Faith was an awesome topic, and hopefully you all established some concrete goals with regard to growing your faith. Pinpoint just a few areas and work on them one by one. Don’t overwhelm yourself and assume you don’t have “enough.” Work with what you have.
But now it’s time for some new stuff, and what better topic to prepare us for General Conference than prophets? It’s a broad topic, to be sure, but one that is at the center of our belief system as Latter-day Saints. Therefore, I will now use the Commitment Pattern on all of you:
“Do you think it would be important to know if God has called prophets in our day?”
That’s not your question of the day. That’s your primer. Let’s rock it!
- What does “prophet” mean to you?
- Write out who your “favorite” prophets/stories are from (one of each) the Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants (Pearl of Great Price, too, if you want to overachieve, but you only have a choice out of, like, four; and that’s just some fellers named Moses, Abraham, Enoch, Joseph Smith…).
- “Come, Listen to a Prophet’s Voice” – Virginia U. Jensen
- “Prophets and Seers in Ancient Times” – Old Testament Institute Manual
Well I actually preferred Geoff’s primer question to the actual one, so I chose to focus on that “Do you think it would be important to know if God has called prophets in our day?”
Here’s an excerpt for you all – Yes, yes I do. I had an interesting experience in an elders quorum a few years back. We were just getting our manuals for the prophet John Taylor, we were studying him that year, so they handed out the manuals, and the instructor got up and started talking about how great John Taylor was, then asked “who here has a testimony of John Taylor they can share?” – well I was a missionary at the time, so after a few seconds of silence, the eyes in the room turned to me, and I shrugged. I did not have a testimony of our boy JT, I didn’t know a single experience or story about him as a prophet. I didn’t know revelations or doctrine he taught, it was a little embarrassing. Why would it be embarrassing you may ask, well because I professed a belief in doctrines he taught without realizing it, and I couldn’t very well profess a testimony of the doctrine if I didn’t have a testimony of the source.
Since then, I have committed to have a testimony of the prophets of the restoration, and in so doing have grown my testimony of the doctrines that make up the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s like a testimony hack.
- What does it mean to sustain a prophet? We throw that around a lot, but serious, how do you sustain a prophet?
Are wee are ready for conference now right!? Yesterday’s question “What does it mean to sustain a prophet?” gave me a bit to think about. I couldn’t get more than a sentence on the page for about 10 mins, then I had a breakthrough and got an entire paragraph. There wasn’t much to say about sustaining, we know what that means, but the phrase I finished with was if we sustain a prophet, we pray for his success, then get off our knees and go work to make it happen. That’s how we sustain. And how does a prophet succeed or fail, and then how can we help sustain him in his mission? Gave some good thought.
- How is a seer different from a prophet and a prophet different from a revelator, etc?
As far as the difference between prophets, seers, and revelators, per Elder John Widtsoe:
- A prophet is a teacher. He is an expounder of truth. He teaches the gospel, revealed by the Lord to man. The purpose of his life is to uphold the plan of salvation. A prophet also receives revelation.
- A seer is one who sees with spiritual eyes. Thin kJoseph Smith translating the golden plates, or King Mosiah translating the record of the Jaredites. This seeing can be achieved through pure inspiration or divine instruments, such as the Urim and Thummim.
- A revelator makes known something previously unknown.
There’s some clear overlap with all of these, but basically, a prophet is a teacher of known truth, a seer a perceiver of hidden truth, and a revelator a bearer of new truth.
- Do I sustain Thomas S. Monson as a prophet, seer, and revelator? What do I seek to learn from General Conference? Write this out. Be prayerful about it. You are privy to receive answers if you take the time to seek them. That is a promise from the Lord.
- I’ll admit something to you (and this wasn’t even in the original email) – Initially, I had a hard time getting on the Thomas S. Monson wagon. I was so accustomed to President Hinckley, and I loved his healthy mix of lovingly reproving us and humor. President Monson has always been so intentionally folksy to me, and while I didn’t question the Lord’s hand in whom He calls, I definitely needed some time to “fall in line” behind President Monson.