Presidents of the Church: The Lives and Teachings of Modern Prophets
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He faced huge medical bills. He had other payments to make.
He was helpless before his creditors. One moment he was rich, the next he was broke. The stock market continued to rise, unemployment was relatively low. For many people in this country and other countries, life was pretty good. But then in and , the bubble burst. Since that time we have had higher unemployment. The third lesson for listening to the prophets is to listen for invitations to act, including warnings. He has included warnings against the trials and temptations of our day. The fourth lesson for listening to the prophets is to listen for promised blessings.
One of the promised blessings that has influenced my wife and our family for many years came from President Ezra Taft Benson. Listen carefully to the promised blessing from a prophet of God:. When we heard that we could receive the blessing of increased personal revelation through increased temple attendance, we began to attend the temple more frequently.
Listen to President Monson and our other leaders, and you will hear promised blessings that they declare. The fifth lesson for listening to prophets and apostles is to listen for their witness, especially their witness of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Among the many powerful witnesses that I have heard throughout my life, one that is easy to recall is the witness of Elder Bruce R. It was his final testimony; he died a few days later. He was an apostle, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. During his lifetime, he wrote volumes—literally volumes—regarding the Lord Jesus Christ.
There might not have been anybody on this world, anywhere, that knew more about the Savior than He did, unless maybe it was the prophet then. But in his final days, during the April general conference, Elder McConkie taught again the Atonement of the Lord, and concluded with this powerful testimony:.
He is our Lord, our God, and our King. This I know of myself independent of any other person. The calling of apostles and prophets is to be special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world. And it caused us to ponder many, many times over the years—how much better will I know then than I know now that Jesus is the Christ?
And the witness of the prophets and apostles remind us and renew that witness in us each time. Listen to President Monson, his counselors, and the Twelve.
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They bear living witness of the living Christ. Brothers and sisters, there are countless other examples in my life and in my experience. President Harold B. Lee , President Spencer W. Kimball taught us to lengthen our stride and quicken our pace in spreading the gospel to all the world. I get chills even when I think about it right now, even when I am talking.
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President Howard W. Hunter invited all Church members to be worthy of a temple recommend. That was just a few years before President Hinckley, then, had the revelation about having temples built before the turn of the century, and having the temples be closer to the members of the Church. More people had their recommends; more were ready for the temples. And we tested that in our homes, day after day, year after year.
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And we have seen the spirit of contention give way because of the power of the Book of Mormon, as promised by a prophet of God. Think of the conference moments that you have had—what testimonies, what invitations, what witnesses, what doctrine have affected you? Perhaps these five lessons will help us. Just in quick review: Listen for revelation, listen for doctrine, listen for invitations to act including warnings, listen to promised blessings, and listen to their special, special witness.
He warned Ezekiel that sometimes the people might not see him quite as a prophet like they should. This is the deal. President Monson and all of our leaders today are very enjoyable to listen to. President Monson recounts personal experiences and examples one after another after another. If we are not careful, we can enjoy those stories and experiences he relates so much that we fail to hear and feel and internalize the revelations and the doctrine and the invitations and warnings and blessings and witnesses.
So please remember, when President Monson tells an experience—please remember, he always recounts the experiences that he recounts for a purpose. What does the Lord and his prophet want me to learn and to do because of this experience that he is recounting? For example, in priesthood session of our most recent general conference, President Monson recounted this experience:. He listened to the messages of the Brethren.
He paid attention to the prayers. He heard the beautiful music by the Tabernacle Choir. He marveled at the grandeur of the magnificent Tabernacle organ. So why did he tell that story? Why did he tell that experience of that man coming to that conference? He tells us. Just listen to the next words. It is the major purpose underlying why we need to be better missionaries, every one of us, now. Because all people in the world, President Monson recounted in his talk—everyone needs to have a testimony, everyone needs to have the opportunity to have the comfort and happiness and joy that come from a testimony of the truth.
Listen carefully—and this is helpful when we listen to prophets, too—kind of listen on the edge of your seat. So sit on the edge of your chair and wait to hear the next one, and take as much in as you possibly can. In that vein, may we willingly serve one another. May we pray for the inspiration to know of the needs of those around us, and then may we go forward and provide assistance. Although we live in increasingly perilous times, the Lord loves us and is mindful of us.
He is always on our side as we do what is right. He will help us in time of need. Difficulties come into our lives, problems we do not anticipate and which we would never choose. None of us is immune. The purpose of mortality is to learn and to grow to be more like our Father, and it is often during the difficult times that we learn the most, as painful as the lessons may be. Our lives can also be filled with joy as we follow the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He lived for us and He died for us. He paid the price for our sins.
May we emulate His example. May we show our great gratitude to Him by accepting His sacrifice and living lives that will qualify us to return and one day live with Him. We also believe that we lived with God as spirits before we were born see Romans and that according to His plan of happiness we came to earth to receive physical bodies in order to learn and grow.
We also believe that, through the work done in temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, family relationships can last forever.
LDS Church Presidents and Prophets Lead All Mormons
And we must repent when we make mistakes. We believe he was called by God to be a prophet in this modern era, just as Moses and Abraham were called in biblical times. Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ in a vision after praying to know which church to join. From the original six members when the Church was first formed in , the restored Church of Jesus Christ has now grown to a membership of over 15 million people, living on six continents.