President Harold B. Lee addressed this topic in 1972 during the Priesthood Session of the October General Conference. At the time there was a considerable excitement among the saints about a highly popular book called Prophecy: Key to the Future by Duane Crowther. It was so popular that it inspired a number of copy cat titles also addressing the calamities about to be poured out upon the world. President Lee said:
One more matter: There are among us many loose writings predicting the calamities which are about to overtake us. Some of these have been publicized as though they were necessary to wake up the world to the horrors about to overtake us. Many of these are from sources upon which there cannot be unquestioned reliance.Are you priesthood bearers aware of the fact that we need no such publications to be forewarned, if we were only conversant with what the scriptures have already spoken to us in plainness?
Let me give you the sure word of prophecy on which you should rely for your guide instead of these strange sources which may have great political implications.
Read the 24th chapter of Matthew—particularly that inspired version as contained in the Pearl of Great Price. [JS-M 1]
Then read the 45th section of the Doctrine and Covenants where the Lord, not man, has documented the signs of the times. [D&C 45]
Finally, turn to the promises the Lord makes to those who keep the commandments when these judgments descend upon the wicked, as set forth in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 38. [D&C 38]
Brethren, these are some of the writings with which you should concern yourselves, rather than commentaries that may come from those whose information may not be the most reliable and whose motives may be subject to question. And may I say, parenthetically, most of such writers are not handicapped by having any authentic information on their writings.
I have found this advice from President Lee to be very useful over the years. It comforts me to know that there are living prophets upon the earth who will guide the Savior’s church safely through the wild surf of current events. And these sections from the Doctrine and Covenants help us avoid the religious crackpottery that might otherwise have us running around like Chicken Little crying about the sky falling.