Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Prophet's voice

Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

I believe that Jesus Christ stands at the head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and that he directs his church, as he did in ancient times, through a living Prophet, whose most important responsibility is to testify of Christ. The prophet is the only one authorized to deliver revelations from God to the entire church.

Following the Lord’s prophets has been the way of God’s people from the days of Adam, Enoch, Noah, Moses, Abraham, and many others through the ages and there is great safety in doing so. I trust the counsel of the prophet, both because I believe that he was called of God and because his counsel is always good and wise. No one in the church is compelled or expected to blindly follow the Prophet’s counsel. We are expected to counsel with the Lord in all things, this includes seeking confirmation through the Spirit of the things the Prophet has told us.

In the LDS church, we attribute the same authority to the words of the living prophet as we do to the words left for us in scripture by the prophets of old. The counsel of the living prophet carries special importance for me because, like Noah, he speaks directly to our time and circumstance.

Who chooses the prophet?

I think one of the most inspiring things about the Prophets and other LDS leaders is that they are called through inspiration from God from among the membership of the church. There is no career path nor financial motive for service, you can't apply. You choose whether to lead a Christ-like life and to accept callings when they come. Bishops (the leaders of local congregations) continue to work full-time during the few years that they serve. The prophets and apostles, have left successful careers to serve the church full-time. There is no politicking, no competition, simply a call to serve. I have watched these men for many years. Their entire lives are devoted to serving God and his children, and they serve with their whole hearts.

I feel very blessed to have a living prophet and apostles on the earth today.

We have the opportunity every year of meeting as a church to hear the words of the great men and women who lead the church and its auxiliaries. The conference is this weekend (Apr. 4&5), so if you are curious about Mormon leaders, you can inspect them from the comfort of your own home. The proceedings of the conference will be broadcast on television this Saturday and Sunday from 9:00-11:00 and from 1:00-3:00. I’m not sure which channel—I’ll let you know.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Children of God

One of the most exciting teachings of the LDS church is that we are literally children of God. He is the father of our spirits and we lived with him before we came to earth. Every man, woman, and child on this earth is a son or daughter of God.

Knowing that we are all brothers and sisters truly affects my interactions with other people. God loves each of his children with a love more perfect even than the love that I feel for my own children and he does not give up encouraging any of us to repent and return to him. If what we feel for those we love is even a sample of what God feels for us, how could we not feel the desire to help lift the burdens of his other children? How can we not desire for others the same blessings and privileges that we enjoy? Knowing that everyone I meet is part of my family and dearly beloved by my perfect and loving Heavenly Father makes me want to be a kinder and better person. Knowing that I am His child gives me hope that I can become more like him.

“…he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.” 2Ne. 26:33