Sunday, April 27, 2014

What Good Are Prophets, Seers and Revelators Who Don't Prophesy, See or Reveal? Part 4

Part 1 Mission Calls  Part 2 Temples  Part 3 Special Witnesses of Christ  Part 4 Patriarchal Blessings

#6 Patriarchal Blessings - Scriptural Examples - D&C 124:91-96 "[T]hat my servant Hyrum may take the office of Priesthood and Patriarch, which was appointed unto him by his father, by blessing and also by right; That from henceforth he shall hold the keys of the patriarchal blessings upon the heads of all my people, That whoever he blesses shall be blessed, and whoever he curses shall be cursed; that whatsoever he shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever he shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. And from this time forth I appoint unto him that he may be a prophet, and a seer, and a revelator unto my church, as well as my servant Joseph; That he may act in concert also with my servant Joseph; and that he shall receive counsel from my servant Joseph, who shall show unto him the keys whereby he may ask and receive, and be crowned with the same blessing, and glory, and honor, and priesthood, and gifts of the priesthood, that once were put upon him that was my servant Oliver Cowdery; That my servant Hyrum may bear record of the things which I shall show unto him, that his name may be had in honorable remembrance from generation to generation, forever and ever." Genesis 49:28 "All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their father spake unto them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them."

Modern Examples - Seek Ye the Kingdom of God GORDON B. HINCKLEY April 2006 General Conference "When I was a young man, a mere boy of 11, I received a patriarchal blessing from a man I had never seen before and never saw thereafter. It is a remarkable document, a prophetic document. It is personal, and I will not read extensively from it. However, it contains this statement: 'The nations of the earth shall hear thy voice and be brought to a knowledge of the truth by the wonderful testimony which thou shalt bear.' When I was released from my mission in England, I took a short trip on the continent. I had borne my testimony in London; I did so in Berlin and again in Paris and later in Washington, D.C. I said to myself that I had borne my testimony in these great capitals of the world and had fulfilled that part of my blessing. That proved to be a mere scratching of the surface. Since then I have lifted my voice on every continent, in cities large and small, all up and down from north to south and east to west across this broad world—from Cape Town to Stockholm, from Moscow to Tokyo to Montreal, in every great capital of the world. It is all a miracle." - Gordon B. Hinckley

The number of patriarchal blessing that have been given over the years must be well over a million. I am grateful for my patriarchal blessing. It is a blessing to my life and I know it is a product of revelation in our day.

Part 1 Mission Calls  Part 2 Temples  Part 3 Special Witnesses of Christ  Part 4 Patriarchal Blessings

What Good Are Prophets, Seers and Revelators Who Don't Prophesy, See or Reveal? Part 3

Part 1 Mission Calls  Part 2 Temples  Part 3 Special Witnesses of Christ  Part 4 Patriarchal Blessings

#5 Special Witnesses - Scriptural Examples - 2 Nephi 25:26 "[W]e talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." Matthew 16:16-17 "Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." Revelation 19:10 "I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." D&C 110:1-4 Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery testify of Christ. "The veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened. We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber. His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying: I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father." D&C 46:13-14 "To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world. To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful."

Modern Examples - A Sure Witness of Jesus Christ: Elder Richard G. Scott “That word know is a very important word for those 15 men who are Apostles. [It expresses] the sacred experiences and the confirmation that there is a certainty that our Father in Heaven lives and that His Son, Jesus Christ, is our Savior—not a hope, not a belief, not a wish, but an absolute, confirmed certainty. . . . Our Father in Heaven is real. His Son, Jesus Christ, is real. I know that personally and bear certain witness because I know the Savior.” -Richard G. Scott The Purifying Power of Gethsemane BRUCE R. MCCONKIE April 1985 General Conference "I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears. But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way. God grant that all of us may walk in the light as God our Father is in the light so that, according to the promises, the blood of Jesus Christ his Son will cleanse us from all sin." -Bruce R. McConkie

Elder Scott visited my mission and taught us in a special mission conference. It was one of the most amazing experience of my life. I can testify to you that I know the he knows, in a very real and powerful way, that Christ lives.

Part 1 Mission Calls  Part 2 Temples  Part 3 Special Witnesses of Christ  Part 4 Patriarchal Blessings

Friday, April 25, 2014

What Good Are Prophets, Seers and Revelators Who Don't Prophesy, See or Reveal? Part 2

Part 1 Mission Calls  Part 2 Temples  Part 3 Special Witnesses of Christ  Part 4 Patriarchal Blessings

#2 Temple Dedicatory Prayers - Scriptural Examples -1 Kings 8 Dedication of Solomon’s Temple (Prayer begins in verse 22), D&C 109 Kirtland Ohio Temple Dedication, Current Examples - Modern Temples. We have temples being dedicated all the time now. There over 140 temples currently operating, so this type of revelation has happened more than 140 times, and much of that in recent years. Considering that some of those have been re-dedicated after remodeling, the count is even higher. There are another 30 or so under construction or announced, so more revelation is on it’s way. As a child I went to the Bountiful Temple Dedication (Dedicatory Prayer) and since then I have even had the chance to see and listen to a handful of temple dedications near and far by satellite broadcast. My experiences at temple dedications have been uplifting, edifying and I fully consider the prayers to be a product of revelation. I would have loved to attend the Campinas Temple Dedication (Dedicatory Prayer). While we don’t publish these in the Ensign, they are available and could be added to future canon if needed. Perhaps the reason we don’t focus too much on the past dedicatory prayers is because the most important one may be the next one you have the opportunity to attend. We have the chance to go and listen and hear current revelation and be affected and blessed by it.

#3 Temple Locations - Scriptural Example - D&C 115:7-9 (Far West), D&C 94:1 (Kirtland), Modern Examples - Salt Lake Temple and Provo City Center. I’m sure there are many stories and experiences that could be shared by those who got to be involved with selecting sites for temples over the years. Maybe those accounts are harder to find and haven’t been shared very publicly, but I’m sure they are recorded in journals and elsewhere.

President Young received revelation on the location and design of the Salt Lake Temple. “I scarcely ever say much about revelations, or visions, but suffice it to say, five years ago last July [1847] I was here, and saw in the Spirit the Temple not ten feet from where we have laid the Chief Corner Stone. I have not inquired what kind of a Temple we should build. Why? Because it was represented before me. I have never looked upon that ground, but the vision of it was there. I see it as plainly as if it was in reality before me.”- Brigham Young

The Provo City Center temple is being built out of the ruins of the Provo Tabernacle and has a great story to go along with it. Claim the Blessings of Your Covenants BY LINDA S. REEVES October 2013 General Conference "Almost three years ago a devastating fire gutted the interior of the beloved, historic tabernacle in Provo, Utah. Its loss was deemed a great tragedy by both the community and Church members. Many wondered, 'Why did the Lord let this happen? Surely He could have prevented the fire or stopped its destruction.' Ten months later, during the October 2011 general conference, there was an audible gasp when President Thomas S. Monson announced that the nearly destroyed tabernacle was to become a holy temple—a house of the Lord! Suddenly we could see what the Lord had always known! He didn't cause the fire, but He allowed the fire to strip away the interior. He saw the tabernacle as a magnificent temple—a permanent home for making sacred, eternal covenants. My dear sisters, the Lord allows us to be tried and tested, sometimes to our maximum capacity. We have seen the lives of loved ones—and maybe our own—figuratively burned to the ground and have wondered why a loving and caring Heavenly Father would allow such things to happen. But He does not leave us in the ashes; He stands with open arms, eagerly inviting us to come to Him. He is building our lives into magnificent temples where His Spirit can dwell eternally." -Linda S. Reeves. The blog post by Stephanie Nielson on the topic is very good as well. Sometimes Trials Can Be Blessings

#4 Temple Design - Scriptural Examples -2 Nephi 5:16 (Nephi’s Temple), D&C 115:14 (Far West), D&C 94:2 (Kirtland), Modern Example - Small Temples New Temples to Provide “Crowning Blessings” of the Gospel GORDON B. HINCKLEY April 1998 General Conference “As we were riding to El Paso, I reflected on what we could do to help these people in the Church colonies in Mexico. They've been so very faithful over the years. They've kept the faith. They've gone on missions in large numbers. These stakes have produced very many mission presidents who served faithfully and well. They've been the very epitome of faithfulness. And yet they've had to travel all the way to Mesa, Arizona, to go to a temple. . . . I thought of these things and what could be done. The concept of . . . smaller temples came into my mind. I concluded we didn't need the laundry. We didn't need to rent temple clothing. We didn't need eating facilities. These have been added for the convenience of the people but are not necessary [for the temple ordinances].” President Hinckley noted that a smaller temple could be built more quickly and yet include all the essential facilities needed for temple ordinances. After boarding the airplane, he recalled, “I took a piece of paper” and “sketched out the [floor] plan, and turned it over to the architects to refine it.” He concluded, “The concept is beautiful. It’s a very workable concept.” The Colonia Ju├írez Temple: A Prophet’s Inspiration

I am grateful that the Lord revealed his desire that a temple be built in Bountiful. It was a memorable part of my youth seeing it announced, helping prepare the grounds and helping at the open house. The Brazil Campinas Temple was under construction while I served there as a missionary. I got the chance to visit the site and I saw what the temple being built meant to the members in that area. We are blessed to have so many temples. I was very touched by revelation that came to President Hinckley to bring the temples to the saints and I know that direction came from the Lord just as it did to Joseph Smith and the early saints. D&C 95:8 “Yea, verily I say unto you, I gave unto you a commandment that you should build a house, in the which house I design to endow those whom I have chosen with power from on high.”

Part 1 Mission Calls  Part 2 Temples  Part 3 Special Witnesses of Christ  Part 4 Patriarchal Blessings

What Good Are Prophets, Seers and Revelators Who Don't Prophesy, See or Reveal? Part 1

Part 1 Mission Calls  Part 2 Temples  Part 3 Special Witnesses of Christ  Part 4 Patriarchal Blessings

Someone I know recently posed this question, What Good Are Prophets, Seers and Revelators Who Don't Prophesy, See or Reveal?  Stated in another way, Why don't we have new scriptures and new instances of pronouncements proceeded by "Thus saith the Lord" if we have living prophets?

My first response was that revelation is certainly happening from the prophet and president of the church down to the individual and when additional revelations need to be added to the canon they will be. I've thought a lot about it and I think I can expand on that and hopefully give more than a dozen good examples of how revelation is continuing today as it did in the early days of the restoration and in all dispensations.

We are living the restoration, it’s not something that happened before now and is over. President Uchtdorf gave a talk in April 2014 Conference titled Are You Sleeping through the Restoration? The Nephites didn’t have the Book of Mormon in its compiled and abridged form, they lived it. Maybe Laman and Lemuel murmured, why don’t we have a book to tell us these things? All we have is an overbearing father and annoying brother leading us through the wilderness. My point is that we have much happening today that could be compiled and added to official scripture if the need arose and if a modern Mormon were assigned the task to abridge our records by inspiration and revelation. We are told often that Conference talks and other similar things are modern scripture, but we are also warned that they are not official doctrine and not part of the canon. I don’t think that means that they couldn't become official canon at some point, but for now we can use them and our own access to the spirit and revelation to learn and understand. And it’s interesting to note that even after all the work Mormon did to compile the best and most vital revelations and pronouncements, he still made sure to warn us about potential errors in his record. “And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.” (BofM Title Page)

So let me get to the dozen or more examples that I mentioned earlier. I will do my best to show that an example of that type of revelation exists in the official canon and detail the current revelation that could become canon later and bear the declaration, Thus saith the Lord.

#1 Missionaries Called by Revelation – Scriptural Example D&C 31 – Thomas B. Marsh Mission Call, Current Example The Divine Call of a Missionary RONALD A. RASBAND April 2010 General Conference “Privately in my heart I was deeply touched and sincerely grateful to the Lord for allowing me to experience the prompting to know where that missionary should go. At the end of the meeting Elder Eyring bore his witness to me of the love of the Savior, which He has for each missionary assigned to go out into the world and preach the restored gospel. He said that it is by the great love of the Savior that His servants know where these wonderful young men and women, senior missionaries, and senior couple missionaries are to serve. I had a further witness that morning that every missionary called in this Church, and assigned or reassigned to a particular mission, is called by revelation from the Lord God Almighty through one of these, His servants.”

We currently have over 83,000 missionaries serving meaning this type of revelation has happened 83,000 times in just the last few years! A modern Mormon would have his hands full abridging those down to something for inclusion in the scriptures, perhaps the testimonies of Elder Rasband and Elder Eyring from general conference would suffice. I know that where I was called on my mission was revelation. It was important and special to me and it has affected my life in many ways.