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:
We believe in God the eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.”
We believe in the same organization that existed in the primitive Church, viz.: apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc.”
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.” (Articles of Faith)
From those three statements 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 the Son of God 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:
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; (Ephesians 2:19-20)
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:
Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7)
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.
|Joseph Smith and the First Vision|
In 1831, the Lord speaking through the Prophet Joseph Smith gave the world this warning:
Hearken, O ye people of my church, saith the voice of him who dwells on high, and whose eyes 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 voice of the Lord is unto all men, and there is none to escape; and there is no eye that shall not see, neither ear that shall not hear, neither heart that shall not be penetrated.
And the voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days.
Wherefore the voice of the Lord is unto the ends of the earth, that all that will hear may hear:
Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh;
And the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth
And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people;
And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking 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 word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same. (Doctrine and Covenants Section 1)
Prophets have always been the mouth of the Lord to the world, not just to the covenant people. God is no respecter of persons and he speaks today as always 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 to 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? Russell M. Nelson, 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 Nelson’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.
|Russell M. Nelson|
I know Russell M. Nelson 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.
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