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    Don’t Be Dazzled by Deception

    David Dickson Church Magazines

    Learn how to see the sham behind the glam.

    Six worlds were about to get ROCKED! Specifically, the individual worlds of my family and myself.

    I’ve always had a strange obsession with glow sticks (let the raised eyebrows commence), and now I had a way to create my very own, insanely awesome, massive glow stick with a few basic ingredients from the store. This handy bit of knowledge came compliments of an Internet video I’d seen earlier that day.

    “Prepare to be amazed!” I said as my family crowded into a dark bathroom for the science experiment. I combined the mystical-yet-everyday ingredients of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and a soft drink into a container. Then I flipped out the lights and sat back to watch the show.

    One problem. Combining those three ingredients doesn’t produce any sort of glow whatsoever. Zero, zilch, nada.

    It was a hoax. I found out later that the people who made this video secretly added—wait for it—a glow stick to their bogus science gimmick. They set out to deceive people and got me good. My family and I all felt disappointment as we realized we’d been duped.

    Beware the Razzle Dazzle

    Deceptions can certainly seem exciting and appealing. Indeed, that’s the point. Deceivers almost universally try to make something appear better than it really is.

    Yet all too often there’s much more at stake than a neat science trick that falls flat. The consequences can be eternal.

    “Satan’s methods of deception are enticing: music, movies and other media, and the glitter of a good time,” taught Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “When Satan’s lies succeed in deceiving us, we become vulnerable to his power” (“Be Not Deceived,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2004, 43).

    The glitter and draw of deceptions—including the spiritual ones—often sparkle on the outside like a freshly waxed Lamborghini. It’s understandable to be intrigued by them. But the good news is you’re not alone in trying to see past these deceptions.

    How to See Clearly

    How, then, do we avoid getting tricked? Elder Oaks further taught, “The Holy Ghost will protect us against being deceived, but to realize that wonderful blessing we must always do the things necessary to retain that Spirit” (“Be Not Deceived,” 46).

    And boy howdy do we need that spiritual help! There are so many voices out there. We’re constantly blasted with opinions, beliefs, and assertions. Often these opinionated assertions are shoved at us under the guise of pure fact. “You must never eat this one particular food, or else!”

    Ever been baffled by all that noise? Even when it came to something really important? Joseph Smith was certainly confused while investigating religion in his youth: “In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?” (Joseph Smith—History 1:10).

    So, you’re in good company if you sometimes find yourself puzzled by the world around you and looking for answers. But like Joseph Smith, we too can find direction and clarity if we seek heaven’s help.

    “Personal revelation can be honed to become spiritual discernment,” taught President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “The gift of spiritual discernment is a supernal gift. It allows members of the Church to see things not visible and to feel things not tangible” (“Ask, Seek, Knock,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 82–83).

    Keep It Simple

    Once you’re able to see past those highly polished deceptions, don’t be surprised if the plain and simple truth seems, well, a bit plain. At least at first glance.

    “Sometimes the truth may just seem too straightforward, too plain, and too simple for us to fully appreciate its great value,” taught President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency. “So we set aside what we have experienced and know to be true in pursuit of more mysterious or complicated information. Hopefully we will learn that when we chase after shadows, we are pursuing matters that have little substance and value” (“It Works Wonderfully!” Ensign or Liahona, Nov 2015, 20).

    The fact of the matter is, plain-and-simple spiritual truths are never plain or boring. When we follow God’s commandments and live as He wants us to, that’s when life becomes truly dazzling.

    So shine on.

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