Jacob 7:11 — LeGrand Baker — true and false prophets
11 Behold, I say unto you that none of the prophets have written, nor prophesied, save they have spoken concerning this Christ.
Every true prophet has testified of Christ. That is not only an overwhelming testimony of the Saviour, it is also the litmus test by which one can judge the validity of the prophet. Not only will a true prophet speak of Christ, and correctly teach his atonement, but he will also speak of him in the context of eternal covenants which we have/do/will make with him. It is amply proven in human history that false prophets, false teachers, and false kings can speak of Christ. But they are easily identifiable as false, though usually not by the people who live within the power of their political and cultural influence. They can be judged by their definition of the attributes of Christ’s person and personality, and even more easily by their understanding of the ordinances and covenants.
The Saviour’s own criteria for how to judge a true prophet is most apt here. The following is a long quote, one which you are already familiar with, but which is usually broken into segments so that the meaning which one would find in its continuity is lost in the pieces.
13 Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, which leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat;
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it (3 Nephi 14:13-23).
Jacob’s words make it clear what the “gate” is. He said:
41 O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One. Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.
42 And whoso knocketh, to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches—yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them (2 Nephi 9:41-42).
15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them (3 Nephi 14:13-23).
I suspect the only fruit which is relevant here is the fruit of the tree of life. If they do not have it, they cannot give it to others.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works?
There are two sorts of people to whom that applies equally: The first is those who claim a false priesthood and seek to use it as though it were true. The second is those who have a true priesthood and use it falsely or for self-aggrandizing purposes.
23 And then will I profess unto them: I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity (3 Nephi 14:13-23).