Prophet receives revelation for Church
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The Church had been organized only five months when the revelation recorded as Section 28 was given through the Prophet Joseph Smith to Oliver Cowdery. At that time, the members had not learned that only the prophet was authorized to receive revelation on behalf of the Church. Many were listening to Hiram Page, who possessed a certain stone through which he professed to be receiving revelations pertaining to the building of Zion and the order of the Church.
In Section 28, Joseph Smith was instructed to " . . . tell [Hiram PageT that those things which he hath written from that stone are not of me and that Satan deceiveth him." (D&C 28:11.)In an April 1941 general conference address, Elder Joseph F. Merrill of the Council of the Twelve addressed the topic of Satan's deceit through revelations:
"Occasionally there comes to my office and presumably to other offices in the building, an individual who claims he has a divine message for the Church or for [the prophetT. . . . I refer to their claims in illustration of the statement that our belief in modern revelation may be the means of leading away some of the people unless they are on their guard. Perhaps at no time in history did Satan have power as great as he has today. There was no time in the past when so many people believed in revelation as today. Satan tempts us where we are most vulnerable. He misleads a few into believing that the promptings that come from him are divine revelations. These false prophets in turn are seemingly so devout, so humble, so earnest and sincere that they, with Satan's help, are able to deceive and mislead many others - only those, however, who profess a belief in modern revelation. . . .
"The foolish who have been blinded have been led to believe that they are serving the cause of the Master when the fact is they are dupes of the devil. . . .
"When in doubt go on your knees in humility with an open mind and a pure heart with a real desire to do the Lord's will, and pray earnestly and sincerely for divine guidance. Persist in praying in this way until you get an answer that fills your bosom with joy and satisfaction. It will be God's answer. If obedient to this answer you will always act as the President indicates. You will then be safe."