Friday, April 25, 2014

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.


Christina Marie Phillips said...

When my new mission president arrived, he told us about a fireside he had attended for new mission presidents where Elder Ballard spoke. To paraphrase, Elder Ballard said that the hastening of the work is the most significant event in the history of the restoration, on the same level with the restoration of priesthood keys and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. I wish I had a direct quote but I don´t think it was broadcasted, nor can I find a transcript. Also this quote from Elder Andersen: "Our day is a remarkable time of miracles. Six months ago as President Monson announced the age change for young men and young women desiring to serve missions, there was an undeniable spiritual outpouring. Faith overcame doubt, and young men and women moved forward. The Thursday following conference, I was assigned to recommend missionary calls to the First Presidency. I was amazed to see the applications of 18-year-old men and 19-year-old women who had already adjusted their plans, visited their doctors, been interviewed by their bishops and stake presidents, and submitted their missionary applications—all in just five days. Thousands more have now joined them. It’s a miracle."
Call them revelation, miracles, or changes in policy, one thing is certain: God is directing the church in preaching the gospel.

Map Maker said...

I plan on doing a post that talks about the Missionary Age Change, The Hastening of the Work and The New Youth Curriculum. Thanks for the comment Christina!