When Does A Prophet Speak As A Prophet?

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Angela
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Re: When Does A Prophet Speak As A Prophet?

Post by Angela »

Oh that Elder Cannon is so on point!
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Steve
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Re: When Does A Prophet Speak As A Prophet?

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When a member expresses his private doubts or unbelief as a public chastisement of the leadership or the doctrine of the Church, or as a confrontation with those also seeking eternal light, he has entered upon sacred ground. Those who complain about the doctrine or leadership of the Church but who lack the faith or desire to keep God’s commandments risk separating themselves from the divine source of learning. They do not enjoy the same richness of the Spirit that they might enjoy if they proved their sincere love of God by walking humbly before Him, by keeping His commandments, and by sustaining those He has appointed to lead the Church.

Some of those who now criticize and find fault have, in the past, felt the peaceful, spiritually settling comfort enjoyed by those in full harmony with the gospel as restored by Joseph Smith. They may also have been lost and forgotten by those who should be more caring.

No stone wall separates the members of the Church from all of the seductions of the world. Members of the Church, like everyone else, are being surfeited with deceptions, challenges, and temptations. However, to those of enduring faith, judgment, and discernment, there is an invisible wall which they choose never to breach. Those on the safe side of this invisible wall are filled with humility, not servitude. They willingly accept the supremacy of God and rely upon the scriptures and counsel of His servants, the leaders of the Church. These leaders of the Church are men with human frailties, and are imperfect in their wisdom and judgment. Perfection in men is not found on the earth. But almost without exception these leaders sincerely, humbly, and prayerfully render great and dedicated Christian service to the best of their ability. More important, they hold a divine warrant and commission through which great and eternal blessings come to those who sustain and follow them. They are God’s servants. ...

Is personal self-sufficiency one of the reasons men and women may lack faith? Some seem afraid to look to any source of wisdom and knowledge above themselves. They rely only on the secular source of learning.

A small number may claim fealty and loyalty to the Church but think it smart, sophisticated, or trendy to be a little rebellious, a little bit independent, and to disparage some of the traditional doctrines handed down by the Prophet Joseph Smith and his successors. This may result from a lack of divine knowledge. ...

I have heard some say, “Well, I can believe all of the revelations but one.” It is hard to understand this logic. If one believes that revelations come from a divine source, how can one pick and choose? Acceptance of the gospel should be complete and absolute, with full heart and soul. ...

Since the beginning of the restored Church there have been much opposition and many critics both from within and without. What have been the results of all this opposition and criticism? Some of the spiritually immature, the weak, and incredulous have dropped out. The Church itself, however, not only survives, but it grows and strengthens. ...

I do not believe this work will be stopped or seriously injured by its detractors. There are many prophetic statements to the contrary. History has proven quite conclusively that the Church has grown under persecution; it has prospered under criticism. By finding fault with the doctrines, practices, or the leadership of the Church, one can waste much time and effort in a fruitless endeavor. Those who have been washed in the waters of baptism put their eternal soul at risk by carelessly pursuing only the secular source of learning. ...

The leadership of the Church will continue to pray for its critics, its enemies, and those who seek to do it harm.

I believe that few things in life deserve one’s complete confidence. I testify that the Church is worthy of our full trust.

(Elder James E. Faust, The Abundant Life, October 1985 General Conference)
When God can do what he will with a man, the man may do what he will with the world.     ~George MacDonald
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Steve
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Re: When Does A Prophet Speak As A Prophet?

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I do hope, and pray, that the young people especially will take the advice of those who are older, and not go into...forbidden paths, and partake of the evils that exist in our midst, by following bad examples set before us by those who are not of us. Let us look to our leaders, those who hold the Holy Priesthood, and take their advice, and, in the spirit of humility and prayer, I feel sure that if we take this admonition we shall not go astray spiritually, but be raised up by the power of the Lord and made equal to the responsibilities as they come to us from our fathers.

(Patriarch Hyrum G. Smith, General Conference, October 1912)
When God can do what he will with a man, the man may do what he will with the world.     ~George MacDonald
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Steve
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Re: When Does A Prophet Speak As A Prophet?

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No man ever went astray by following the counsel of the authorities of the Church. No man who ever followed the teachings or took advice or counsel from the one who stands as the representative of the Lord ever went astray; but men who have refused to accept counsel have gone astray and into forbidden paths, and in some instances have even denied the faith. Others who went astray because they failed to understand and to heed the counsels that were given unto them for their eternal good, have humbled themselves and come back to the Church acknowledging their error. ...

Therefore, we must put our faith in those whom the Lord hath called, if we want to have a standing before the Lord, and none of us desire, if we have the proper spirit, to be cut off from among the people. But this punishment will befall those who do not prove faithful and will not pay that heed or give that attention to the counsel of those who are called and appointed and inspired of the Lord to teach and direct us in all things.

(Elder Joseph F. Smith, Jr., General Conference, October 1912)
I love this.
When God can do what he will with a man, the man may do what he will with the world.     ~George MacDonald
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Steve
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Re: When Does A Prophet Speak As A Prophet?

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Personal opinions may vary. Eternal principles never do. When the prophet speaks, sisters, the debate is over.

(Elaine Cannon, If We Want to Go Up, We Have to Get On, October 1978 General Conference)
When God can do what he will with a man, the man may do what he will with the world.     ~George MacDonald
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Steve
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Re: When Does A Prophet Speak As A Prophet?

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Can you imagine how you would have felt hearing the Savior’s voice? In fact, we do not have to imagine. It has become a constant experience for us to hear the voice of the Lord because when we hear the voice of His servants, it is the same.

(Elder Benjamin De Hoyos, That Our Light May Be a Standard for the Nations, April 2017 General Conference)
When God can do what he will with a man, the man may do what he will with the world.     ~George MacDonald
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Steve
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Re: When Does A Prophet Speak As A Prophet?

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As we live in this wicked world, shall we remain blind to the exigencies of our times? Have we the common sense and the good judgment to stand in holy places?

And how do we accomplish that? By obeying the prophets!

Are we willing—at all costs—to defend the kingdom of God against the vicious attacks of the adversary? And how do we do that? By obeying the prophets! Are we ready to answer affirmatively when we are asked:

Who’s on the Lord’s side?
Is not today the time to show?
We ask it urgently:
Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?


If we are on his side, we will follow his prophets. ...

Is not our attitude toward these prophets an unerring reflection of our innermost feeling toward God? I mean our real, basic allegiance when it is divested of all outward show and stripped of all pretensions.

Can we truly love the Lord and at the same time reject his servants?

(Elder Mark E. Petersen, Follow the Prophets, October 1981 General Conference; emphasis added)
When God can do what he will with a man, the man may do what he will with the world.     ~George MacDonald
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Re: When Does A Prophet Speak As A Prophet?

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I bear witness to you that the leaders of this Church are standing in the right place, and that their counsel and advice to the Latter-day Saints is true, and ought to be followed. I am willing to stand by the revelations of God and the teachings of His servants of this Church, though it may take me within the jaws of death. I will stand up before the world and defend the leaders of this Church in their attitude and in their counsels and instructions to the people. I have confidence in them, that they have not deceived the world. I would rather die, yes, and give my life over and over again, than become a traitor, or be untrue to men in the pledges and the promises that I make, and I know the integrity of these men, that they are true and faithful before God and this people.

(Elder Melvin J. Ballard, October 1910 General Conference; emphasis added)
When God can do what he will with a man, the man may do what he will with the world.     ~George MacDonald
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Steve
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Re: When Does A Prophet Speak As A Prophet?

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The man or the woman—perhaps you may think it presumptuous in me, but I will promise you that what I am going to say is the truth—who has embraced what is called “Mormonism,” but which is nothing more or less than the Everlasting Gospel of the Son of God, who when counseled by men of God holding the eternal Priesthood to do thus and so, and who will indulge in a spirit that will prompt him to say, “O yes, I think I will use my own judgment. I think I have discretion as well as you, and I will take my own course. I can attend to my own business as well and perhaps a little better than anyone else, and therefore I don't need anyone to advise me.” I say the man or the woman that will do so, thereby taking to himself or to herself strength and wisdom to counsel themselves, unless they repent, turn round and do better, they will go into darkness, and sooner or later each person or persons will apostatize and go to destruction. Do you believe it? It is just as true as the sun that shines. Is it hard to believe? No, it is the easiest thing in the world to believe the truth. It is a great deal easier to believe truth than error. It is easier to defend the truth than to defend error. It is necessary that the religions and creeds of the Christian world be defended by the most able and learned students, in order to make them popular and to appear as true. But after these Christian students have been through academies and colleges; and the most famed seminaries in the world, and after they have studied and studied, spending a lifetime in the acquisition of a theological education, it takes but one of our boys, with the aid of the Bible and the little Catechism, to wind them up as you would an old clock. ...

With all their study and learning, and with all the philosophy and science there is brought to the aid of false theories, how easy it is to believe the truth! It is much easier than to disbelieve it. Truth commends itself to every honest person, it matters not how simply it is told, and when it is received it seems as though we had been acquainted with it all our lives.

(President Brigham Young, June 17, 1877;emphasis added)
When God can do what he will with a man, the man may do what he will with the world.     ~George MacDonald
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Steve
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Re: When Does A Prophet Speak As A Prophet?

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Everything that leads to good is from God, while everything that leads to evil is from the devil. Here are the two powers. How many on the earth are honoring God, acknowledging His hand in all things and keeping His commandments? Very few. Just the same today as in the days of Noah. We read that one of a family and two of a city will be gathered to Zion in the last days. Out of twelve hundred millions, that dwell on the face of the earth, we, after forty years' labor, have succeeded in gathering a few thousands together to the valleys of the mountains. The numbers are very few; but this few should be faithful.

Last Sabbath, those who were here listened to a discourse from brother George Q. Cannon, in which he delivered his testimony concerning Joseph Smith and President Young. I thought to myself, it seemed a kind of a queer idea that, at this late date, one of the Apostles should be called upon to stand up in the sacred desk and defend the characters of these men as prophets and Apostles. Yet so it was, and these things are necessary.

(Elder Wilford Woodruff, December 12, 1869)
When God can do what he will with a man, the man may do what he will with the world.     ~George MacDonald
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Steve
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Re: When Does A Prophet Speak As A Prophet?

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Study the scriptures and study the mortals who have been most consistently accurate about the most important things. When your freedom and your eternal welfare are at stake, your information best be accurate.

(Elder Ezra Taft Benson, Prepare, Then Fear Not, April 1967 General Conference)
When God can do what he will with a man, the man may do what he will with the world.     ~George MacDonald
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Steve
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Re: When Does A Prophet Speak As A Prophet?

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Today I make you a promise. It’s a simple one, but it is true. If you will listen to the living prophet and the apostles and heed our counsel, you will not go astray.

(Elder M. Russell Ballard, His Word Ye Shall Receive, April 2001 General Conference)
When God can do what he will with a man, the man may do what he will with the world.     ~George MacDonald
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Tuly
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Re: When Does A Prophet Speak As A Prophet?

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Amen to that.
"Condemn me not because of mine imperfection,... but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." Mormon 9:31
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Ian
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Re: When Does A Prophet Speak As A Prophet?

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Some will try to overly dissect the prophet’s words, struggling to determine what is his prophetic voice and what is his personal opinion.

In 1982, two years before being called as a General Authority, Brother Russell M. Nelson said: “I never ask myself, ‘When does the prophet speak as a prophet and when does he not?’ My interest has been, ‘How can I be more like him?’” And he added, “My [philosophy is to] stop putting question marks behind the prophet’s statements and put exclamation points instead.”

Elder Neil L. Andersen, The Prophet of God, April 2018 General Conference
so let it be written... so let it be done.
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Steve
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Re: When Does A Prophet Speak As A Prophet?

Post by Steve »

The very next lines are notable as well.
This is how a humble and spiritual man chose to order his life. Now, 36 years later, he is the Lord’s prophet.

(Elder Neil L. Andersen, The Prophet of God, April 2018 General Conference)
When God can do what he will with a man, the man may do what he will with the world.     ~George MacDonald
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