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What is a Prophet?


Statue of Joseph Smith, founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Ricardo630/Wikimedia Commons
What is a prophet and why do we need one? Learn the purpose for God's chosen servants, what prophets teach and testify of, and the reality of living prophets. Also learn about ancient and modern prophets.

Prophets are Men of God:

A prophet is a man who has been called of God to speak for Him and be His messenger. A prophet receives the Lord's word for mankind including revelations, prophecies, and commandments. When a prophet writes down the word of God it is called scripture.
"A prophet, then, is the authorized representative of the Lord. While the world may not recognize him, the important requirement is that God speaks through him. A prophet is a teacher. He receives revelations from the Lord. These may be new truths or explanations of truths already received" (A. Theodore Tuttle, "What Is a Living Prophet?," Ensign, Jul 1973, 18).

Why We Need a Prophet:

As a result of the fall of Adam and Eve man became separated from the presence of God. As our Eternal Father, God loves us and desires us to return to him. To be worthy to live with God after we die we need to know and keep His commandments. Throughout time, past and present, God has chosen righteous men to be His prophet- His spokesman. God speaks to these men who are commanded to reveal to mankind His plan of salvation.
"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7).

Prophets Testify of Jesus Christ:

Through prophets God reveals His will, His character, and His truth. A prophet is also a special witness of Jesus Christ and testifies of Him, that He is the Son of God, and that He atoned for our sins.

In The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles they proclaim:
"We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles—that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come" (last paragraph).

What Prophets Preach:

Prophets preach repentance and warn us of the consequences of sin, such as spiritual death. Prophets also teach the gospel of Jesus Christ including:

Prophets Preach to the World:

Through His prophets God reveals His will to the entire world. Sometimes, for our safety and help, a prophet is inspired of God to prophesy about future events. All that the Lord reveals through His prophets will come to pass:
"What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same" (D&C 1:28).

Living Prophets:

Just as the Lord called prophets in the past, such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jonah, God has called living prophets. God also called prophets on the American continent who wrote the word of God which is found in The Book of Mormon In these latter-days God visited Joseph Smith and chose him as His prophet. Through Joseph, Jesus Christ restored His church and His priesthood- the authority to act in His name.

Since the time of Joseph Smith God has continued to call prophets and apostles to lead His people and proclaim His truth to the world. Tell us why you think we need modern prophets?

Prophets, Seers, and Revelators:

The living prophet is the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The prophet, his two counselors, and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are all sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators. The prophet is the only person who receives revelation from God to direct the entire body of the Church and will never teach anything contrary to the will of the Lord.

President Wilford Woodruff taught that the Lord would not permit His prophet to lead us astray:
"The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as president of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the program. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so he will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty" (Discourses of Wilford Woodruff [Bookcraft, 1946], pp. 212–13).
Latter-day prophets, apostles, and other leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ speak to the world every six months in a General Conference. Their words are later printed in the following issue of the Church magazine, the Ensign.

I know that God has called prophets in these latter-days and that they reveal His will for us. If we follow God's prophets they will teach us how to come unto Christ that we may live with our Savior and Eternal Father again.

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