Nephi vs Boyd

SCRIPTURE: “And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban; but I said in my heart: Never at any time have I shed the blood of man. And I shrunk and would that I might not slay him.” -1 Nephi 4:10. [source]

QUOTE: “Now, young people, pay attention! Before I say another word about personal revelation, I must tell you so that you cannot possibly misunderstand: ‘There are many spirits which are false spirits.’ There can be counterfeit revelations, promptings from the devil, temptations! As long as you live, in one way or another the adversary will try to lead you astray. ‘For after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.’ The Prophet Joseph Smith said 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.’ The seventh chapter of Moroni in the Book of Mormon tells you how to test spiritual promptings. Read it carefully—over and over. By trial, and some error, you will learn to heed these promptings. If ever you receive a prompting to do something that makes you feel uneasy, something you know in your mind to be wrong and contrary to the principles of righteousness, do not respond to it!” -Boyd K. Packer, in General Conference, October 1994. [source]

COMMENTARY: Either Nephi didn’t listen well enough in General Conference, or Boyd wasn’t paying attention during his scripture study, but one of these two prophets was wrong. Was it the youthful Nephi, who at that point in his life probably hadn’t yet been called as a prophet? Or was it the aged and wise Boyd, who had been raised in the church and had been sustained as a “prophet, seer, and revelator” for almost a quarter century at the time he spoke those words? Since prophets are not infallible, we don’t really know which was wrong. I could offer my opinion, but it’s not worth much. I am, after all, just another apostate.

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