Why do I need a prophet?

Jesus Christ is the head of His church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is called by His name and we follow Him. But how can we follow someone if we don’t know what He wants us to do? Christ doesn’t come on the radio shows in the morning or on the 5 ‘o clock news to remind us that He loves us and that we need to keep His commandments. The blessing of a prophet is to know how to follow Christ in an ever-changing and challenging world.

We know what he taught people and civilizations in the past, thanks to the Bible and the Book of Mormon, but what about in our day?  Check out a session or two from October’s General Conference to learn what we have been counseled most recently.

2013 is a LOT different from Biblical times. We have new issues, new questions, new innovations that require continuous revelation from Christ. We get questions all the time on this site about abortion, gay marriagetithing, pornography, drugsfinances, the end of the world, etc. Thanks to our modern, living prophet, we can know exactly what Christ would tell us all about how to navigate the new stuff.

President Thomas Spencer Monson

When He was on Earth, Christ called 12 apostles, ordained them with the power and authority to act in His name. He also called a group of men called a quorum of the Seventy and established other positions of service to help spread the gospel around the world–leadership that would last after He had to leave them.

After He suffered, died and was resurrected for our sake, He left the church in Peter’s hands, but continued to lead the church through His chosen Apostle. In time, however, the people stopped listening to the words of Christ’s disciples and killed them. Without a prophet or apostles, Christ’s instruments for guiding the world were lost.

Because He loves us, our Heavenly Father has again called a prophet to act as His mouthpiece. The first prophet of this era was Joseph Smith Jr. He is responsible for the majority of the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. After his death in 1844, God has continued to call prophets for our benefit and we continue to be blessed by their teachings. His church still operates with 12 apostles, quorums of the seventy, etc. the same way He formed it originally.


Book of Mormon Prophets: Nephi

Nephi was the author of the first two books (sections) of the Book of Mormon. He was the son of a prophet named Lehi who lived in Jerusalem around 600 b.c. but who was commanded to flee the city with his family because it would later be destroyed. Nephi records his struggles, triumphs and insights as he and his family travel in the wilderness on their way to what is now known as the Americas, at the beginning of the Book of Mormon. Nephi

One of his most well-known declarations is found on page 6 (1 Nephi 3:7) where he says, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which He commandeth them.”

I’m grateful to have Nephi’s example of obedience and faith in my life. His testimony has strengthened my own as I have read his words and worked to be valiant like he was. It is reassuring to know that Heavenly Father will always make it possible for me to be successful as I try to keep His commandments and live as He expects me to live. I know that the things Nephi wrote are applicable to all of us and that thanks to the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ we can enjoy and learn from the words of the Lord’s Prophets from the Book of Mormon.

If you are interested in reading the Book of Mormon you can access it electronically at lds.org/scriptures (The Bible is also available on this site) or if you want your own copy of the book, you can contact the missionaries near you and they will hand deliver it to you. Either way, it is free and it is worth studying.

Sabbath Day Observance

I had a conversation recently with a fellow student at Chico State who is a Seventh Day Adventist. He wanted to know why it is that the LDS church (and many others) observe Sunday, the first day of the week, as the Sabbath instead of Saturday, the seventh day.

My first thought was that the ‘when’ of the Sabbath is not nearly as important as the ‘why’. We celebrate Christ, both my Seventh Day Adventist classmate and I, we just do so on different days.

In our conversation we discovered many similarities in our beliefs, we both agreed that God created the Earth in six days and rested on the seventh. (Genesis 2:2-3) And we were both well aware of the 4th of the ten commandments which refers to Sabbath Day observance, saying, “Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy . . . wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8-11)

It is in the New Testament, however, that the importance of the first day of the week becomes emphasized. Mary arrived at the Garden Tomb on the first day of the week to find that Christ had been resurrected (John 20:1). Later, in Acts, Paul had the disciples gather together to take the sacrament and be instructed on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we rest from our regular, daily labors one day a week. We gather together to take the sacrament and learn the teachings of Christ from the scriptures and modern prophets. We follow the example of the early disciples and commemorate Christ’s victory over sin and death every Sunday.

Mormons Are Christians

We have recently received a slew of question box questions asking for clarification on whether or not Mormons are Christians. The short answer is, of course, YES!

A few of our What Do Mormons Believe authors have written the following posts over the years. I Invite you to take a look and see that we are deeply committed to the teachings of Jesus Christ. That we believe He is the Son of God and that through Him we can become healed of our weaknesses and cleansed of our sins.

I think that qualifies us as Christians: Followers and believers of Jesus Christ.

Are Mormons Christians?

Find out for Yourself: Are Mormons Christians?

Quick Question Box: Are Mormons Christians? 

The First Article of Faith