Sunday, October 7, 2018

President Joseph Fielding Smith on the power and importance of prophetic teachings

Joseph Fielding Smith (1876-1972) was the son of Joseph F. Smith, 6th president of the Church, and grandson of Hyrum Smith, brother of the Prophet Joseph. He was called as an apostle in 1910, and served as the 10th president of the Church from 1970 until his death in 1972 at age 95.
“When one of the brethren stands before a congregation of the people today, and the inspiration of the Lord is upon him, he speaks that which the Lord would have him speak. It is just as much scripture as anything you will find written in any of these records, and yet we call these the standard works of the Church. We depend, of course, upon the guidance of the brethren who are entitled to inspiration.
“There is only one man in the Church at a time who has the right to give revelation for the Church, and that is the President of the Church. But that does not bar any other member in this Church from speaking the word of the Lord, as indicated here in this revelation, section 68 [see D&C 68:2–6], but a revelation that is to be given as these revelations are given in this book, to the Church, will come through the presiding officer of the Church; yet, the word of the Lord, as spoken by other servants at the general conferences and stake conferences, or wherever they may be when they speak that which the Lord has put into their mouths, is just as much the word of the Lord as the writings and the words of other prophets in other dispensations.”
- Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:186

A truly inspired leader always "speaks that which the Lord would have him speak." And likewise, and inspired listener will then hear what the Lord would have him hear, and learn what the Lord would have him learn. It's a powerful process, one that can bless our lives so richly as we properly follow it:

President Smith emphasized that there is only one head or spokesman, responsible for receiving and sharing revelation for the entire Church. But the inspired word of the Lord can come in many ways and many settings, and through many voices, as we are receptive to it. How eager we should be to seek that counsel, and to follow it!

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

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