Sunday, September 29, 2013

Come, Listen to a Prophet’s Voice

The past few weeks on this blog, I have been writing about God speaking to Prophets today as he did in the past and that he will speak to us through the Holy Ghost if we will listen for the promptings. These are important principles to understand and have a testimony of because today we are faced with difficult times and choices. The world is attacking traditional family values from all directions. The family is in danger of collapsing under the continued secularization of the world and rejection of God from all public forums. How can we know what we must do to shield our families from this increasing storm of wickedness and evil? We can listen to the words of the modern prophets and then give heed to his counsel.

We have a hymn in the LDS Church titled “Come, Listen to a Prophet’s Voice” the first verse of that hymn says:

Come, listen to a prophet's voice,
And hear the word of God,
And in the way of truth rejoice,
And sing for joy aloud.
We've found the way the prophets went
Who lived in days of yore.
Another prophet now is sent
This knowledge to restore.1

A question that I often hear is “How can I know when the prophet speaks if it is from God?” That is a great question and one that we each need to ask when we are listening to the prophets speak. The scriptures tell us one way to know:

And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.

Behold, this is the promise of the Lord unto you, O ye my servants.

Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come. 2

The obvious follow-up question then would be how do I know if they are speaking by the power of the Holy Ghost? The answer to that question is found in my last posting “How Will I Know?” I have a personal testimony that when we listen and obey the counsel of the living prophet we are always blessed and we can know by the Holy Ghost when they are speaking for the Lord.

Often the counsels of the prophets are at odds with the worldly trends and occasionally their teachings don’t agree with our personal feelings. People are offended by what they hear and think the church should not get involved in things like same-sex marriage, dress standards, pornography or other hot topics of today. When I hear these comments, I have to ask who they think is the head of the church? It is not the prophet or other general authorities; it is the Lord Jesus Christ. This church bears his name and none other. The Lord speaks to the prophets and they speak to us. We have the choice to listen and obey or not and we will be held responsible for those choices.

In the Old Testament there is a great example of this. Balak, King of Maob, saw the Israelites coming to battle against him. He had seen what they had done to their enemies and did not want to be destroyed as well. He sent the elders of Moab to the Prophet Balam to ask him to come and curse Israel so that Moad would not be destroyed. Balam told the elders that he would not go with them, that God had blessed the people of Israel and he would not curse them. Balak then sent the princes of Moab to try and convince him to curse Israel. The scriptures then say:

16 And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me:

 17 For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people.

 18 And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more. 3

Balam told the elders that whatever the Lord told him, that would he do. It would not matter how much riches or rewards they promised him, he would only speak the word of the Lord, he would not speak the words Balak wanted just because it was the politically correct thing to do.

We are no different than Balak if we think the prophet today should be getting involved politically hot topics or moral issues. When the brethren speak against worldly trends and warn us to avoid the evils of the world, when the prophet says that sexual sins, or abortion, or pornography is evil it is not his opinion that he is expressing; it is the Lord’s will and because the world mocks or criticizes, it will not change.  Elder Robert D. Hales, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, made this comment about prophets today:

“A characteristic of prophets throughout the ages is that, regardless of the consequences, they have had the strength to speak the words of God with plainness and boldness…

“If we listen to the prophets of this day, poverty would be replaced with loving care for the poor and needy. Many serious and deadly health problems would be avoided through compliance with the Word of Wisdom and the laws of sexual purity. Payment of tithing would bless us, and we would have sufficient for our needs. If we follow the counsel given by the prophets, we can have a life in mortality where we do not bring upon ourselves unnecessary pain and self-destruction. This does not mean we will not have challenges. We will. This does not mean we will not be tested. We will, for this is part of our purpose on earth. But if we will listen to the counsel of our prophet, we will become stronger and be able to withstand the tests of mortality. We will have hope and joy. All the words of counsel from the prophets of all generations have been given so that we may be strengthened and then be able to lift and strengthen others.

“The desire of the prophets is to assist our Father in Heaven and his Son Jesus Christ in bringing about the great objectives of the plan of salvation, or, as one ancient prophet called it, “the great plan of happiness” (Alma 42:8).

“We declare with soberness, and yet with the authority of God in us vested, we have a prophet today. The President of the Church, as a prophet, is God’s representative on earth and is appointed to lead his church. This has been true in the past as recorded in the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, and in this, the last dispensation of the fulness of times with the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 4

Next weekend we will have the opportunity to listen to the prophet whom God has chosen to be his spokesman for the world today. On Saturday, October 5, 2013 the 183 Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be broadcast from Salt Lake City, Utah. Speakers will consist of men and women who are members of the general authorities of the church including the First Presidency and the Quorum of the 12 Apostles. We will have the opportunity to hear from the President of the Church, President Thomas S. Monson, who is the Lord’s prophet today. He will speak four times throughout the five sessions of conference. For the first time in the history of the modern church, all five sessions will be broadcast live (including the general priesthood session, which has never been broadcast on TV) on KBYU TV and the Internet at I invite you to join us and hear what the Lord would have us do to protect our families from the evils of the world. I invite you to come, listen to a prophet’s voice and hear the word of the Lord.

Your thoughts and comments are welcome.

1.              “Come, Listen to a Prophets Voice, LDS Hymnbook, Hymn #21
2.              Doctrine and Covenants 68:4-6
3.              Numbers 22:16-18
4.              “Hear the Prophet’s Voice and Obey”, Robert D. Hales, General Conference, April 1995

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