Friday, October 5, 2018

President Gordon B. Hinckley on the blessing of prophetic leadership

President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008) was called to the Quorum of Twelve in 1961. He served as a counselor in the First Presidency from 1981-1995, then as Church President until his death in 2008.
[Note - these remarks were shared in October 1973, when Elder Hinckley was serving as a member of the Quorum of Twelve and Harold B. Lee was Church President.]
"How thankful we ought to be, my brethren and sisters, how thankful we are, for a prophet to counsel us in words of divine wisdom as we walk our paths in these complex and difficult times. The solid assurance we carry in our hearts, the conviction that God will make his will known to his children through his recognized servant is the real basis of our faith and activity. We either have a prophet or we have nothing; and having a prophet, we have everything....
"Could any people have a greater blessing than to have standing at their head one who receives and teaches the will of God concerning them? We need not look far in the world to know that 'the wisdom of the wise has perished and that the understanding of the prudent has come to naught.' That wisdom for which the world should seek is the wisdom which comes from God. The only understanding that will save the world is divine understanding....
"As one to whom the spirit has borne witness, I testify of his prophetic calling, and add my voice to the voices of our people over the earth, 'We thank thee, O God, for a prophet to guide us in these latter days.' I am grateful. I am satisfied that the peace and the progress and the prosperity of this people lie in doing the will of the Lord as that will is articulated by him who shall speak to us as we close this great conference. If we fail to observe his counsel, we repudiate his sacred calling. If we abide his counsel, we shall be blessed of God."
- Gordon B. Hinckley, "We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet," General Conference October 1973
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

A relatively young Elder Gordon B. Hinckley offered this heartfelt testimony of the blessings of having a living prophet at the head of the Church, not knowing that he would one day fill that role. His recognition of the power in heeding prophetic counsel prepared him to grow in preparation for the day when he would assume that sacred responsibility himself.

Do we sometimes take for granted the blessing of a living oracle who shares God's will with us? Elder Hinckley reminds us how precious that gift is:

Elder Hinckley went on to share his personal witness of the prophetic calling of Harold B. Lee, and to testify of the blessings that come from heeding the counsel offered by the prophet. We might well remember that message as we have the chance to receive counsel from the man chosen to lead the Lord's kingdom on earth in our day.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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