22 September 2010

Latter-day Prophets and Apostles

I'm excited for General Conference! I know that it is still a week and a half away, but I've already started counting down the days. General Conference is for me like Christmas is to children: I can barely sleep the night before because I'm too excited to think about the wonderful gifts of revelation that President Monson, the First Presidency, the Twelve Apostles, and the other auxiliarly leaders are going to give me.

(Trish, I guess this tops the charts on the Nerd-o-meter, huh?)

But serioiusly, I can't wait!

President Thomas S. Monson

Why is General Conference so thrilling for me? Because we have living prophets and apostles who are directed by the Lord and the Holy Spirit to provide direction for and counsel to us. The counsel given is for everyone, yet only a small percentage of people actually know that such revelation exists--that God still speaks to His children through prophets and apostles.

I know that Heavenly Father restored the fullness of His gospel, including the organization of the church with prophets and apostles to lead us through the priesthood. I know Joseph Smith was the instrument through which God restored the Church, the priesthood, the Book of Mormon, and other important gospel ordinances. I know that President Thomas S. Monson is God's chosen prophet here on the earth at this time. I revere President Monson; I am excited to hear what he and the other apostles have to say. And I'm grateful to know that when I obey their counsel, I am happier, feel more peace in my life, and feel the Lord's love for me more abundantly.

I found this wonderful summary about apostles and prophets on lds.org:

The Lord reveals His word to the world through holy prophets (see Amos 3:7). This has been God’s pattern since the world began: “We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth” (Articles of Faith 1:6). It is as true today as it was in the times of Adam, Noah, Moses, and Abraham; no one else has the authority to receive commandments and revelations for the Church (see D&C 43:2–3). Through direct revelation to His holy prophet, the Lord teaches us what we need to know.

In ancient times Joseph of Egypt testified that a prophet “great like unto Moses” would be raised up in the last days to restore the Lord’s Church and the teachings of His gospel (see 2 Nephi 3:6–9). Joseph Smith was this man, “a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church through the will of God the Father, and the grace of [the] Lord Jesus Christ” (D&C 21:1).

With the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, because he was the President of the Quorum of the Twelve, became the leader of the Church. Then on 27 December 1847 he was sustained as the prophet, seer, and revelator and President of the Church. Each succeeding President of the Church, chosen “through the will of God the Father, and the grace of [the] Lord Jesus Christ,” has been called as the Lord’s prophet to reveal the word and will of the Lord to the people of the earth. The President of the Church today is a true prophet, seer, and revelator and acts with the authority of God. When we listen to the voice of the prophet, we hear the word of God.

Summary
Since the time of Adam, the Lord has given instructions and teachings to the people on earth through His chosen prophets. Joseph Smith, the first prophet in the latter days, restored the Church of Jesus Christ and received hundreds of revelations from the Lord. Many men have succeeded Joseph Smith as prophet and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and each one has received direct revelation from the Lord to teach us what we need to know.

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