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Can Satan Mimic The Feelings Of The Spirit?


Scottie

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So, just to show you the power that women have over men, I went to an institute class last night for a girl. In the class, we talked about how often times we are faced with a difficult choice, and we need to be in tune so that the spirit can guide us in which choice to make.

The example was given that a group of friends invite you camping Sat night. Without you, there would be no designated driver and most likely somebody would drive drunk and possibly die/kill someone else. But if you went, you would have to miss church on Sunday. If you were in tune with the spirit, you would know which choice to make.

I asked the question, "Can't Satan mimic the feelings of the spirit and give you a false answer?" The teacher answered that, no, he could not. He can appear as an angel of light, but he CAN NOT replicate that peaceful feeling that the spirit brings.

Now, I seemed to remember reading somewhere on here that he CAN duplicate those feelings. Am I wrong? Is there scriptural backing one way or the other?

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I have a hard time with your Institute instructor's position in light of the fact that so very many people around the world can explain, with clairity and great sincerety, that they have "felt the Spirit". And yes, it was peaceful and holy.

But if they felt it outside of a Mormon context, then by default, it would have to be of Satan, would it not? If, say, a Hindu felt great peace after attending a temple dedicated to Krishna, or a Muslim coming out of a Mosque, then aren't these things of Satan, and not the God of the Mormon church?

What if, after praying about it, a Christian fundamentalist felt great peace with the decision to go out and hold an anti-Mormon sign during General Conference? I could come up with other silly scenarios but I think that would become tedious. So I will use myself. Having been raised a Mormon, I attended the Temple, and I felt the "Spirit" there. After I left the Church, I started going to Christian churches, and during certain prayers or talks, I felt the "Spirit", too. Walking through Strausbourg cathedral moved me to tears. I had never seen anything so majestic or beautiful that was dedicated to God. Now that I am an atheist, I am still moved to tears and feel the Spirit, and usually it is centered around the goodness and kindness of fellow human beings. All of these feelings, no matter what inspired them, feel the same.

So it seems a little arrogant and judgemental of that Institute teacher to blithely pass sentence on the quality and veracity of another person's feeling of the Spirit, for that is what he is doing. He is more or less implying that the only valid feeling of the Spirit is inside of a Mormon context, and anything else would be of Satan, would be lesser. Satan cannot bring you a peaceful feeling. Well. Lots of people feel lots of peace and the things they feel peace about might be considered as "Satanic" by Mormon standards.

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But if they felt it outside of a Mormon context, then by default, it would have to be of Satan, would it not? If, say, a Hindu felt great peace after attending a temple dedicated to Krishna, or a Muslim coming out of a Mosque, then aren't these things of Satan, and not the God of the Mormon church?

I don't see any reason why a Hindu can't feel the Spirit in a Hindu temple or why a Muslim can't feel it in a mosque. I think most LDS would disagree that those feelings are of Satan.

What if, after praying about it, a Christian fundamentalist felt great peace with the decision to go out and hold an anti-Mormon sign during General Conference?

I haven't heard any claim it, but I would suspect that they were just feeling self-created emotions, not the external influence of the Spirit.

I could come up with other silly scenarios but I think that would become tedious. So I will use myself. Having been raised a Mormon, I attended the Temple, and I felt the "Spirit" there. After I left the Church, I started going to Christian churches, and during certain prayers or talks, I felt the "Spirit", too. Walking through Strausbourg cathedral moved me to tears. I had never seen anything so majestic or beautiful that was dedicated to God. Now that I am an atheist, I am still moved to tears and feel the Spirit, and usually it is centered around the goodness and kindness of fellow human beings. All of these feelings, no matter what inspired them, feel the same.

You're whole pretense that the Spirit can't be felt outside of a Mormon setting is false, so I don't feel the need to address all of your examples.

So it seems a little arrogant and judgemental of that Institute teacher to blithely pass sentence on the quality and veracity of another person's feeling of the Spirit, for that is what he is doing. He is more or less implying that the only valid feeling of the Spirit is inside of a Mormon context, and anything else would be of Satan, would be lesser. Satan cannot bring you a peaceful feeling. Well. Lots of people feel lots of peace and the things they feel peace about might be considered as "Satanic" by Mormon standards.

Did you not read that the institute teacher said Satan CANNOT imitate the feelings of the Holy Spirit, and I don't know of any Mormons who would consider peaceful feelings claimed by a non-Mormon as Satanic.

I agree with the institute teacher that Satan definitely cannot bring us feelings of peace or happiness or any other way imitate the Holy Ghost.

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Well-put, Loquacious Lurker. You've articulated the "we want to have our cake and eat it, too" impossibility that most LDS seem to have.

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Well-put, Loquacious Lurker. You've articulated the "we want to have our cake and eat it, too" impossibility that most LDS seem to have.

I hate to use this phrase but this is a prime example of a "straw man".

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I have a hard time with your Institute instructor's position in light of the fact that so very many people around the world can explain, with clairity and great sincerety, that they have "felt the Spirit". And yes, it was peaceful and holy.

But if they felt it outside of a Mormon context, then by default, it would have to be of Satan, would it not? If, say, a Hindu felt great peace after attending a temple dedicated to Krishna, or a Muslim coming out of a Mosque, then aren't these things of Satan, and not the God of the Mormon church?

What if, after praying about it, a Christian fundamentalist felt great peace with the decision to go out and hold an anti-Mormon sign during General Conference? I could come up with other silly scenarios but I think that would become tedious. So I will use myself. Having been raised a Mormon, I attended the Temple, and I felt the "Spirit" there. After I left the Church, I started going to Christian churches, and during certain prayers or talks, I felt the "Spirit", too. Walking through Strausbourg cathedral moved me to tears. I had never seen anything so majestic or beautiful that was dedicated to God. Now that I am an atheist, I am still moved to tears and feel the Spirit, and usually it is centered around the goodness and kindness of fellow human beings. All of these feelings, no matter what inspired them, feel the same.

So it seems a little arrogant and judgemental of that Institute teacher to blithely pass sentence on the quality and veracity of another person's feeling of the Spirit, for that is what he is doing. He is more or less implying that the only valid feeling of the Spirit is inside of a Mormon context, and anything else would be of Satan, would be lesser. Satan cannot bring you a peaceful feeling. Well. Lots of people feel lots of peace and the things they feel peace about might be considered as "Satanic" by Mormon standards.

You are absolutely wrong. The Holy Ghost testifies of the truth, period. Many churches/religions/philosophies/branches of science have truth in them. Not the entire truth, but elements of it, to be sure. You're manufacturing a conflict where none exists.

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But if they felt it outside of a Mormon context, then by default, it would have to be of Satan, would it not? If, say, a Hindu felt great peace after attending a temple dedicated to Krishna, or a Muslim coming out of a Mosque, then aren't these things of Satan, and not the God of the Mormon church?

Really? Someone forgot to tell Brigham Young.

"It was the occupation of Jesus Christ and his Apostles to propagate the Gospel of salvation and the principles of eternal life to the world, and it is our duty and calling, as ministers of the same salvation and Gospel, to gather every item of truth and reject every error. Whether a truth be found with professed infidels, or with the Universalists, or the Church of Rome, or the Methodists, the Church of England, the Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Quakers, the Shakers, or any other of the various and numerous different sects and parties, all of whom have more or less truth, it is the business of the Elders of this Church (Jesus, their elder brother, being at their head,) to gather up all the truths in the world pertaining to life and salvation, to the Gospel we preach, to mechanism of every kind, to the sciences, and to philosophy, wherever it may be found in every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, and bring it to Zion.

The people upon this earth have a great many errors, and they have also a great many truths. This statement is not only true of the nations termed civilized-those who profess to worship the true God, but is equally applicable to pagans of all countries, for in their religious rights and ceremonies may be found a great many truths which we will also gather home to Zion. All truth is for the salvation of the children of men--for their benefit and learning--for their furtherance in the principles of divine knowledge; and divine knowledge is any matter of fact-truth; and all truth pertains to divinity."

- Brigham Young,
Intelligence, Etc.
(Journal of Discources 7:282)

"I want to say to my friends that we believe in all good. If you can find a truth, in heaven, earth or hell, it belongs to our doctrine. We believe it; it is ours; we claim it. Is that right? If you find an error here, I ask you to leave it, pass it by, let it alone, do not embrace it in your faith, do not practice it in your lives. I say to all, to my brethren and sisters and to strangers, if we teach anything that is good, receive it, I beseech you. If we have any good in our doctrine, believe it and embrace it, it will do you good. If we have errors, do not embrace them. I have been trying, for almost forty years, to tell the people how to be saved. I have always made this proposition to every man I have conversed with on the subject of truth and error, 'If I have errors, I will give ten errors for a truth. Do you want to trade?'

...

I am like Moses when a messenger came to him saying, 'The people are prophesying in their tents.' Said Moses, Well, what of that? I would to God that the Lord's people were all prophets! I would to God that they all had revelation! When they receive revelation from heaven the story is told, they know for themselves."

- Brigham Young,
Truth and Error
(Journal of Discourses 13:334)

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no, he could not. He can appear as an angel of light, but he CAN NOT replicate that peaceful feeling that the spirit brings.

If LDS theology were in fact an elaborate Satanic deception (my conclusion), wouldn't it only make sense that feelings can deceive and those who are deceived would teach that "he CAN NOT replicate that peaceful feeling that the spirit brings"?

Those who have a deceived heart are incapable of knowing their own deception:

"He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?" Isaiah 44:20

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If LDS theology were in fact an elaborate Satanic deception (my conclusion), wouldn't it only make sense that feelings can deceive and those who are deceived would teach that "he CAN NOT replicate that peaceful feeling that the spirit brings"?

Those who have a deceived heart are incapable of knowing their own deception:

"He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?" Isaiah 44:20

Fortunately, LDS theology is not an elaborate Satanic deception. Perhaps those who have left the Church or rile against it have been deceived and are thus incapable of knowing their own deception.

One day we'll all find out, won't we?

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Moroni 7:12

12 Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.

Since I'd consider the feelings of the Spirit a good thing, I'd have to go with no.

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Satan cannot duplicate peace. His counterfiet for happiness is pleasure. I think the big question is how to tell when you are receiving revelation from God or the Devil. Elder Hartman Rector Jr. at a BYU devotional in '74 or 75 and a host of others have spoken on this topic.

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Hello Loquacious, on this July 4th...

You do err in your concept that LDS do not think others outside the Church can feel the Spirit... and we certainly do not view these feelings as Satanic... i.e., your statement that LDS think "the only valid feeling of the Spirit is inside of a Mormon context" is simply flat out wrong...

One time I was talking with my neighbor, whose husband was facing a possible second brain surgery... I encouraged her and told her I'd keep him in my prayers... she then told me of waiting during the first surgery and how she had prayed so deeply, and this wonderful feeling of peace filled her and she just "knew" all would go well... I told her that was the Spirit, comforting her and witnessing to her that indeed everything would be fine. She said, Oh how I wish I could feel that feeling again... but she never had... I asked her if she prayed often and said it was during prayer particularly that we are likely to feel the Spirit...

And why wouldn't you feel the Spirit as you walked through the Strausbourg cathedral...

If you were raised LDS, then you surely know that we LDS do not presume to limit the Spirit...

The Garden Girl

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Nothing original to add. Ditto to most of what I just read. The whole earth (the natural creation) is full of Spirit. Cell phones (and all technology we have) has been created by the pouring out of Spirit.

I believe I heard once in a General Conference (searching for it frantically; would have been since 1995) that communication from the Adversary and communication from the Holy Ghost can come through the same pathways. However, as said and as I understand and/ or agree with -- the feeling from the Holy Ghost is the one thing that cannot be counterfeited by the Holy Ghost.

Also as said, the trick is to be able to recognize the Holy Ghost. I will say that in my experience, I have felt unutterably crappy and yet had a realization I was being guided by my Father; and I have soared to the heights of ecstasy while in the midst of being led astray. I think one confusion is the use of the semantic 'feeling'. This term includes a lot of things and I think sometimes does not do justice to the doctrine of the reception or guidance of the Holy Ghost. I mean further that 'feeling' of the Holy Ghost should not hold the same definition as an emotion (which are actually chemically based, anyhow). Now, one could have their emotions infused with the Spirit or the Holy Ghost, just as they could have their body or any portion of their being and even the Spirit can be infused into physical objects, such as the Book of Mormon, or our homes (where we are raising our children and from which we want the Adversary barred). But the 'feeling' of the Holy Ghost/ Spirit I would venture is unique to it, and it might be better termed a 'sensation', 'communication' or even better an 'experience' that, as said, cannot be found in any other way.

By the way, that is what prophets are for (among other things) -- to provide an elementary key that allows 1) the initiation of the children of God into the recognition of the communication of the Holy Ghost; and 2) allows the 'weakest' to continue to hear auditorily/physically/mortally what the Holy Ghost would be saying if one could experience it :P .

I could not find my vaguely remembered conference talk, sorry.

http://www.lds.org/portal/site/LDSOrg/menu..._&hideNav=1

http://www.lds.org/portal/site/LDSOrg/menu..._&hideNav=1

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Moroni 7:12

12 Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.

Since I'd consider the feelings of the Spirit a good thing, I'd have to go with no.

Do you consider being "transformed as the ministers of righteousness" a good thing?

14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. 11 Cor 11

Yet who would disagree this is evil of the devil?

In Matthew 7, the rejected of the Savior claimed that they prophesied in the name of Jesus Christ, they cast out devils in the name of Jesus Christ. They performed "many wonderful works" all in the name of Jesus Christ.

Who would disagree that all of these things are good?

Yet the Savior said unto them "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity".

Friends, Satan can and does use good things to deceive.

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I believe this quote from Joseph Smith will put the answer to bed:

"A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation. For instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that by noticing it, you may find it fulfilled the same day or soon; (i.e.) those things that were presented unto your minds by the Spirit of God, will come to pass; and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow unto the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus." (Joseph Fielding Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 151.)

I've never heard that the spirit of the Adversary could be one of peace. Some have described it as the hair standing up on the back of one's neck; others say it is one of immense sadness and hopelessness. The Adversary cannot duplicate the effects of the Spirit of God.

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My dad, who is one of the most spiritual people around (by LDS or any other standards), had an interesting experience several years ago. He had begun meeting with a group that turned out to be a polygamous offshoot of the church, and he wasn't sure what to make of the fact that when they talked with him, he felt the spirit very strongly. He said that the feeling was indistinguishable from what he felt reading the scriptures, attending the temple, or during personal prayer, all of which he did frequently. He wondered if Satan had some kind of counterfeit for the Holy Ghost.

On his way home from a discussion with their leader, he thought of an experiment: he would conjure up a "dirty" thought. If the spiritual feeling left, then he would know it was truly the spirit of God that he had been feeling. If it remained, he would know it was the Adversary trying to deceive him. When he had the unclean thought, the feeling did not go away, so he knew that it was a counterfeit - one that was identical in every way to the influence of the Holy Ghost, except in its reaction to things that are supposed to be able to drive it away.

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Actually, FormerLDS, that is one of the points. Not only CAN Satan counterfeit or use good things -- that is what he ALWAYS does. (He doesn't have anything of his own -- he can only mess with God's stuff.) Satan is ALWAYS using good things and mingling it (etc) with his influence and power and information. I would also remind you that -- using the example of a counterfeit dollar bill -- do you think a piece of money that looked nothing like actual currency would fool anyone? Money counterfeiters spend great effort in making a piece of money just like/ almost like what is actual and true; otherwise what is the point? In the bonds that can be made in the chemicals and cells of our body -- there are bonds that are good (oxygen) but the same receptors can accept something fatal (CO2).

Also, Amazing Grace, although I accept your dad's first person account for what it is, I must say that nothing you related is something that I would trust as a litmus -- not least your dad's decision to use a "dirty" thought and the premise that a group of polygamous persons could not be having the spirit nor the premise that the Holy Ghost leaves at the first presentation of an error in thought, feeling or act (not that your dad is a bad person, but this just all seems to be missing the point to me). I will share then, my own personal anecdotal experiences, and I will say that I have wondered at a couple of different things also -- namely that I have a generally good feeling and warm feeling when at church and when at the temple and when doing service and with my family and in a lot of good situations; and generally I go ahead an attribute it to the Holy Ghost and/ or the spirit. On the other hand, this 'good feeling' is NOTHING like the experience I have had in two or three experiences in the course of my life time (which I am in the habit of calling witnesses). These experiences were not like a buildup of energy in my body ('warm' feeling) -- rather it was like a curtain being parted and I was able to be in the actual light of truth -- in the day; awake -- instead of night and asleep; free and breathing, instead of captive and burdened. My main point being is that I am still pondering the action of the Holy Ghost upon mankind, upon myself specifically -- I haven't got it all figured out.

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Here's a litmus test for your institute instructor (and Joseph Antley)--

1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

--1 John 4:1-6 (ESV)

And no, it doesn't seem to bode well for those claiming to feel the Spirit in venues where Jesus is regarded as anything other than God...

--Erik

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Really? Someone forgot to tell Brigham Young.

"It was the occupation of Jesus Christ and his Apostles to propagate the Gospel of salvation and the principles of eternal life to the world, and it is our duty and calling, as ministers of the same salvation and Gospel, to gather every item of truth and reject every error. Whether a truth be found with professed infidels, or with the Universalists, or the Church of Rome, or the Methodists, the Church of England, the Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Quakers, the Shakers, or any other of the various and numerous different sects and parties, all of whom have more or less truth, it is the business of the Elders of this Church (Jesus, their elder brother, being at their head,) to gather up all the truths in the world pertaining to life and salvation, to the Gospel we preach, to mechanism of every kind, to the sciences, and to philosophy, wherever it may be found in every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, and bring it to Zion.

The people upon this earth have a great many errors, and they have also a great many truths. This statement is not only true of the nations termed civilized-those who profess to worship the true God, but is equally applicable to pagans of all countries, for in their religious rights and ceremonies may be found a great many truths which we will also gather home to Zion. All truth is for the salvation of the children of men--for their benefit and learning--for their furtherance in the principles of divine knowledge; and divine knowledge is any matter of fact-truth; and all truth pertains to divinity."

- Brigham Young,
Intelligence, Etc.
(Journal of Discources 7:282)

"I want to say to my friends that we believe in all good. If you can find a truth, in heaven, earth or hell, it belongs to our doctrine. We believe it; it is ours; we claim it. Is that right? If you find an error here, I ask you to leave it, pass it by, let it alone, do not embrace it in your faith, do not practice it in your lives. I say to all, to my brethren and sisters and to strangers, if we teach anything that is good, receive it, I beseech you. If we have any good in our doctrine, believe it and embrace it, it will do you good. If we have errors, do not embrace them. I have been trying, for almost forty years, to tell the people how to be saved. I have always made this proposition to every man I have conversed with on the subject of truth and error, 'If I have errors, I will give ten errors for a truth. Do you want to trade?'

...

I am like Moses when a messenger came to him saying, 'The people are prophesying in their tents.' Said Moses, Well, what of that? I would to God that the Lord's people were all prophets! I would to God that they all had revelation! When they receive revelation from heaven the story is told, they know for themselves."

- Brigham Young,
Truth and Error
(Journal of Discourses 13:334)

I'm thinking about the specific instances in which "the Holy Ghost" testifies of something flatly contradictory to LDS doctrine, such as "I'm not supposed to be at Church today" or "sitting here drinking wine with my buddies is way better than going to singles' ward FHE". I'd know, too, because I've experienced both.

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Thank you all for you input. However, I still haven't seen anything scriptural backing one way or the other as far as whether it is possible or not.

What about a Catholic that has had the missionaries knock on the door and given them a BoM. Taking up Moroni's promise, they pray to know which church is Gods true church. They are filled with the spirit of peace with a resounding answer that the Catholic church is indeed Gods true church. Is this Satan keeping them away by replicating the peace of the spirit?

I dont think MADB is the best place to learn doctrine, IMHO.

Oh I disagree. There are people on here that have every scripture ever written memorized. If anyone knows the answer to this, it would be here.

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Thank you all for you input. However, I still haven't seen anything scriptural backing one way or the other as far as whether it is possible or not.

What about a Catholic that has had the missionaries knock on the door and given them a BoM. Taking up Moroni's promise, they pray to know which church is Gods true church. They are filled with the spirit of peace with a resounding answer that the Catholic church is indeed Gods true church. Is this Satan keeping them away by replicating the peace of the spirit?

You're making the assumption that a peaceful "feeling" in the heart is God's test of truth.

Would "just swallow it" be a safe test for poison? Would you test a parachute by jumping out of an airplane with it as your only lifeline?

Q: "How do you know your Church is true?"

A: "Because I believe the Book of Mormon is the Word of God."

Q: "How do you know the Book of Mormon is the Word of God?"

A: "Because 'Moroni's Promise' is God's test of truth."

Q: "But isn't 'Moroni's Promise' found in the Book of Mormon?"

Instead of assuming that those "feelings" are from the "Spirit" because of "Moroni's Promise", perhaps a better question for this topic might be:

Where does the Bible equate a feeling in the heart with a test for truth?

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