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Anti-Christ

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"Anyone or anything that actively opposes Jesus Christ (either openly or secretly) is an anti-Christ" (“Lesson 20: Korihor, the Anti-Christ,” Primary 4: Book of Mormon, 67)

Speaking to those early Saints, aware of the advancing apostasy, John sounds a warning: “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; … Many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 2:18; 1 John 4:1). It is a warning that echoes what the Savior Himself had said: “There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24).

Examples of an Anti-Christ

Korihor is an important character in the Book of Mormon whose rise and fall occurred in about 74 B.C. and whose entire story is told in Alma chapter 30. Korihor is introduced as Anti-Christ because he preached against the prophecies of the coming of Christ. He preached the following ideas: a. There will be “no Christ. … Ye cannot know of things which ye do not see; therefore ye cannot know that there shall be a Christ” (Alma 30:12–15). b. “No man can know of anything which is to come” (Alma 30:13). c. Belief in the Atonement “is the effect of a frenzied mind” (Alma 30:16). d. “Every man prosper[s] according to his genius, and … every man conquer[s] according to his strength” (Alma 30:17). e. “Whatsoever a man [does is] no crime” (Alma 30:17). f. “When a man [is] dead, that [is] the end thereof” (Alma 30:18).

The very ideas that qualified Korihor as anti-Christ are common among men in the world today. These are the words of President Joseph F. Smith in the October conference of 1909:

There never was a time, perhaps, when there were more false prophets than there are today, when there were more visionary men or more false Christs than there are today. We get letters from them, and commands and threats from them, and admonitions and warnings and revelations from them, nearly every day. … There is no one that can get up some foolish idea, or start out proposing to organize a church of some kind, no matter what the inconsistency of his claims may be, but what he will find some one to follow him, somebody as foolish as he is, and who knows as little.
To the faithful Latter-day Saint is given the right to know the truth, as God knows it; and no power beneath the celestial kingdom can lead him astray, darken his understanding, becloud his mind or dim his faith or his knowledge of the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It can’t be done, for the light of God shines brighter than the illumination of falsehood and error, therefore, those who possess the light of Christ, the spirit of revelation and the knowledge of God, rise above all these vagaries in the world; they know of this doctrine, that it is of God and not of man” (Conference Report, October 1909, pp. 8–9).

The Anti-christ of the Last Days

And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is the spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world (1 John 4:3). This great antichrist which is to stand as the antagonist of Christ in the last days, and which is to be overthrown when he comes to cleanse the earth and usher in millennial righteousness, is the church of the devil (Revelation 13; 17), with the man of sin at its head (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). (See Bruce R. McConkie, "Gospel Doctrine:Antichrists.)

See also

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