Do Modern Prophets Speak Today?
In one month, we all will have the opportunity to listen to modern day prophets. When I say we, I do not mean the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints only, I mean everyone in the world. God’s prophets today are not just prophets for the Lord’s church they speak to all the world; every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. They will speak in the annual general conference for The Church on April 1st & 2nd. Will you tune in to watch? Will you seek out their words once they are printed? Or will you spend those two days pursuing your normal activities like any other weekend?
Have you wondered if God speaks to us today as he did anciently? If he did what would he say? What would his advice be for us? How will we react to his message? Anciently when the Lord wanted to speak to his people, he did it through prophets. But are there prophets today who speak for the Lord and if there are prophets how will we know if they are truly the Lord’s prophets?
To answer these questions, I would like to refer to a talk that Elder Hugh B. Brown, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, gave to the students at BYU in October 1955. His talk was titled “The Profile of a Prophet”. Elder Brown tells of an experience he had in England in 1939 just before WWI broke out. Elder Brown was an attorney and was friends with a man who was a member of England’s House of Commons, like the U.S. House of Representatives, and a former member of their English Supreme Court. Elder Brown and this man had several discussions about Joseph Smith and the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He had said that for Elder Brown to believe Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God was fantastic and absurd. He asked Elder Brown to present his argument in the form of a legal brief and permit him to examine it. Elder Brown agreed and when they met Elder Brown shared the following:
I began by asking, “May I proceed, sir, on the assumption that you are a Christian?”
“I assume you believe in the Bible—the Old and New Testaments?”
“Do you believe in prayer?”
“You say that my belief that God spoke to a man in this age is fantastic and absurd?”
“To me it is.”
“Do you believe that God ever did speak to anyone?”
“Certainly, all through the Bible we have evidence of that.”
“Did He speak to Adam?”
“To Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jacob, Joseph, and on through the prophets?”
“I believe He spoke to each of them.”
“Do you believe that contact between God and man ceased when Jesus appeared on the earth?”
“No, such communication reached its climax, its apex, at that time.”
“Do you believe that Jesus was the Son of God?”
“Do you believe, sir, that after Jesus was resurrected, a certain lawyer—who was also a tentmaker by the name of Saul of Tarsus—when on his way to Damascus talked with Jesus of Nazareth, who had been crucified, resurrected, and had ascended into heaven?”
“Whose voice did Saul hear?”
“It was the voice of Jesus Christ, for He so introduced Himself.”
“Then, my Lord—that is the way we address judges in the British Commonwealth—I am submitting to you in all seriousness that it was standard procedure in Bible times for God to talk to man.”
“I think I will admit that, but it stopped shortly after the first century of the Christian era.”
“Why do you think it stopped?”
“I can’t say.”
“You think that God hasn’t spoken since then?”
“I am sure He hasn’t.”
“There must be a reason. Can you give me a reason?”
“I do not know.”
“May I suggest some possible reasons? Perhaps God does not speak to man anymore because He cannot. He has lost the power.”
He said, “Of course that would be blasphemous.”
“Well, then, if you don’t accept that, perhaps He doesn’t speak to men because He doesn’t love us anymore and He is no longer interested in the affairs of men.”
“No,” he said, “God loves all men, and He is no respecter of persons.”
“Well, then, if He could speak, and if He loves us, then the only other possible answer, as I see it, is that we don’t need Him. We have made such rapid strides in science and we are so well educated that we don’t need God anymore.”
And then he said—and his voice trembled as he thought of impending war—“Mr. Brown, there never was a time in the history of the world when the voice of God was needed as it is needed now. Perhaps you can tell me why He doesn’t speak.”
My answer was: “He does speak, He has spoken; but men need faith to hear Him.”
Elder Brown then presented what he called a profile of a prophet and how Joseph Smith fulfilled each of the requirements. I will let you follow the link above to read the entire talk or you can click on this link and listen to the audio version. My point today is to testify that there are modern prophets called by God to speak to us today. The Prophet Joseph Smith was the first since the prophets that lived during the time that Jesus Christ walked the earth during his mortal ministry.
We have 15 living prophets today. They are the three in the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. President Thomas S. Monson is the senior apostle and as such is the President of the Church. He is the Lord’s mouthpiece to all the world. We will have the opportunity to listen to their messages and other general authorities of the church in the April General Conference. I hope that you will tune in and find out what message the Lord has for his people as given through his living prophets
Your comments and questions are welcome.