Monday, January 02, 2012

George Albert Smith (Ch.1): Living by God's Every Word

I think the following statement gives guidance to me as a blogger. It's from Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, Chapter 1:

"If our peculiarity went to the extent that we lived by every word that proceeds from the mouth of our Heavenly Father [see D&C 84:44], then we would indeed be a blessed people."

I noticed D&C 84:44 is referenced in connection with the statement.

For you shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.

So I asked myself, Where do I find "every word" that proceeds from the mouth of our Heavenly Father? And I found an answer in the words of the Old Testament Prophet Jeremiah.

I found a similar answer in God's words given through the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Both of these verses refer to "my servants." But who are these "servants?" Who are these "prophets?" I find answers to these questions in the Lord's preface to the Doctrine and Covenants.

In our day, we sustain Thomas S. Monson as "prophet, seer, and revelator and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

We also sustain his counselors in the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles as "prophets, seers, and revelators."

God speaks in our day by the mouth of his servants the prophets. Those servants are the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. Regarding their words, God has said:

God calls prophets to represent Him on earth. God's prophets teach His truth and help us understand the words of earlier prophets. When prophets speak for God, it is as if God himself were speaking. In that sense, they become God's mouth to us.

New revelation for the whole Church comes only through the Church President. He is "the prophet." However, he is not the only prophet on earth today. His two counselors are prophets. And the Twelve Apostles also have the calling of prophet.

I believe a Latter-day Saint who feels discouraged when apostles and prophets speak against that person's personal opinion should consider carefully the advice of a Pharisee named Gamaliel. He counseled moderation when criticizing the Apostles, "lest haply ye be found even to fight against God." (Acts 5:38-39.)


Blogger Paul said...

Nicely said, Gary.

1/03/2012 09:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just as a historical footnote: no president from Brigham Young up until David O. McKay was addressed as "prophet," even though we sustain them as such. If anyone had used the words "the prophet" in BY's day, it would have been understood by all that that person was referring to Joseph Smith, the prophet of the latter days. Brigham was referred to as President Young, Br. Brigham, even Brigham, but never as "the prophet."

1/06/2012 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Anonymous: Here are just a few examples of Church leaders referring to Joseph's immediate successors as the Prophet:


"When the design, the rule and the order of the Church are announced by the Prophet of God, know all Israel that God hath said it; and we know He hath spoken." (Francis M. Lyman, Conference Report, October 1897.)


"The Lord, through His servant, the Prophet Wilford Woodruff, told you Latter-day Saints, at the time that great Temple was being dedicated, that the bitterness would be taken out of the hearts of our enemies, and their hearts would be softened towards us.

"The Elders who were laboring in the South at the time of the dedication, and there were 160 of them, testify that a very marked and radical change has taken place in their experience, for the words of the Prophet are being fulfilled." (Jonathan G. Kimball, Conference Report, April 1898.)


"The Prophet Brigham was in Boston, with Apostle Woodruff.... How was it, when the Prophet Brigham came back to Nauvoo, that he realized that the powers of the Priesthood and the keys thereof had come down upon him?" (F. D. Richards, Conference Report, October 1898.)


"I say here today that I know the mantle of Joseph Smith fell upon the Prophet Brigham Young.... The Church of God under the leadership of God, using the Prophet Brigham Young as an instrument in His hands, has grown and increased and spread abroad in the land, and has filled these mountains." (Heber J. Grant, Conference Report, October 1898.)

1/06/2012 06:40:00 PM  

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