Know The 3 Voices
Revelation is the language of the Lord. The prophet Mormon councils us strongly to believe in revelation (3 Nephi 29:6-7; Mormon 9:7-9). Revelation is also the means by which we are led, guided and directed on our own unique journey to Christ. If a person cannot learn to discern among the 3 voices of eternity they will not be able to receive what the Lord has in store for them. This is the purpose of The 3 Voices of Personal Revelation Study Guide–to help a person increase their gift of revelation and develop their gift of discernment among the 3 voices. This collection of blog posts entitled “Know the 3 Voices” are only supplements to that study guide and other relevant topics.
The Reality and Unbelief of the Adversary
Before we dig into “second-guessing” I wanted to first remind you how very real the adversary is. The adversary is both singular and plural. It is the entire collection of all darkness that exists in our universe, our galaxy, and beyond. It is not represented by a single spirit being. Instead, the adversary is represented by dark lords (Satan, Lucifer, etc), dark angels (unembodied spirits, disembodied spirits, familiar spirits), and even through representatives here on this side of the veil in mortality. (For more on this see “Realms of the Voices of Darkness” and “Who They Are” in The 3 Voices of Personal Revelation Study Guide.)
We use the term “adversary” because it opposes the light and the purposes of light in every way. Truly, there is “opposition in all things” (2 Nephi 2:11). In the perfect justice, mercy, and omniscience of God, the adversary is allowed to thwart, disrupt or oppose all the purposes of light on both sides of the veil. Dark spirit beings accomplish this by playing the role of both “opposer” and “deceiver” to mortals and spirits of light. (For more on this see “The Realms of the Voices of Evil Spirits” in The 3 Voices of Personal Revelation Study Guide.)
To dismiss the reality or extent of the realms of darkness is part of “unbelief.” This will not only slow your personal progress but it can even give power to dark beings over you.
Satan, his dark angels, and their evil influence through mankind have always been teaching against this promise/covenant/gospel truth. Thus, these influences of darkness are the foundation of “unbelief”. Not just unbelief in Jesus Christ but, specifically, unbelief in this promise given to Adam and Eve–that God has power to personally redeem and that any person can receive this personal redemption (salvation) from the Lord, be sanctified, “and in this life they shall have joy, and again in the flesh they shall see God” (in mortality, receive the literal presence of the Lord; See also Moses 5:9-13).
“Unbelief” is a spiritual plague within history. It is so important that the message of “unbelief” was restored for the Gentiles (that’s you) in the latter days with it being taught 48 times in the Book of Mormon, 16x in the New Testament, 8x in the Doctrine and Covenants, 0x in the OT, 0x in Pearl of Great Price. More study and discussion of “unbelief” is discussed in The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide. It is listed as one of several reasons that people choose not to receive or ascend to the Lord.
There is a comprehensive list of tactics of the voices of darkness in The 3 Voices of Personal Revelation Study Guide that starts in the section titled, “What They Speak or Do“. One of these tactics is “second-guessing.” It’s through this tactic that the adversary wants you:
- To second guess or question voices of light.
- To not recognize that it is actually a voice of darkness. In other words, they don’t want you to recognize their works since they try to work unidentified, undiscovered, or incognito.
It manifests itself through thoughts in your mind like:
- “That can’t be right.”
- “That’s ridiculous.”
- “There’s no way that could be true.”
- “What you sensed is just not right.”
- “What you sensed just can’t be right.”
- “That’s just your own imagination.”
- “Oh, there’s a logical explanation for that.”
Can you think of others you have experienced?
It is my personal experience that the voice of light is almost always the first thought that enters my mind. This is especially true when I am purposefully seeking for direction or answers.
“If you will listen to the first promptings, you will get it right nine times out of ten.” –Joseph Smith
It is also my personal experience that the voices of darkness will attempt to counter every voice of light in some way.
“The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts” (Mark 4:14-15; emphasis mine).
“But now mine own eyes have beheld God; but not my natural, but my spiritual eyes, for my natural eyes could not have beheld; for I should have withered and died in his presence; but his glory was upon me; and I beheld his face, for I was transfigured before him. And it came to pass that when Moses had said these words, behold, Satan came tempting him, saying: Moses, son of man, worship me… Blessed be the name of my God, for his Spirit hath not altogether withdrawn from me, or else where is thy glory, for it is darkness unto me? And I can judge between thee and God; for God said unto me: Worship God, for him only shalt thou serve. Get thee hence, Satan; deceive me not; for God said unto me: Thou art after the similitude of mine Only Begotten” (Moses 1:11-16; emphasis mine).
As always, seek for your own learning and understanding of how the voices of light and darkness work with you.
As our family was studying and discussing this specific tactic in The 3 Voices of Personal Revelation Study Guide today, a few of our kids shared some of their own personal experiences with second-guessing. For the casual or unbelieving person, it might sound like each of these young people’s experiences were small, meaningless, petty, or even very insignificant. After all, “Why would big ‘ole Satan care about trying to tempt little ‘ole Johnny or Suzie about such petty things?!”
This is exactly where the role of “unbelief” comes into play. If you really understand the size, extent, reality, tactics, and more about the adversary you will begin to see exactly why the darkness does what it does.
Alma identifies a very important righteous principle in Alma 37 for you to consider:
6 Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
7 And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.
The adversary mimics this same principle by attempting to oppose and deceive others through small and simple means (tactics) also. We could just as well say, “by very small means the [adversary] doth confound the wise and bringeth about the [destruction] of many souls.” So, in the efforts of a seemingly wise person that discounts such small (meaningless) things, they might actually already be confounded.
Again, so why would big ‘ole Satan care about trying to tempt little ‘ole Johnny or Suzie about such petty things? Well, it is like distributing a drug–to the point when the voices of darkness become “familiar” so much so that you can even create a dependency upon them. The voices become so “familiar” or even “ordinary” (don’t stand out) that a person is numb to them. These are the fruits of “unbelief” and the fruits of the tactic of “second-guessing.”
One means to overcoming second-guessing that I would recommend is to simply clarify with the Lord. When you recognize that you are experiencing a “second-guessing”, go back to your original or previous thought. Then take that thought to the Lord and simply ask for clarity: “Lord, I had this original thought of [blank]. Was that your voice or a voice of light?” This can be used in either small or more significant experiences. Even getting clarity in smaller situations is important to developing your Gift of Discernment.
I am also not suggesting that every time you experience second-guessing that it comes from the voices of darkness. Your own voice can do this also. This is why it is so important that you are able to discern the 3 voices of personal revelation by developing your own gift of discernment. For more on how you can develop your gifts of Revelation and Discernment, we invite you to study The 3 Voices of Personal Revelation Study Guide.
JourneyDoctrineOfChrist.org is based on complimentary, online study guides to help you learn, believe, live and teach the Doctrine of Christ. The Study Guides invite any and all to see and know this truth for themselves that the Savior, Jesus Christ, has, in fact, introduced His doctrine and He personally invites all to receive personal redemption and literally receive Him while in the flesh (mortality).
Blog posts are only intended to supplement the Study Guides. Per all blog posts, seek the understanding and confirmations from the Lord in your own personal revelation. Study guides are intended to point you to both the Lord’s written word and His voice (personal revelation). These study guides will help you uncover what the Doctrine of Christ is and other essential topics that will help you in your journey to come into His presence while in mortality. All study guides are available at JourneyDoctrineOfChrist.org