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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Prophets: God's Chosen Messengers

My last "real" post was about Joseph Smith, a modern-day prophet.  I've also posted previously about the need for apostles and prophets, the foundation upon which the Church of Christ has always been built.  Today I wanted to briefly explain what a prophet is and why Mormons are so grateful for them that we even have a hymn entitled "We Thank Thee, O God for a Prophet"!

Unfortunately for us, we aren't in God's physical presence--much to Cheryl Crow's dismay, He is not just a "stranger on the bus", walking and talking with us.  Notwithstanding, He wants us to do the things that will bring us true and lasting happiness.  How does He therefore communicate those things to us?  He inspires men, starting with Adam all the way down to today, and gives them His word and His law.  In Amos 3:7, we learn that "surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets [His will, doctrines, etc.] unto his servants the prophets."  Pretty awesome, right?  Well you and I may think so, but repeatedly throughout time, people have rejected the words of the prophets.  I guess they just didn't like getting told off... Does God then say "Well great!  I sent you my prophets and you rejected them--good luck!  Have a nice life!" and leave us?  Of course not!  He wants as many of us back to Him as will choose.  So He sends another prophet when the people are ready.  (By the way, you can read all bout this process in the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon!)  There is this pattern of dispensations (when prophets are preaching the gospel) and apostasies (when people reject the prophets and they're taken away for a time) all throughout the scriptures.  Thus, it is reasonable that God would call a prophet to "reveal his secrets" to us--He loves us just as much as any of His children, doesn't He?  And we certainly need divine help in these crazy times!  (See also Hugh B. Brown, "The Profile of a Prophet", Ensign, June 2006, 34–39)

We can have confidence in God's prophets because they hold His authority, the priesthood.  I've mentioned it before, but the priesthood is the power for prophets to definitively say "Thus saith the Lord".  It's the difference between getting pulled over by a county sheriff versus the ice cream man--one has the authority to write you a ticket and the other doesn't, no matter his good intentions (or his "Good Humor"). 


"Do you have any idea how fast you were goin'?"
I testify that God has always and will always lead us in the right direction through His servants, the prophets.  I testify that if we listen to the voices of the prophets, our lives will be blessed.  We will find our way back to Heavenly Father.  God has not left us alone--He really has called a prophet in these troubled times.  And for that I say "thank Thee, O God, for a prophet to guide us in these latter days!"

Much Love,
Elder Spendlove

For more on prophets, check out this talk and the related ones, from the leadership of the Church!

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