Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Mormonism: A Living Prophet

Thomas S. Monson
Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Photo taken from LDS.org

Apostle M. Russell Ballard was once asked the question:  What makes Mormonism different than other religions?  His answer was a question of his own:  If Moses was alive on the earth today, would you listen to him?  The interviewer responded, saying, "Of course!  Everyone would listen!"  Elder Ballard responded by saying that is what makes us different than other churches.  We have a prophet that has the same authority Moses had in Biblical times.

The Church of Jesus Christ does have a modern-day, living prophet to watch over and lead the church.  As the 6th Article of Faith explains, "We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth."  Among the ancient Church of Jesus Christ were prophets to give the will of the Lord to the people.  The Doctrine and Covenants explains further the role of a prophet:

"What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same" (D&C 1:38).

A prophets speak to the church the will of the Lord.  I have heard the question, "What is the need for a prophet to speak on behalf of the Lord when I can pray to the Lord myself?"  While it is true that we can pray to the Lord for ourselves and learn what God wants us to do, we cannot do so on behalf of the entire church.  The church does many wonderful things on a global level - such as sending necessities during natural disasters, or giving food to those that do not have the money for it themselves.  These are things that have been organized by our prophets according to the revelations and inspiration they have received from God.

The prophet is also often called a "seer" or "revelator."  I will only briefly discuss these as I have at an earlier time made a post on this topic specifically.  You can read that earlier post here, if you want to know more: Seers Ancient and Modern.

A Seer, as defined in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Guide to the Scriptures, is "a person authorized of God to see with spiritual eyes things which God has hidden from the world... A seer knows the past, present, and future."

And a revelator is a person with the authority to reveal the will of God to the people.  In this way he is able to guide the people of the Church in righteous ways.

As is always the case, if you are confused about anything I have said here, or have any additional questions concerning The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism), you are welcome to ask the Mormon missionaries your questions here: http://mormon.org/chat.

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