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.


What Do Mormons Believe About Abortion?

“We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.”
—The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Years ago I was in Salt Lake City for a conference of members of our church. Picketing outside the conference center were opponents of our faith who proclaimed, among other things, that we ought to shun abortion. This puzzled me, because we openly teach that abortion is, simply put, wrong.

As a physician, I can’t help but use the opportunity of this post to clarify the term abortion. Medically, an abortion is essentially any termination of a pregnancy before the fetus can survive outside the womb. This includes spontaneous abortions, commonly known as miscarriages. Of course Mormons do not consider a spontaneous abortion to be morally wrong. The type of abortion we are concerned with in this discussion is an elective abortion, or one that is performed to kill and remove a fetus that has not yet died on its own.

As I think back on the group protesting our stance on abortion, perhaps they protested the fact that we do not have an absolute prohibition on elective abortion. There are instances in which a member can perform an elective abortion and remain in good standing in the church, such as forced rape or when a physician determines the life of the mother is at risk or the baby will not survive beyond birth. Even in these circumstances, it is a weighty decision that parents should not take lightly.

We believe that life is sacred. Abortion is the willful ending of a very new life, and God will hold all accountable who choose to destroy life in this manner.

Question Box: What do Mormons believe about the Holy Eucharist

The Eucharist is also called the Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper or the Sacrament.  We often refer to it as the sacrament.  The Sacrament is a very important part of our beliefs and each Sunday we have a “Sacrament meeting” where we participate in this ordinance.  We partake of bread and water which has been blessed by priests in remembrance of Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice. (see Luke 22:19-20) Through this ordinance, we renew the covenants we made with God when we were baptized.

For additional info:


Temple Open House

Boise TempleFor the past year, the temple in Boise, Idaho has been undergoing extensive renovation. Now that construction is complete, the temple is open to the public for a short time before it is dedicated. During the open house, everyone is welcome to take a tour through the temple and see what is inside. If you happen to live within driving distance, or are passing through Boise, then it would be great to have you come visit the temple. At the moment, the Boise temple is the only temple in the world that is having an open house, however Brigham City, Utah and Calgary, Alberta had open houses in past months and you can anticipate being able to visit temples in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Gilbert, Arizona in 2013 after construction on each is finished. You can check here for an unofficial list of temples that have been announced or are under construction and here for an always up-to-date list of temple open houses.

If you have questions about temples, you can read our article about them here or shoot us a question.