The enemies of the church use flattery to deceive the very elect. Flattery is to preach that which is pleasing unto the carnal mind (Alma 30:53). Although Mormon doesn’t give us specific examples of what was said, elsewhere in the Book of Mormon we are told, Eat, drink, and be merry…God…will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this (2 Nephi 28:8). Today, we have many examples of modern-day flattery designed to destroy the members of the church. In particular, there are many, who like the dissenters of Alma’s day, find pleasure in fostering apostasy among the members. The following quotations are taken from websites designed to “enlighten” Mormons and encourage those who are struggling in the faith. Their words are flattering to the carnal mind. The first two promote fear and paranoia about the massive, power-hungry Church, the next two are the battle cry of the atheist, and the last is the sectarian warning about Moroni 10:4:
“The Church is not a benign organization. It believes in using tactics similar to McCarthyism of the 1950’s.”
“I am very concerned about the Mormon church gaining more political power. The church ‘owns’ parts of Idaho, Arizona and practically all of Utah. Utah also has a very powerful senator in Orin Hatch.”
“I had been exposed to the idea of evolution before, but usually in a negative light. But in this class, we were required to read a lengthy passage from Darwin‘s ’Origin of Species.’ It detailed the basic arguments of evolution and some of the evidence. It was like a light had gone on in my mind. I began to read everything I could about evolution, and the more I read, the more it made sense to me.”
“I refuse to believe in a god that would drown his children, allow untold suffering and injustice to others, give the truth to a few and then damn to hell the rest of them who refuse to believe and do what he says. I’m sorry, but that does not compute.”
“Asking a potential new convert to pray to God to reveal to them feelings of confirmation that the B of M is true is a ‘a form of positive hypnosis’.” (Excerpt taken from an unnamed Anti-Mormon website)
The list could go on and on, but if there is a common theme to all of these statements it is that they make sense to the carnal mind and, therefore, are a form of flattery. Paul explains that the man who destroys with flattery is vainly puffed up by his fleshy mind (Col 2:18). This has been the tool of the adversary for millennia. It worked for him in the days of Alma and it continues to work for him now.