I have been having some conversations online with non-lds people. A common response I often get from them is that Joseph Smith was a false prophet. They say he lied. From the scriptures we learn to beware of false prophets. The scriptures liken them to wolves in sheep's clothing. This scripture does tend to incite great fear in to people. Ministers of other religions often play upon this fear and warn their congregation to stay away from people who claim to be a prophet. Then we have a few incidents of people who truly were false prophets, such as the situation in Waco, who lead people to their deaths. These events only add to the fear that people harbour about the danger of false prophets.
But what about true prophets? In Amos 3:7 we read, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." If there are false prophets, then there must be true prophets too. But where are they? In olden times, God would choose a prophet, such as Noah, or Moses, or Abraham, and would reveal His will to them. These prophets would then teach the people God's will, and lead them to do what He had asked. This was a pattern used in olden times. Why is it not a pattern today? We believe that God does call prophets today. We need them more now than ever! Prophets today are like a watchman on a tower who can see the enemy coming and warn us. Some prophets are false, but true prophets do exist.
Another manifestation of fear I see is when people are afraid to learn. They are so afraid that they will be brainwashed, that they refuse to even listen. I believe in the ability of people to listen, and make an educated decision on their own. People should not be afraid to learn what others believe. I also believe that if people listen, and then pray to God to know if what they have heard is true, God can manifest to them the truth, or untruth of that thing.
So many people accuse our church of being a cult. This is another fear tactic used by ministers to try to keep people from learning about our religion. A true cult uses special methods to brainwash people. They isolate them, starve them,and use other means to break down their ability to make decisions. If just listening is the way to brainwash, then we could accuse all educators of brainwashing. But some well-meaning ministers will use this scare tactic to keep their members from even listening to what other religions believe.
I hope that true seekers of truth will follow the teaching in the Bible; "By their fruits ye shall know them." Pay attention to how you feel when you hear their teachings. The Spirit can testify of truth, and can warn us of evil. With the Spirit as our guide, we truly have no need to fear.