Are False Spirits All Around Us?
by Nick Galieti
On August 16th, 1994, Elder Oaks spoke of errors in our lives that result from the influence of the adversary and the shortcomings of the natural man. One of the warnings mentioned in the speech approached the topic of the influence of evil or false spirits. He said:
The Prophet Joseph Smith identified another kind of error whose consequences may be more serious than those of some sins. He said that ignorance of the nature of evil spirits had caused many, including some members of the restored Church, to err in following false prophets and prophetesses. In an editorial in the Times and Seasons, the Prophet observed that “nothing is a greater injury to the children of men than to be under the influence of a false spirit when they think they have the Spirit of God” (HC 4:573).
False or evil spirits in today’s language sounds like ghosts and poltergeists. Some consider evil spirits either a thing of fiction or something saved for haunted houses or Ouija boards. Yet it would seem evident from the direction the world is heading (including many within the church that have even taken counsel from false prophets and prophetesses) that perhaps we ought to be more conscious of this influence in our daily lives. Perhaps these false or evil spirits are all around us and we aren’t as aware of them as we should be?
- What are these spirits?
- How do they influence us?
- How can we defend ourselves against such a potent threat to our happiness and peace?
I would appreciate any sources to research this subject further.