Jump to content

What is a living prophet?


california boy

Recommended Posts

I have been reading quite a few posts lately on what is doctrine and what is not doctrine. For example the post on whether we have a heavenly mother. Or does the church teach that God was once a man. There are a myriad of questions that seem to come up on this forum and within the Church that we don't seem to have any definitive answers to. My question is:

Has the definition of what a living prophet is changed?

What I mean by that is, we generally define a prophet as someone who talks to God. Someone who receives revelation from God. Someone who speaks for God. So why is it such a difficult thing to have the prophet just ask God. Isn't that his calling as prophet? If God is too busy to talk to his one prophet, then what makes us think that God will answer our prayers?? I mean what is more important, clarifying doctrinal questions or finding our lost car keys?? Has being called the prophet become just a figurehead position? Is there a relationship between the prophet and God or not? Would a monthly or yearly meeting between God and his one prophet be too much to ask? Certainly Joseph Smith got plenty of answers to his questions, some of which were quite trivial. Did God just get exhausted from answering all of Joseph Smiths questions and decide he had had enough of regular contact with his prophets?? Sure there was plenty to reveal at the beginning of his church, but isn't this still His church and shouldn't God be regularly communicating with his current prophet? I can certainly think of a pretty good list of doctrinal questions I would like clarified.

Link to comment

The Prophet's primary role is to lead the Church and lead people to Christ. The messages he gives us consist of the counsel we most need to hear and that God wants us to listen to.

Clearing up doctrinal questions is only a secondary role. Still, the Prophet and the Twelve do so regularly, and if you want a question answered in an official capacity just follow the chain of revelation. Ask your bishop to start with. If he can't provide a sufficient answer he will go to the Stake President - and so forth.

If you want to follow the personal chain of revelation you could do that instead, and get personalized answers to your questions. Note that the answer might be "this isn't important for you to know right now. Focus on the things that are important."

Link to comment

Has the definition of what a living prophet is changed?

The definition has not changed. For a good definition, see: http://lds.org/study/topics/prophets?lang=eng

Living prophets are inspired men called to speak for the Lord. The President of the Church is a prophet, seer, and revelator and the only one on the earth who receives revelation for the Church. Living prophets testify of Jesus Christ, teach His gospel, make His will and true character known, denounce sin and warn of its consequences and prophesy of future events.

It is not a difficult thing for the prophet to ask God. God is not too busy to talk to him. God answers our prayers. Clarifying doctrinal questions is more important than finding our lost car keys (sometimes), and a Prophet can help you with either if it is the Lord

Link to comment

The definition has not changed. For a good definition, see: http://lds.org/study/topics/prophets?lang=eng

Living prophets are inspired men called to speak for the Lord. The President of the Church is a prophet, seer, and revelator and the only one on the earth who receives revelation for the Church. Living prophets testify of Jesus Christ, teach His gospel, make His will and true character known, denounce sin and warn of its consequences and prophesy of future events.

It is not a difficult thing for the prophet to ask God. God is not too busy to talk to him. God answers our prayers. Clarifying doctrinal questions is more important than finding our lost car keys (sometimes), and a Prophet can help you with either if it is the Lord

Link to comment
I can certainly think of a pretty good list of doctrinal questions I would like clarified.

Perhaps when we all faithfully accept that which has been revealed and needs no further clarification, such as the status of homosexual behavior as being sinful, then we will be ready for clarification of other points of doctrine.

Link to comment

So why is there so much conjecture on what is doctrine and what is personal opinion?

Can you give me any specific revelations in the last 50 years except President Kimballs 1978 revelation? Has the church just been getting inspired advice since then by wise men?

I hope no one feels like this post is being critical of the church and its leaders.

I think the conjecture arises from our inherent freedom for personal interpretation and access to multiple points to view. The spiritual profitability of correctly interpreting the "doctrine of Christ" is up to each individual. The application of what one considers doctrine will be borne out in the promised fruits.

There are several threads that give examples of revelations of various kinds since 1978. I also think it is wonderful that with the Gift of the Holy Ghost, members can govern themselves to a great extent, and that as the Church matures and grows, this phenomenon is increasing.

If there is an increasing tendency to debate the things of God it is because we have the freedom and the resources to do so, with attendant responsibilities, accountability, and consequences.

Personally, I don't see this conversation as offensive.

Link to comment

I have been reading quite a few posts lately on what is doctrine and what is not doctrine. For example the post on whether we have a heavenly mother. Or does the church teach that God was once a man. There are a myriad of questions that seem to come up on this forum and within the Church that we don't seem to have any definitive answers to. My question is:

Has the definition of what a living prophet is changed?

What I mean by that is, we generally define a prophet as someone who talks to God. Someone who receives revelation from God. Someone who speaks for God. So why is it such a difficult thing to have the prophet just ask God. Isn't that his calling as prophet? If God is too busy to talk to his one prophet, then what makes us think that God will answer our prayers?? I mean what is more important, clarifying doctrinal questions or finding our lost car keys?? Has being called the prophet become just a figurehead position? Is there a relationship between the prophet and God or not? Would a monthly or yearly meeting between God and his one prophet be too much to ask? Certainly Joseph Smith got plenty of answers to his questions, some of which were quite trivial. Did God just get exhausted from answering all of Joseph Smiths questions and decide he had had enough of regular contact with his prophets?? Sure there was plenty to reveal at the beginning of his church, but isn't this still His church and shouldn't God be regularly communicating with his current prophet? I can certainly think of a pretty good list of doctrinal questions I would like clarified.

Back when I first began to investigate Mormonism, in the days of David O. McKay, he and other church presidents were referred to as "the President". The title "the Prophet" was reserved for one man: Joseph Smith. That was intentionally changed by the Priesthood Correlation Committee, and now "the Prophet" is synonomous with "the President". A subtle change, but it has the effect of elevating every president since Joseph Smith to equal stature with him.

The discrepancy between God's interaction with Joseph Smith, and God's interaction with subsequent and present-day "prophets, seers, and revelators", is rather glaring to me. Others see no problem with it.

stYro

Link to comment

So why is there so much conjecture on what is doctrine and what is personal opinion?

Because you got mormons of all different levels of understanding, including some other mormon religions, ex-mo's, anti's, critics, etc. all on this forum.

Most of the time it is difficult to weed out the differences.

Depends on ones experience and knowledge. Most things that are difficult to understand are things that are simply fringe issues, not really relevant to anything.

I was once told that what was spoken in conference was doctrine.

That's a simplistic childs answer. Doctrine is by a four-fold process, Scripture, Prophets, Holy Ghost, and common consent. Not everything in scripture is doctrine, nor is everything anywhere else.

But lately it seems there has been a lot of backpedaling on even this statement.

That's because it never was a "doctrinal statement".

I am even a little unclear if the Proclamation of the Family. Is it just a proclamation or is it doctrine/revelation from God.

It's more so doctrinal inspired expounding. It's not actual revelation in the scriptural sense. But, the concepts therein are revelatory in nature.

I once thought that American Indians were Lamanites.

They still are. Lamanites were generally everyone non-Nephite.

Don't be confused by anti-mormon false representations of mormonism and leaders words, their strawmen that they then try and tear down.

Now that seems to be a question of revelation or opinion.

Only to those who aren't as informed of the issue, such as anti-mormons and the less informed mormon.

The whole issue of what God is revealing and what is good advice coming from wise men seems to be blurring.

That is only because Satan and his servants are further mudying the water. They try and make everything ever said by an LDS "doctrine" when that NEVER was the mormon standard of what made doctrine. Again, don't allow yourself to be decieved by anti-mormon perverions of our Faith.

You have stated that the prophet is the only one on earth who receives revelation for the church. Can you give me any specific revelations in the last 50 years except President Kimballs 1978 revelation? Has the church just been getting inspired advice since then by wise men?

LDS leaders recieve revelation all the time, and they are contained in the vaults of the Church. Few of those revelations however necessitate the need to add them to scripture or official declarations. It is only to mostly anti-mormons are most things really an issue. To the average mormon, having a Heavenly Mother is a non-issue, it is simply accepted. They don't generally know all the why's hows, etc.

I hope no one feels like this post is being critical of the church and its leaders. If this is offensive to anyone, then I will just drop it. I have just been surprised by how many things seem to be up for debate when it comes to doctrine, and I am wondering what has changed to bring this about.

With actual LDS there is basically nothing that is contested or disagreed upon when it concerns actual "doctrine". It's basically everyone else that is muddying the waters. Of course, there is sometimes the rare nut who has his own views on even some doctrine things, but they are fringe, not the average mormon or the average LDS apologist. I've been doing this for years, and I've found that I've almost never disagreed with any faithful LDS on any subject, even fringe ones, but especially doctrinal ones. The Church is thus secure doctrinally speaking.

Link to comment

Back when I first began to investigate Mormonism, in the days of David O. McKay, he and other church presidents were referred to as "the President". The title "the Prophet" was reserved for one man: Joseph Smith. That was intentionally changed by the Priesthood Correlation Committee, and now "the Prophet" is synonomous with "the President". A subtle change, but it has the effect of elevating every president since Joseph Smith to equal stature with him.

And this is a good example of how critics or anti-mormons see something that never was there.

The President/Prophet of the Church has ALWAYS been called so. Sometimes called one, sometimes called the other.

These ideas promoted by anti-mormons that the Church is now doing this or that because of this or that is simply ignorance, not truth nor fact of history.

The discrepancy between God's interaction with Joseph Smith, and God's interaction with subsequent and present-day "prophets, seers, and revelators", is rather glaring to me. Others see no problem with it.

stYro

Of course there are some differences, but many of those even are simply not publically advertised as Joseph experiences are. Not being advertised is not the same as today's not being similar to yesterdays. Further, the reason others don't have a problem with it is because that's the way it's always been. Scriptural history is full of a Big Prophet here or there, and then lot's of maintaining leaders, then a big one, etc. etc. "Expecting" every prophet to be a Joseph Smith, Moses, etc. is blatantly unscriptural.

God has always done "something Big", and then there is a bunch of time inbetween.

Link to comment

And this is a good example of how critics or anti-mormons see something that never was there.

The President/Prophet of the Church has ALWAYS been called so. Sometimes called one, sometimes called the other.

These ideas promoted by anti-mormons that the Church is now doing this or that because of this or that is simply ignorance, not truth nor fact of history.

As a young man I remember being specifically instructed on proper usage of the term "the Prophet". I did not know why the emphasis had changed until I read a recent paper on the subject of correlation.

stYro

Link to comment

I did not know why the emphasis had changed until I read a recent paper on the subject of correlation.

I have seen plenty of church-correlated lesson material in the last several years ("Teachings of the Prophets" manuals, for example) emphasize Joseph Smith's unique position as the head of this dispensation, and that all other presidents have to account in some fashion to him. I would like to see the "correlated" instructions and explanation for a formal change in emphasis on commonly used titles (Prophet, President) for the purpose of elevating the stature of living prophets.

Link to comment

I have seen plenty of church-correlated lesson material in the last several years ("Teachings of the Prophets" manuals, for example) emphasize Joseph Smith's unique position as the head of this dispensation, and that all other presidents have to account in some fashion to him. I would like to see the "correlated" instructions and explanation for a formal change in emphasis on commonly used titles (Prophet, President) for the purpose of elevating the stature of living prophets.

I cannot guarantee that the website hosting the article has no temple content, though there is none in the article itself, so I'm not going to provide a link. But google "correlation: an uncorrelated history", go to part 8, and scroll down about 1/4 of the way.

Apparently the young men's leader who was instructing me was a bit behind the times; according to the article, emphasizing that the President was "the Prophet" began during the tenure of David O. McKay.

It's an excellent article and I highly recommend reading the whole thing.

stYro

Link to comment

As a young man I remember being specifically instructed on proper usage of the term "the Prophet". I did not know why the emphasis had changed until I read a recent paper on the subject of correlation.

stYro

About fifteen minutes ago I left my friend who will be completing his 100th birthday in two weeks, unfortunately he is also dying, but still spry and quick with his mind and spirit. Styro's post was an excellent opportunity to approach someone who not only was born in 1911, but was closely acquainted with President David O'McKay's son (he studied Romance languages at the University of Utah). A facinating man, whose father was a mission President in Germany (he ended up going to a German high school) and he later served his mission in France (thus learning fluent French). Anyway, I took the opportunity to mention this post. He said that he always referred to President McKay as President McKay, that was his office. But that everyone also knew him to be a prophet of God. Men bore their testimonies as such.

So I am left with the question of why you were not aware that those who were Mormons also knew him to be a prophet, and more to the point, testified as such. Perhaps you are merely woefully misinformed. It is hard to overlook something so obvious.

Link to comment

About fifteen minutes ago I left my friend who will be completing his 100th birthday in two weeks, unfortunately he is also dying, but still spry and quick with his mind and spirit. Styro's post was an excellent opportunity to approach someone who not only was born in 1911, but was closely acquainted with President David O'McKay's son (he studied Romance languages at the University of Utah). A facinating man, whose father was a mission President in Germany (he ended up going to a German high school) and he later served his mission in France (thus learning fluent French). Anyway, I took the opportunity to mention this post. He said that he always referred to President McKay as President McKay, that was his office. But that everyone also knew him to be a prophet of God. Men bore their testimonies as such.

So I am left with the question of why you were not aware that those who were Mormons also knew him to be a prophet, and more to the point, testified as such. Perhaps you are merely woefully misinformed. It is hard to overlook something so obvious.

Well, I interpret your post as supporting what I said - that the convention used to be to refer to the president of the church as "President so-and-so". I never said he wasn't considered to be a prophet, but that the title "the Prophet" used to be reserved for Joseph Smith. Nowadays that title is applied to whoever the current president is. It's just a subtle change, but it implies that the current President is the equal of Joseph Smith. Seems to me "prophet" should be a title that a man earns by his deeds, not by the office he occupies.

stYro

Link to comment

Not quite, perhaps I wasn't clear, but when speaking of President McKay they often did say "the prophet" said this... or that.... So forgive me for not being clear on that item. So at least one witness disputes your interpretation of events.

Link to comment

I have been reading quite a few posts lately on what is doctrine and what is not doctrine. For example the post on whether we have a heavenly mother. Or does the church teach that God was once a man. There are a myriad of questions that seem to come up on this forum and within the Church that we don't seem to have any definitive answers to. My question is:

Has the definition of what a living prophet is changed?

What I mean by that is, we generally define a prophet as someone who talks to God. Someone who receives revelation from God. Someone who speaks for God. So why is it such a difficult thing to have the prophet just ask God. Isn't that his calling as prophet? If God is too busy to talk to his one prophet, then what makes us think that God will answer our prayers?? I mean what is more important, clarifying doctrinal questions or finding our lost car keys?? Has being called the prophet become just a figurehead position? Is there a relationship between the prophet and God or not? Would a monthly or yearly meeting between God and his one prophet be too much to ask? Certainly Joseph Smith got plenty of answers to his questions, some of which were quite trivial. Did God just get exhausted from answering all of Joseph Smiths questions and decide he had had enough of regular contact with his prophets?? Sure there was plenty to reveal at the beginning of his church, but isn't this still His church and shouldn't God be regularly communicating with his current prophet? I can certainly think of a pretty good list of doctrinal questions I would like clarified.

The Prophet can ask but that does not mean that God will or should answer, God knows all things and he will reveal things to us line by line, precept by precept, as we are ready.

That is the key word, as we are ready! Ready not in our flawed and imperfect understanding, but ready in God's perfect and eternal understanding.

When the Lord feels that we are ready to receive more knowledge in regards to our Mother in Heaven he will reveal this to his Prophet.

Until then we can only acknowledge that she exists (because the Lord has reveled this to be true through his Prophets imo) and that when God is ready he will reveal her glorious nature to us through his Prophet!

Link to comment

It's an excellent article and I highly recommend reading the whole thing.

I appreciate the reference, but the conversation amounts to gossip, hearsay and opinion to carp about correlation and accuse the leadership of manipulating the masses to go along with it.

Link to comment

Isn't there some old LDS hymn that encourages us to pray for "our prophet dear?" Post 1844 wouldn't make much sense to be in reference to Joseph Smith.

Link to comment

Here is an interesting perspective on this subject...

I always love it when those critical of the church seem to know what a prophet knows or doesn't know, what he has seen or hasn't seen. This man has little understanding of how the process works or what it means to receive revelation.

I will repeat the definition of prophet from the church website:

Like the prophets of old, prophets today testify of Jesus Christ and teach His gospel. They make known God's will and true character. They speak boldly and clearly, denouncing sin and warning of its consequences. At times, they may be inspired to prophesy of future events for our benefit.
Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...