Thursday, October 1, 2015

Howard W. Hunter on the blessing of living prophets

President Howard W. Hunter (1907-1995) was called to the Quorum of Twelve in 1959.  He served as Church President from June 5, 1994 to his death on March 3, 1995.
"A prophet is one who has been called and raised up by the Lord to further God's purposes among his children. He is one who has received the priesthood and speaks with authority. Prophets are teachers and defenders of the gospel. They bear witness of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Prophets have foretold future happenings, but this is not the most important of their responsibilities, although it may be some evidence of prophetic power....
"To peoples of past dispensations and ages, the most important prophet was the one then living, teaching, and revealing the will of the Lord in their time. In each of the past dispensations, prophets have been raised up by the Lord as his spokesmen to the people of that particular age and for the specific problems of that age.
"It is the present living prophet who is our leader, our teacher. It is from him we take direction in the modern world. From all corners of the earth, we who sustain him as a prophet of the Lord, express our appreciation for this source of divine guidance. We are grateful for his life, his example, his teachings, his leadership....
"As the prophets from the beginning to the present day pass in review before our memory, we become aware of the great blessing which comes to us from the influence of a living prophet."
- Howard W. Hunter, "Prophets in This Dispensation," Conference Report, October 1963, pp. 99-101
Click here to read the full talk

What is a prophet? What does he do? Why does it matter? A young Elder Hunter addressed these questions as a junior member of the Twelve, not knowing that years later he would be called upon to assume that prophetic role in leading the Lord's church.

A key message is that the current prophet is key to each dispensation. While we appreciate and follow the teachings of those who preceded, it's the one sent to us today who matters most to us.

How blessed we are to be living in a time when the Lord has again sent His messengers to provide direct and pertinent guidance and counsel to us!

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