What has the Prophet said Lately?

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September 24, 2010
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Two of our meetings at church today focused on the same issue: What Has the Prophet Said Lately?

The first speaker in sacrament meeting related a story from her mission where a person they were teaching about the gospel got very excited about the idea of a living prophet and asked the two missionaries, “Well, what has the prophet said lately?” Unfortunately, the sisters were caught unaware and could not think of anything the prophet had said in recent months. It is a remarkable claim that we are able to make, that we have a Living Prophet who speaks to us as a mouthpiece for God; as such, we should be thirsty for any messages or information that comes from him.

I found myself unable to recollect anything the prophet has said recently. Fortunately I know where to look to find this information and will relay to you what I have found in links and brief summaries.
There are a few different avenues where we are able to hear from the Prophet. Most notably is the semi-Annual General Conferences of the church, held in the first weekend of April and October. (it’s coming up!) The church also publishes a monthly magazine (The Ensign) wherein the opening article comes from one of the three members of the First Presidency. The Ensign also publishes all the addresses from General Conference in the May and November issues.
In General Conference the Prophet generally addresses the church 4-5 times, usually the opening and/or closing remarks come from the prophet as well as other more instructive talks throughout the two day event. So in the past year (two conferences) here is what our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, has had to say to us:
April 2010 Conference
  • Welcome to Conference
    • Recent humanitarian aid, 25 years since humanitarian aid program began. Listing of Temples recently announced or built.
  • Preparation Brings Blessings
    • This message was given to the priesthood brethren (men ages 12+). Good choices in youth will lead to blessings later in life. Stay away from destructive thoughts, influences and environments. Blessings will result if faithful.
  • He Is Risen!
    • “Our Savior lived again. The most glorious, comforting, and reassuring of all events of human history had taken place—the victory over death. The pain and agony of Gethsemane and Calvary had been wiped away. The salvation of mankind had been secured. The Fall of Adam had been reclaimed.”
  • A Word At Closing
    • Study the words which have been spoken at this conference. Look to the lighthouse of the Lord to direct your paths.

October 2009 Conference

  • Welcome to Conference
    • Temples recently built, temple work is important. Members should embrace new converts.
  • School Thy Feelings, O My Brother
    • This message given to the Priesthood Brethren (Men ages 12+). Refrain from anger and angry actions. “To be angry is to yield to the influence of Satan. No one can make us angry. It is our choice. If we desire to have a proper spirit with us at all times, we must choose to refrain from becoming angry. I testify that such is possible.”
  • What Have I Done For Someone Today?
    • “My brothers and sisters, we are surrounded by those in need of our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness—be they family members, friends, acquaintances, or strangers. We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children. He is dependent upon each of us.” Focus on helping someone else everyday.
  • Closing Remarks
    • “We live at a time when many in the world have slipped from the moorings of safety found in compliance with the commandments. It is a time of permissiveness, with society in general routinely disregarding and breaking the laws of God. We often find ourselves swimming against the current, and sometimes it seems as though the current could carry us away…He is ever mindful of us. He loves us and will bless us as we do what is right.”
Ensign Articles since September 2009 written by President Monson:
  • Canaries With Gray on their Wings June 2010
    • To live greatly, we must develop the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness, and triumph with humility. You ask, “How might we achieve these goals?” I answer, i“By gaining a true perspective of who we really are!” We are sons and daughters of a living God, in whose image we have been created. Think of that: created in the image of God. We cannot sincerely hold this conviction without experiencing a profound new sense of strength and power.
  • On Being Spiritually Prepared February 2010
    • “In the search for our best selves, several questions will guide our thinking: Am I what I want to be? Am I closer to the Savior today than I was yesterday? Will I be closer yet tomorrow? Do I have the courage to change for the better? …”
  • Finding Strength Through Obedience October 2009
    • The best examples of Obedience can be found in the scriptures. “Obedience is a hallmark of prophets, but it should be realized that this source of strength is available to us today.”
These are the messages we have been given most recently. In the first weekend of October, we will be given some more. We believe as Amos taught, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants the prophets.”
We are privileged to get such access to the prophet and what the Lord wants for us through his messages.
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8 Responses to “What has the Prophet said Lately?”

  1. pete

    Seems pretty basic. I hear the same stuff from RIck Warren, the Bishop of Canterbury, the Pope, and Mr. Rogers. Is this really the only thing God has to tell us these days?

  2. Toni

    Thanks for the well researched info.

    But I have to be a bit confused on your final statements. You have quoted the prophet saying absolutely nothing new (besides statistics), and then said we are privileged to have this old information given to us by revelation from a prophet.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have great respect for people assigned as church president. But Amos was referring to anybody prophetic, not just chief high priests (or presidents of the high priesthood, as we call them now).

    And the reality is that no prophet has said anything new since Spencer W Kimball over 30 years ago.

    Why not? Because most don’t want to hear anything new. That is the sad reality of what God is stuck with.

    Apart from administrative reasons having a prophet isn’t serving any purpose.

  3. Thaddeus

    The words of the prophet are usually fairly basic. The same themes are frequently repeated; read the Bible or the Book of Mormon – prophets reiterate constantly.

    The Bible Dictionary defines a biblical prophet’s role like this:
    The work of a Hebrew prophet was to act as God’s messenger and make known God’s will. He taught men about God’s character, showing the full meaning of his dealings with Israel in the past. It was also the prophet’s duty to denounce sin and foretell its punishment, and to redress, so far as he could, both public and private wrongs. He was to be, above all, a preacher of righteousness. In certain cases prophets predicted future events, e.g., there are the very important prophecies announcing the coming of Messiah’s kingdom; but as a rule a prophet was a forthteller rather than a foreteller. In a general sense a prophet is anyone who has a testimony of Jesus Christ by the Holy Ghost.

    A prophet’s job is to relay the Lord’s messages (the words of Christ) and to preach righteousness. There is undoubtedly more to be learned and more that God wants us to know, but it may only be available to those who are prepared to receive it, which brings me to the general sense of a prophet: the prophet’s words, when studied carefully and with prayer can be a conduit for a more thorough and deeper, personal education through the Holy Spirit.

    It’s a similar concern to Nephi’s people when they wondered what to do after baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost. “Is that all?” Nephi responds:
    “Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost?
    “Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.
    “Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark.
    “For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:2-5).

  4. hosander

    DougT: I think we should be incredibly amazed that we have a prophet, even if we don’t consider his message to be unique. What if we are just missing something? I have recently heard of 3 separate talks from the past decade warning us of the current economy – talks given well before it happened. Two from Pres. Monson, and one from Pres. Hinckley – I’m sure if we look closely we will find more.
    Also, how dare you say that God is stuck with people who don’t want to hear something new? If God wanted to tell us something new, you better believe he would. We are not a church of pandering. We are the true church, God established this church and he leads it today. He is in no way subject to the will of men!

  5. hosander

    You ask how I dare say that God is stuck with people who don’t want to hear something new.

    I mean no offence in saying those things I have said. They are a wake-up call. However, to answer your question_

    If you read D&C 119 heading you will see that God removed a higher law and brought the church BACK to a law from the Law of Moses. A law which we are STILL commanded to obey as a church.

    D&C 89 gives the Word of Wisdom as advice. Now we are COMMANDED to obey bits of it. And other parts have gone into obscurity.

    So it isn’t me who dares to suggest that the church is backward, but God.

    You’ve said _

    “If God wanted to tell us something new, you better believe he would.”

    It isn’t a case of “if.” I can assure you he would love to tell us piles of things. But as we aren’t searching we can’t find. As we aren’t asking we don’t receive. Member’s attitudes generally are that they have enough trouble obeying what they have. They are too busy to take on more.

    God established the church at the time of Moses. It was still his church at the time of Caiaphas. And Caiaphas was still the president of the church.

    I am not disputing that God set up a church. And I am not disputing that he has set up the LDS church as his kingdom upon the earth at this time. I am saying we need to get off our doctrinal behinds as a people. We aren’t some elite group purely by virtue of going to the right church. We have to come to walk and talk with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and speak to them face to face, as so many before us.

  6. Bus

    I want to add another aspect to the revelation issue. Perhaps we don’t hear big sweeping pronouncments every month coming from the church leaders, they are directed to teach and preach and the lessons they give are pretty basic: Love the Lord, love and serve one another, repent. Much as the message is in the Bible or the Book of Mormon. However there are occasional warnings that deal with the current worldly situation such as “Mothers should try to stay home and raise their families, if possible”, or “Teenagers don’t need to get a bunch of piercings and tatoos”. Good timely advise aimed for this particular generation.
    However, another level of revelation is associated with running a church of over 13 million scattered across nearly 200 countries by layman officers. Consider the revelation involved in determining where to send 20,000 missionaries each year, calling around 150 mission presidents every 3 years, selecting over 3,000 stake presidents, and 20,0000 bishops. And within each of those organizations the leaders are receiving revelation helping them preform thier duties and calling other officers and leaders. Speak to any Mormon who has had some leadership position in the church and ask them whether or not they recieved revelation when working in their calling.
    Our Father in Heaven wants us to succeed and is willing to help and guide us through revelation, inspiration, and whisperings from the holy spirit.

  7. Cheryl

    The prophet does tell us stuff for our time, like avoid credit card debt. Had Moses said that, they may have had to wander for 41 years. There is also a very good reason we hear things redundently. It is like the military where you drill and drill until it becomes second nature. Face it, we are not as good as following direction as we should be. 🙂

  8. Liz

    DougT

    I want to testify that Thomas S. Monson is the mouthpiece of God on the earth. The fact that he is the only person on the earth authorized to exercise all the priesthood keys helps us understand how important it is to have a prophet. I am grateful to live at a time when God’s will for his people is revealed to His prophets and when the saving ordinances and covenants are available through priesthood keys.