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Elder Gary E. Stevenson: ‘Deceive Me Not’

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks during the Sunday morning session in the 189th Semiannual General Conference of the Church on Oct. 6, 2019. Credit: Screenshot
Elder Gary E. Stevenson. Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks during the Sunday morning session in the 189th Semiannual General Conference of the Church on Oct. 6, 2019. Credit: Screenshot
Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks during the Sunday morning session in the 189th Semiannual General Conference of the Church on Oct. 6, 2019. Credit: Screenshot

Notable quotes:

“The Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ offsets perilous times with the fulness of times.” “We must continue to be faithful and vigilant, for so is the only way to discern truth and to hear the voice of the Lord through His servants.” “May we recognize Satan’s deceptions for what they are. May we withstand and see through the lines and influences of the one who seeks to destroy our souls and steal from us our present joy and future glory.” Summary points:

  • There are forces at play today designed to deliberately lead us away from absolute truth. These deceptions often have dire consequences.
  • The adversary does not easily abandon his destructive motives to deceive and demean us. He certainly did not do so with Moses, instead desiring to cause Moses to forget who he was eternally.
  • The adversary seeks to trick you, having always pretended to be something that he is not. He attempts to hide who he truly is. He claims that obedience will make your life miserable and that it will rob you of happiness.

Talk summary:

A pair of family anecdotes about “the 102nd Dalmatian” and “the striped kitty cat” can be likened to Satan, the father of lies and the great deceiver, who would have individuals question things as they really are and either ignore eternal truths or transform them into something that appears more pleasing.

“He has made a reputation for himself of convincing mortals that skunks are just kittens or that, with an application of paint, you can transform a Labrador into a Dalmatian.”

Consider Moses’s vision of God, speaking with Him face to face, followed by Lucifer’s appearance to and demand be worshipped by Moses. “Get thee hence, Satan; deceive me not,” Moses declared, with the adversary departing.

Moses’s resistance of the adversary is a vivid and enlightening example. “It is a powerful message for you personally — know what to do when he tries to deceive you. For you, like Moses, have been blessed with the gift of heavenly help.”

That help includes commandments, blessings and prophets. Obedience to commandments given to our prophet is a key not only in avoiding the influence of the deceiver but also in experiencing lasting joy and happiness.

“The Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ offsets perilous times with the fulness of times.”

“May we recognize Satan’s deceptions for what they are. May we withstand and see through the lies and influences of the one who seeks to destroy our souls and steal from us our present joy and future glory.”

“I bear my witness of the Holy One of Israel – even the name of Jesus Christ. I testify of His abiding love, truth and joy that are made possible by His infinite and eternal sacrifice. As we obey His commandments, we will always be led in the right way and will not be deceived.”

In the news:

  • In August 2019, Elder Stevenson addressed a group of single adults at the Brigham City Tabernacle. There, he focused on temple work, covenant-keeping and keeping an eternal perspective. 
  • Elder Stevenson honored the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at the BYU Management Society Gala Award Ceremony in May 2019. 
  • For nine days in April, Elder Stevenson and his wife, Sister Lesa Stevenson, visited various members, missionaries, youth and auxiliary leaders in Brazil. He emphasized the message of protecting oneself with “spiritual vaccinations.”
  • Elder Stevenson spoke about balance and vision during the LDS Business College commencement ceremony on April 12 in the Salt Lake Tabernacle at Temple Square.
  • During the BYU Education Week devotional in August 2019, Elder Stevenson highlighted key moments of the ongoing Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

About the speaker:

  • Elder Stevenson was sustained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Oct. 3, 2015.
  • As a young man, Elder Stevenson served in the Japan Fukuoka Mission; he was president of the Japan Nagoya Mission, 2004-2007. In August 2018, he took part in a Face to Face event in which he spoke to the youth in Japanese.
  • He and his wife, Lesa Jean Higley, married in 1979. They have four sons.

Recently on Social:

  • Elder Stevenson shared his thoughts from his address at the Brigham City Tabernacle on Instagram.

  • Elder Stevenson shared his thoughts on Instagram about the eternal identity of children of God after his devotional in Brazil. 

  • He also shared 4 tips on staying strong and faithful in today’s world.

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