The Church needs a prophet. (?)

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LaLaLove
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The Church needs a prophet. (?)

Post by LaLaLove » 12 May 2009, 13:43

I'm not sure where to put this:

I'm not sure if I could renew a TR. I'm not sure I could renew my TR simply b/c I don't know if the "Prophet" is, in fact, a prophet.

I believe we have President Obama, currently, b/c we need one person to blame in order to mantain order. If everyone were to balme everyone involved in our government, well that would be too many people to want to take out, eventually leading to everyone is to blame b/c all people have the ability to vote.

I believe we have President Monson, currently b/c we need one person to blame ( when he is dead ) for all wrong doings that happened while he was president ( And to mantain order ). If everyone were to blame everyone in the 12/70, SP down to Bishops, well that would be too many people to want to take out. Above all we need someone to blame b/c we Can Not blame GOD.

The only difference.. I believe is President Obama is given crap while he is in office and then 10 years down the road we can look at him and either recognize him for the good he did ( or of course condemn him ). On the other hand, President Monson is loved and trusted while he is "In Office" and then 10 years down the road we look at him and ONLY recognize him for the good he did and uplift God and The Church for it and condemn his mistakes as being man-made or opinion-Really only Condemn him on a personal level. Leaving Church and God completely out of the blame game.

Authority needs to be respected and trusted or everything you once thought will crumble. If you don't have them to blame you start to blame the organization, God ...And so on.

It would be wonderful and SO SO much more easier if I believed President Monson was a "True Prophet", one that talked to God face to face continuously-not just got revelation-I mean really speaks directly to him day by day. Unfortunately the more I think about it the more I find I can not accept it. I know nothing about politics .. but

Do any of you think this way?
How do you deal with the "Prophet" issue if you have one?
Is their scripture reference from the Bible at all explaining the need ( and that we will receive ) a prophet on Earth at all times?
Is our Church the only Church that can have a true prophet? - Is there scripture for that also .. That it can only correctly exist in the Mormon Church?
Last edited by LaLaLove on 12 May 2009, 20:26, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Church needs a prophet. (?)

Post by Old-Timer » 12 May 2009, 14:01

"It would be wonderful and SO SO much more easier if I believed President Monson was a "True Prophet", one that talked to God face to face continuously-not just got revelation-I mean really speaks directly to him day by day. Unfortunately the more I think about it the more I find I can not accept it."


Honestly, I think the above quote is the heart of the problem, even as I think the overall post is very insightful.

The above definition fits NOBODY within our canon - not even Jesus. Otoh, our scriptures and our modern history give us a pretty clear picture of very unique, different, flawed, "normal" people who filled a role as "prophets" - a role that actually varies in focus and responsibility over time. Some were administrators (Peter, Aaron, Brigham); some were visionary leaders (Abraham, Moses, Lehi, Jesus, Joseph); some were military men (Samson, Joshua, Moroni, Mormon); some were missionaries (Paul, the sons of Mosiah); some were caretakers (all of them from Jarom to Mosiah, many in the OT, most of them from John Taylor to Spencer W. Kimball); some were . . . controversial . . . to say the least (Samson, Jonah, Paul, Brigham);etc.

There are serious issues that have to be confronted when we stop hanging onto infallibility, but I believe we simply MUST stop asking our prophets to be what prophets never have been.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Heber13
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Re: The Church needs a prophet. (?)

Post by Heber13 » 12 May 2009, 17:00

There are serious issues that have to be confronted when we stop hanging onto infallibility, but I believe we simply MUST stop asking our prophets to be what prophets never have been.
Well said, Ray.

What is a prophet? If we can define that, we can respond to LLL's question on how to answer if we believe TSMonson is one.

My definition: Called by God to be His messenger and is the deciding authority for the church on the earth. The prophet doesn't have to be speaking for God ALL THE TIME, but when God wants a message sent, He will use His prophet to send it through. If the Holy Spirit inspires others, the prophet will be the authority to state if it is from God and correct, or will correct it through his authority as prophet.

I believe God accepts and supports His prophets, even if they aren't perfect. Like the Brother of Jared, the idea of using crystals to light a ship may or may not be the best way God can light a ship, but hey, if that's what the prophet asked, and it is acceptable to God, it becomes God's will when He accepts it as such. The Word of Wisdom may be the same thing.

The events of the lost 116 pages teach that the prophet's will doesn't become the Lord's will just because the man desires it, so sometimes the prophets are allowed to fail to humble them, but God will not allow the prophet to be wrong without correcting them so that we can have confidence in a leader that will be directed/corrected/connected. Opening the door to them possibly being wrong at times is the part that gets very sticky, IMO, for many people to have faith in them. That is why dead prophets are easier to revere than living prophets, especially since the dead prophets have the help of a faithful recorder that can make them look good. ;)

So for me, I have to answer: Will TS Monson be the one to receive God's message, and will he be corrected if he makes a mistake?
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Re: The Church needs a prophet. (?)

Post by Old-Timer » 12 May 2009, 19:38

and will he be corrected if he makes a mistake?
I also think there are plenty of examples where prophets were not corrected when they made mistakes - at least, if correction occurred it was not recorded in the official narratives.

The prophets and "chosen kings" that interest me the most, frankly, are the really, seriously, egregiously flawed ones - and they are not few. Samson, Noah, Moses, Joshua, Paul, Saul, David, Solomon, Peter, Lehi (as I see him in the story), Alma (the both), Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Spencer W. Kimball, Ezra Taft Benson, etc. - all can be seen as seriously flawed in some way or another. However, each of the people I just listed also can be seen as incredibly strong and productive and great and even noble in some other way. Even Jesus himself was see that way by MANY of the people of his day - as were Gandhi and King. That's probably true of every founder of every religion or movement throughout time.

I have come to like the idea of greatly flawed but great prophets. Likewise, I've come to like the idea of greatly flawed but great people, in general. It puts us on the same playing field, and I like that.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: The Church needs a prophet. (?)

Post by hawkgrrrl » 12 May 2009, 21:46

if I believed President Monson was a "True Prophet", one that talked to God face to face continuously-not just got revelation-I mean really speaks directly to him day by day
The fact that this doesn't even fit Jesus is a point that can't be overlooked. We're not going to have constant access on earth. It's just not in the cards. And prophets are going to make their own mark, not just God's.

There was a very insightful chapter on Prophecy & Revelation in the book David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism. If you want more insight into how the top leadership really works, this is a great read. It's also pretty clear that while Pres. McKay became comfortable with expressing what he felt was revelation for the church (easiest to tell, BTW, when it conflicts with his own wishes & opinions), he still expressed many opinions that were not based in revelation that were just his role as leader of the church--him doing his best as a man who sought guidance from God. What's difficult to me is when the prophet is expressing something that is so clearly his own opinion. That always gives me a little pause. When the prophet says something with which he personally would disagree or that stretches his thinking, I find it easier to say, "Well, that must be from revelation and not his own viewpoint."

But to have that perspective means that I am inherently suspicious and potentially dismissive of anything on which God & the prophet might happen to agree (especially if it differs from my own opinion). So I have long felt that the only remedy to that situation is for each of us to become good enough at personal revelation that we have a safety net--we are told that we are entitled to personal confirmation of revelation that the prophet has received. Yet, I'm not fallible at it yet. I gotta work on that! But that's my approach. It's just more work than "follow the prophet / he knows the way."

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Re: The Church needs a prophet. (?)

Post by LaLaLove » 12 May 2009, 23:06

Heber13 wrote:
There are serious issues that have to be confronted when we stop hanging onto infallibility, but I believe we simply MUST stop asking our prophets to be what prophets never have been.
I believe God accepts and supports His prophets, even if they aren't perfect.
I suppose I would need to know the Churchs definition of prophet. Can it only be a male, do they now have to be over the age of 50 when called as prophet, can they only be found in the Mormon Church? Would the answers be "Line upon Line ... " If so then I guess my questions don't matter at all. Would a leader just tell me that he is a prophet ( whatever that means these days ) and tell me to trust him? It is all very confusing. Especially when it comes to doctrine/opinion issues. Almost worth just redefining prophet myself to : someone who gives advice to a large group of people, probably has good intentions, is biased in his own personal beliefs at times, could get real guidance from God on some things ( just like me ) , could send out biased-Un-Christlike/of the devil w/e guidance ( just like me ) ... But then what is the point of it all really .. If I just redefine prophet to be no different from anyone else trying to live a life focused on doing good-in the things that they believe themselves to be good.

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just me
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Re: The Church needs a prophet. (?)

Post by just me » 12 May 2009, 23:24

Maybe a prophet/leader is for people who need a go-between? We should be getting our own revelation.
Maybe a prophet/leader is a stumbling block.

It's possible that we actually have a king/leader rather than a prophet/leader.

Anyone can be given the gift of prophesy-man, woman, any age. But the current church is pretty squimish about calling anyone a prophet(ess) who is not THE Prophet. Actually, it seems like the church is pretty reluctant to acknowledge the gift of prophesy. They say we have it, but I can't find any recent prophesies.

It seems like a prophet usually prophesies of Christ or end times events. They also preach repentance.
Most of us, sooner or later, find that at critical points in our lives we must strike out on our own to make a path where none exists.~Elaine Pagels

Ultimately, you are the path-the path begins and ends with you.~Stephan Bodian

He who think he knows, doesn’t know: He who knows he doesn’t know, knows.~Sanskrit proverb

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Re: The Church needs a prophet. (?)

Post by Old-Timer » 12 May 2009, 23:33

I'm going to do something I generally don't do and quote from dictionaries, since I think there is a LOT of implication for how we view prophets and answer the temple recommend question regarding accepting the Prophet and the prophets and apostles.

From the dictionary:
1. a person who speaks for God or a deity, or by divine inspiration.
2. (in the Old Testament)
a. a person chosen to speak for God and to guide the people of Israel: Moses was the greatest of Old Testament prophets.
b. (often initial capital letter) one of the Major or Minor Prophets.
c. one of a band of ecstatic visionaries claiming divine inspiration and, according to popular belief, possessing magical powers.
d. a person who practices divination.
3. one of a class of persons in the early church, next in order after the apostles, recognized as inspired to utter special revelations and predictions. 1 Cor. 12:28.
4. the Prophet, Muhammad, the founder of Islam.
5. a person regarded as, or claiming to be, an inspired teacher or leader.
6. a person who foretells or predicts what is to come: a weather prophet; prophets of doom.
7. a spokesperson of some doctrine, cause, or movement.
Based solely on options within these definitions, Joseph Smith through Thomas S. Monson absolutely are Prophets of the Restoration. Answering "Yes" to that question is almost a no-brainer.

From the Bible Dictionary, which I think in this case is enlightening:
The work of a Hebrew prophet was to act as God’s messenger and make known God’s will. The message was usually prefaced with the words “Thus saith Jehovah.” He taught men about God’s character, showing the full meaning of his dealings with Israel in the past. It was therefore part of the prophetic office to preserve and edit the records of the nation’s history; and such historical books as Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Sam., 1 and 2 Kings were known by the Jews as the former Prophets. 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. When the people had fallen away from a true faith in Jehovah, the prophets had to try to restore that faith and remove false views about the character of God and the nature of the Divine requirement. 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 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, as in Num. 11: 25-29; Rev. 19: 10.
Fundamentally, a prophet is one who speaks inspired words. So, ideally, we all are prophets, and the role of Prophet is simply one of administration - of being the presiding prophet - the one ultimately in charge of leading the organization as a collective whole. All of us are in charge of our own revelation and understanding, as individual prophets - men and women equally.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Heber13
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Re: The Church needs a prophet. (?)

Post by Heber13 » 12 May 2009, 23:45

Here's the church's definition:

Prophets

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are blessed to be led by living prophets—inspired men called to speak for the Lord, as did Moses, Isaiah, Peter, Paul, Nephi, Mormon, and other prophets of the scriptures. We sustain the President of the Church as prophet, seer, and revelator—the only person on the earth who receives revelation to guide the entire Church. We also sustain the counselors in the First Presidency and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators

I think that would be different from the gift of prophecy, which can be given to men or women, or patriarchs, or fathers or mothers in personal situations.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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just me
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Re: The Church needs a prophet. (?)

Post by just me » 13 May 2009, 08:50

The definitions are helpful to look at! Thanks for posting them.

I was going to add in my earlier post that apostle is actually a higher calling than prophet, but I didn't have anything to back it up. I find it interesting that the dictionary does mention that!

I also find it interesting that the Q12 is supposed to be traveling apostles-basically missionaries.
Most of us, sooner or later, find that at critical points in our lives we must strike out on our own to make a path where none exists.~Elaine Pagels

Ultimately, you are the path-the path begins and ends with you.~Stephan Bodian

He who think he knows, doesn’t know: He who knows he doesn’t know, knows.~Sanskrit proverb

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