Yes, configuring the hardware can be error prone.
Particularly, watch out for the convenience macros that define symbolic names for various bits. The macros are helpful, but there is nothing to prevent you applying them to the wrong register.
Try TI's examples as a starting point when dealing with MSP430 features that are new to you. You can be reasonably sure that they are setting up the microcontroller correctly.
Get the example to run first, then use it as a guide to build your own device driver for the hardware in question.