Does God Speak Today?
In March of 1842, Joseph Smith published what has become known as the Wentworth Letter. Mr. Wentworth was the Editor of the Chicago Democrat and he asked Joseph Smith to give him a brief history of the rise and progress of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At the end of the letter Joseph included thirteen articles of faith that described the beliefs of the LDS Church. Three of those articles are:
“1. We believe in God the eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.”
“6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the primitive Church, viz.: apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc.”
“9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”
From those three articles we learn that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that God is our eternal Father and Jesus Christ is Son and our Savior. We also believe that the Holy Ghost is real and testifies of the other two. We also believe that the church that Jesus Christ established during his mortal ministry in Jerusalem had prophets and apostles as the foundation upon which the rest was built. Remember what Paul said to the Ephesians:
The last declaration not only affirms our belief in the revelations that are contained in the Old and New Testaments and the Book of Mormon which are all ancient revelations, but that God continues to speak to prophets today and that he will always reveal his will to us through his prophets. Remember the promise of the Prophet Amos:
Christ was the chief corner stone, or the head of the church anciently and he still is today. He spoke to the ancient Israelites and the Christian Church in the meridian of time through prophets and apostles and he continues to do so today.
In 1831, the Lord speaking through the Prophet Joseph Smith gave the world this warning:
, O ye people of my , saith the voice of him who dwells on high, and whose are upon all men; yea, verily I say: Hearken ye people from afar; and ye that are upon the islands of the sea, listen together.
For verily the of the Lord is unto all men, and there is none to ; and there is no eye that shall not see, neither that shall not hear, neither that shall not be penetrated.
And the of the Lord is kindled, and his is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth.
And the of the Lord shall be revealed; and the cometh that they who will not the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his , neither give to the words of the prophets and , shall be from among the people;
And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have to lay the foundation of this , and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of , the only true and living upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well , unto the church collectively and not individually—
What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my shall not pass away, but shall all be , whether by mine own or by the of my , it is the . (Doctrine and Covenants Section 1)
Prophets have always been the mouth of the Lord to the world, not just the covenant people. God is no respecter of persons and he speaks today as he has always done through his prophets to the entire world. If we give heed to the prophet’s words we are blessed, if we do not heed his warnings we do not prosper, but forfeit the blessings that he desires to give us.
Some might ask how often revelations are received. Elder John K. Carmack spoke at BYU Idaho about the fact that the church is guided by revelation from God today. He tells of an experience he had when he was in the mission home in Salt Lake City prior to serving as a full-time missionary. He said that in one of the meetings Joseph F. Merrill was answering questions from the missionaries when one of them asked him when was the last time that the church received a revelation from God? He said: “last Thursday in the Salt Lake Temple”. The Prophet and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles meet every Thursday in the Salt Lake Temple to discuss the affairs of the church and receive revelation from Jesus Christ who is the head of his church.
Who is the Lord’s prophet today? Thomas S. Monson, the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We believe he has been called of God to be his prophet, seer and revelator on the earth at this time. He is the Lord’s mouthpiece today, even as Moses was to ancient Israel. Like Moses, President Monson’s desire is to bring all of Heavenly Father’s children to the “mountain of the Lord” to behold the face of God. If we follow the prophets and apostles counsel, we can be worthy of the spirit of the Holy Ghost to dwell in us and he will teach us all things we need to know to return as families to dwell with God eternally.
I know Thomas S. Monson is God’s prophet on the earth today and if we give heed to his teachings we will prosper and know what the Lord would have us do to keep ourselves unspotted from the evils of the world.
Your comments and questions are welcome.