Quick-Look at Gospel Principles 9: Prophets Old and New

What the chapter gets right

  • Prophets are God’s representatives on earth (p. 39).

  • When a true prophet of God speaks it is as if God were speaking (p. 39).

  • A prophet does teach truth and interpret the word of God, as well as foretell future events and provide words of warning (p. 39).

  • A prophet can be called from a variety of socio-economic positions (p. 39).

  • God has called different prophets in different ages to lead mankind (p. 40).

  • The true church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Jesus Christ as the chief corner stone (p. 43).

 

What the chapter gets wrong:

  • The implication that if we do not accept the Mormon teaching that we need a living prophet today we will “live in darkness” (p. 39)

  • That those who do not accept the LDS Church’s teaching on modern-day prophets “believe that the heavens are closed” (p. 39).  Both of these points are a slap in the face to all Christians who believe that Jesus Christ is our light of life (John 8:12), that the Bible as God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet and light unto our path (Psalm 119:105), and that the heavens are open as never before since we can come boldly to the throne of grace with Jesus as a perfect and permanent mediator and savior and receive help in any time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

  • A true prophet is always called through proper priesthood authority (p. 39). This is clearly false as there is no indication that prophets in the Bible or the Book of Mormon went through some special ceremony in order to begin speaking for God.

  • A Mormon Prophet will never be allowed to lead the Mormon Church astray (p. 41-42).  In fact, Mormon prophets from Joseph Smith on have lied to their own members and the world, introducing confusion and deceit.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Joseph Smith lied about his plural wives and the teaching on polygamy

  • Joseph Smith lied about his own doctrinal teaching on the nature of God

  • Brigham Young led decades of Mormons astray with his teaching that Adam was God

  • Brigham Young lied repeatedly about Mormon leaders and their involvement in the Mountain Meadows Massacre where they murdered over 120 people in one afternoon.

  • President John Taylor and Apostle Wilford Woodruff gave as word from the Lord that polygamy could and would never be abandoned without serious spiritual consequences for the LDS church.

  • Following Taylor’s death President Woodruff issued an order announcing the cessation of polygamy and cohabitation.

  • Later Woodruff and several LDS church apostles lied about the practice of polygamy after the 1890 Manifesto – both under oath and in public statements.

  • Amos 3:7 is not a verse that supports the idea that we should look for or expect God to provide a prophet today. Mormon missionaries have been taught to take this verse out of context, and Mormons typically ignore the immediate context which is that God will warn his people Israel before he sends judgment.

  • We do not need living prophets today – God spoke in former times through prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us through the Son – Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-2).  Following Mormon prophets who have lied, prophesied falsely and taught unbiblical concepts of God would seem an unwise spiritual choice.

 

 For consideration:

  • We can and should carefully test anyone who claims prophetic status or claims to speak for God and reject any and all who fail the test.

  • In the end, we lose nothing of eternal value by returning to the genuine word of God in the Bible and following Jesus Christ as the Bible presents him.

  • We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by holding on to “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).