require would require accepting the idea that Satan actually can ever “win” and become the ruler of Eternity–a clear logical contradiction. But make no mistake, getting humans to commit diverse sins is not his ultimate aim…though given the fact that there is no risk of him succeeding in his plan to defeat and supplant God, while there is substantial risk for any given person of Satan’s temptations leading to a life wasted in sin, it is certainly proper to treat Satan’s efforts at temptation as the more important threat.

  5. Though perhaps an analogy would be useful. The example has arisen recently (and it is a historical pattern evident in many other cases) of a group of persons who wanted to have certain laws passed, who attempted to convince the legislative authority that these laws were necessary by themselves engaging in the crimes that these laws would theoretically address. Specifics can easily be found if you wish to find them.

    Likewise, Satan seeks to make people lose hope of ever controlling themselves as a means of convincing them to give up their freedom entirely, in principle and not just in practice, to some entity that exacts compulsory obedience and promises relief from the effects of sin. Of course Satan’s many efforts at such forced salvation never have much in the way of good effects, but many people are convinced to surrender to tyranny after being enticed into a seemingly hopeless abyss of sin.

    Of course, just getting mortal humans to sin is hardly sufficient. To actually win and take over Eternity, Satan needs to get God to Fall by exploiting the despair of God’s children. This is superficially conceivable (though it won’t actually work), so far so good. Then, somehow, Satan has to ascend to replace God. This is the less easily explainable part…mainly Satan is just so prideful that he believes the only reason that he doesn’t rule Eternity is because God is in his way. It’s all remarkably silly, but Satan has always been quite serious and determined in his ultimate plan for the total overthrow of God. I could admire his persistence if it weren’t so utterly pathetic and destructive.

  6. All of us were sent to earth with our agency…the right to choose whatever we will for ourselves. Satan has no power to destroy our agency. He can tempt us and drag us down if we allow him to, but he can never take away our God-given agency.

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