Thursday, October 8, 2015

M. Russell Ballard on the blessing of prophetic teachings

Elder M. Russell Ballard (1928- ) was called as a Seventy in 1976, and has served as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles since 1985.
"These are difficult times, and the world's cultural and sociological landmarks of propriety, honesty, integrity, and political correctness are constantly shifting. Just when we think we know the way to happiness and peace, some new ideology comes along which can lead us down a path that will only heighten our confusion and intensify our despair. At such times, we might well ask, 'Is there one clear, unpolluted, unbiased voice that we can always count on? Is there a voice that will always give us clear directions to find our way in today's troubled world?' The answer is yes. That voice is the voice of the living prophet and apostles....
"It is no small thing, my brothers and sisters, to have a prophet of God in our midst. Great and wonderful are the blessings that come into our lives as we listen to the word of the Lord given to us through him. At the same time, knowing that President Gordon B. Hinckley is God's prophet also endows us with responsibility. When we hear the counsel of the Lord expressed through the words of the President of the Church, our response should be positive and prompt. History has shown that there is safety, peace, prosperity, and happiness in responding to prophetic counsel as did Nephi of old: 'I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded' (1 Ne. 3:7)....
"My dear brothers and sisters, please pay attention to those things that the leaders of the Church have taught during this general conference. Apply the teachings that will help you and your family. Let all of us, regardless of our family circumstances, bring into our homes the teachings of the prophets and the apostles to strengthen our relationships with each other and with our Father in Heaven and with the Lord Jesus Christ. I promise you in the name of the Lord that if you will listen not just with your ears but also with your heart, the Holy Ghost will manifest the truth unto you of the messages delivered by President Hinckley, his counselors, the Apostles, and other leaders of the Church. The Spirit will prompt you to know what you should do as individuals and as families in order to follow our counsel, that your testimonies might be strengthened and that you might have peace and joy."
- M. Russell Ballard, "His Word Ye Shall Receive," Ensign, May 2001, pp. 65-67
Click here to read the full talk

One of the roles of prophetic teaching is to warn and guide.  Elder Ballard warns us tendency in the world that "cultural and sociological landmarks of propriety, honesty, integrity, and political correctness are constantly shifting." There is no sure way to happiness and fulfillment in trying to follow a philosophy or guideline that is unreliable in that way. Instead, the safe guidance Elder Ballard provides is that we look to the only reliable source, the "clear, unpolluted, unbiased voice" of a living prophet and apostles.

Knowing that we are led by a prophet is only the first step; more is required. Elder Ballard warns that our response to his counsel should be "positive and prompt." We must listen, and then we must apply the teachings. If we do, we have this promise of guidance and peace:

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