Why Do We Need Prophets?
BY PRESIDENT DIETER F. UCHTDORF
SECOND COUNSELOR IN THE FIRST PRESIDENCY
Because Heavenly Father loves His children, He has not left them to walk through this mortal life without direction and guidance. The teachings of our Heavenly Father are not the ordinary, predictable, run-of-the-mill kind you can pick up in paperback at the local bookstore. They are the wisdom of an all-powerful, all-knowing celestial Being who loves His children. Encompassed in His words is the secret of the ages—the key to happiness in this life and in the world to come.
Heavenly Father reveals this wisdom to His children on earth through His servants the prophets (see Amos 3:7). From the days of Adam, God has spoken to His children through appointed oracles who are charged with revealing His will and counsel to others. Prophets are inspired teachers and are always special witnesses of Jesus Christ (see D&C 107:23). Prophets speak not only to the people of their time, but they also speak to people throughout all time. Their voices echo through the centuries as a testament of God’s will to His children.
Today is not different from ages past. The Lord does not love the people of our day any less than in past times. One of the glorious messages of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ is that God continues to speak to His children! He is not hidden in the heavens but speaks today as He did in ancient days.
Much of what the Lord reveals to His prophets is intended to prevent sorrow for us as individuals and as societies. When God speaks, He does so to teach, inspire, refine, and warn His children. When individuals and societies ignore their Heavenly Father’s instructions, they do so at the risk of trial, torment, and toil.
God loves all His children. That is why He pleads so earnestly with us through His prophets. Just as we want what is best for our loved ones, Heavenly Father wants what is best for us. That is why His instructions are so crucial and sometimes so urgent. That is why He has not abandoned us today but continues to reveal His will to us through His prophets. Our fate and the fate of our world hinge on our hearing and heeding the revealed word of God to His children.
God’s priceless instructions to humankind are found in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. In addition, the Lord speaks to us through His servants, as He will again at the upcoming general conference.
To all who wonder if such a thing can be—who might ask, “Is it possible that God speaks to us today?”—with all my heart I invite you to “come and see” (John 1:46). Read the word of God as found in the scriptures. Listen to general conference with an ear willing to hear the voice of God given through His latter-day prophets. Come, hear, and see with your heart! For if you seek “with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, [God] will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost” (Moroni 10:4). By and through this power, I know that Jesus Christ lives and directs His Church through a living prophet, even President Thomas S. Monson.
Brothers and sisters, God does speak to us today. And He desires that all His children listen to and heed His voice. As we do so, the Lord will bless and uphold us greatly, both in this life and through the worlds to come.
Prophets and Apostles Speak Today
The divine work of the prophets and apostles never ceases. Between general conferences, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles continue to teach and minister to the world. “Prophets and Apostles Speak Today,” a section of LDS.org, documents the ongoing ministry of these Church leaders with videos, photos, and articles (available in several languages).
Learn from them about their ministry. Listen to and read their testimonies of the Savior. View and read about their messages of love and hope to members wherever they bear witness, whether at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City or as they fulfill assignments throughout the world.
Visit lds.org/study/prophets-speak-today to learn more about prophets and apostles speaking today.
Led by a Living Prophet
By Christy Ripa
When I was 16, I had the opportunity to attend general conference in person for the first time. My family was living in western Oregon, USA, and we drove to Utah to attend conference and to drop off my older brother at the missionary training center.
I went to the conference with a desire to be taught by the Holy Ghost. As a result, I received a manifestation from the Spirit that I probably would not have received had I not prepared myself.
During one of the sessions, everyone stood and sang the congregational hymn, “Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah.” As we sang, I had the distinct impression to look around the Conference Center. I did and was struck by the power of the unity of the thousands of people there as we all raised our voices in praise to God.
Then I had an experience where I felt like Nephi when he saw the vision of the tree of life, for the Spirit told me, “Look” (see 1 Nephi 11–14). I looked at President Thomas S. Monson and felt that the unity of the Church existed because we are led by a living prophet. Through the witness of the Holy Spirit, I know President Monson is the true prophet for our day, and I know that Jesus Christ leads this Church through him.
Following the Prophet Makes Me Happy
Heavenly Father has given us prophets to guide us and teach us so we can be happy.
Find your way through the maze by following the instructions provided by each prophet. Match each picture in the maze with the one from the list above that tells you which way to go.
(click to view larger)
From left: detail from Noah’s Preaching Scorned, by Harry Anderson © IRI; Moses the Lawgiver, by Ted Henninger © IRI; detail from Mormon Abridging the Plates and Moroni Burying the Plates, by Tom Lovell © IRI; detail from Prepare Ye the Way, by Harry Anderson © Pacific Press Publishing Association, may not be copied; detail from He Is Risen, by Dan Burr; detail from Prophet of the Lord, by David Lindsley, may not be copied
“The Living Voice”
Called from on high
each in turn known
Prophets of the Savior
His representative today
on earth for all to know;
Yet rejected by most
laughing and stoning
the past now repeating
this the living voice
for the Savior this day!
Copyright © 2012 – cji
Daughters in My Kingdom
We are daughters of our Father in Heaven. He knows us, loves us, and has a plan for us. Part of that plan includes coming to earth to learn to choose good over evil. When we choose to keep God’s commandments, we honor Him and acknowledge our identity as daughters of God. Relief Society helps us remember this divine heritage.
Relief Society and its history strengthen and support us. Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president, said: “As daughters of God, you are preparing for eternal designations, and each of you has a female identity, nature, and responsibility. The success of families, communities, this Church, and the precious plan of salvation is dependent on your faithfulness. … [Our Heavenly Father] intended Relief Society to help build His people and prepare them for the blessings of the temple. He established [Relief Society] to align His daughters with His work and to enlist their help in building His kingdom and strengthening the homes of Zion.”1
Our Father in Heaven has given us specific work to help build His Kingdom. He has also blessed us with the spiritual gifts we need to accomplish this specific work. Through Relief Society, we have opportunities to use our gifts to strengthen families, help those in need, and learn how to live as disciples of Jesus Christ.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said of discipleship: “By patiently walking in the path of discipleship, we demonstrate to ourselves the measure of our faith and our willingness to accept God’s will rather than ours.”2
Let us remember we are daughters of God and strive to live as His disciples. As we do so, we will help build God’s kingdom here on earth and become worthy to return to His presence.
From the Scriptures
Zechariah 2:10; Doctrine and Covenants 25:1, 10, 16; 138:38–39, 56; “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” (Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2010, 129)
From Our History
On April 28, 1842, the Prophet Joseph Smith said to the sisters in Relief Society: “You are now placed in a situation in which you can act according to those sympathies which God has planted in [you]. … If you live up to your privileges, the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates.”3
Recognizing the power of Relief Society to serve others and to help individuals increase in faith, Zina D. H. Young, third Relief Society general president, promised the sisters in 1893, “If you will dig in the depths of your own hearts you will find, with the aid of the Spirit of the Lord, the pearl of great price, the testimony of this work.”4
What Can I Do?
How can I help my sisters reach their potential as daughters of God?
How can I apply in my life the counsel and warnings given to women in Doctrine and Covenants 25?
For more information, go to reliefsociety.lds.org.
To be called a daughter
nothing on earth higher
to be pure and lovely
finding joy in happiness
gathering and teaching
tenderness and softness
raising all to a higher bar
a scared blessing shared
when called His daughter!
Copyright © 2012 – cji