First Presidency Message

Why Do We Need Prophets?


Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Why Do We Need Prophets?

Because Heavenly Father loves His children, He has not left them to walk through this mortal life without direction and guidance. The teachings of our Heavenly Father are not the ordinary, predictable, run-of-the-mill kind you can pick up in paperback at the local bookstore. They are the wisdom of an all-powerful, all-knowing celestial Being who loves His children. Encompassed in His words is the secret of the ages—the key to happiness in this life and in the world to come.

Heavenly Father reveals this wisdom to His children on earth through His servants the prophets (see Amos 3:7). From the days of Adam, God has spoken to His children through appointed oracles who are charged with revealing His will and counsel to others. Prophets are inspired teachers and are always special witnesses of Jesus Christ (see D&C 107:23). Prophets speak not only to the people of their time, but they also speak to people throughout all time. Their voices echo through the centuries as a testament of God’s will to His children.

Today is not different from ages past. The Lord does not love the people of our day any less than in past times. One of the glorious messages of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ is that God continues to speak to His children! He is not hidden in the heavens but speaks today as He did in ancient days.

Much of what the Lord reveals to His prophets is intended to prevent sorrow for us as individuals and as societies. When God speaks, He does so to teach, inspire, refine, and warn His children. When individuals and societies ignore their Heavenly Father’s instructions, they do so at the risk of trial, torment, and toil.

God loves all His children. That is why He pleads so earnestly with us through His prophets. Just as we want what is best for our loved ones, Heavenly Father wants what is best for us. That is why His instructions are so crucial and sometimes so urgent. That is why He has not abandoned us today but continues to reveal His will to us through His prophets. Our fate and the fate of our world hinge on our hearing and heeding the revealed word of God to His children.

God’s priceless instructions to humankind are found in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. In addition, the Lord speaks to us through His servants, as He will again at the upcoming general conference.

To all who wonder if such a thing can be—who might ask, “Is it possible that God speaks to us today?”—with all my heart I invite you to “come and see” (John 1:46). Read the word of God as found in the scriptures. Listen to general conference with an ear willing to hear the voice of God given through His latter-day prophets. Come, hear, and see with your heart! For if you seek “with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, [God] will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost” (Moroni 10:4). By and through this power, I know that Jesus Christ lives and directs His Church through a living prophet, even President Thomas S. Monson.

Brothers and sisters, God does speak to us today. And He desires that all His children listen to and heed His voice. As we do so, the Lord will bless and uphold us greatly, both in this life and through the worlds to come.

Prophets and Apostles Speak Today

The divine work of the prophets and apostles never ceases. Between general conferences, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles continue to teach and minister to the world. “Prophets and Apostles Speak Today,” a section of LDS.org, documents the ongoing ministry of these Church leaders with videos, photos, and articles (available in several languages).

Learn from them about their ministry. Listen to and read their testimonies of the Savior. View and read about their messages of love and hope to members wherever they bear witness, whether at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City or as they fulfill assignments throughout the world.

Visit lds.org/study/prophets-speak-today to learn more about prophets and apostles speaking today.

Youth

Led by a Living Prophet

When I was 16, I had the opportunity to attend general conference in person for the first time. My family was living in western Oregon, USA, and we drove to Utah to attend conference and to drop off my older brother at the missionary training center.

I went to the conference with a desire to be taught by the Holy Ghost. As a result, I received a manifestation from the Spirit that I probably would not have received had I not prepared myself.

During one of the sessions, everyone stood and sang the congregational hymn, “Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah.” As we sang, I had the distinct impression to look around the Conference Center. I did and was struck by the power of the unity of the thousands of people there as we all raised our voices in praise to God.

Then I had an experience where I felt like Nephi when he saw the vision of the tree of life, for the Spirit told me, “Look” (see 1 Nephi 11–14). I looked at President Thomas S. Monson and felt that the unity of the Church existed because we are led by a living prophet. Through the witness of the Holy Spirit, I know President Monson is the true prophet for our day, and I know that Jesus Christ leads this Church through him.

Children

Following the Prophet Makes Me Happy

Heavenly Father has given us prophets to guide us and teach us so we can be happy.

Find your way through the maze by following the instructions provided by each prophet. Match each picture in the maze with the one from the list above that tells you which way to go.

prophets maze(click to view larger)

From left: detail from Noah’s Preaching Scorned, by Harry Anderson © IRI; Moses the Lawgiver, by Ted Henninger © IRI; detail from Mormon Abridging the Plates and Moroni Burying the Plates, by Tom Lovell © IRI; detail from Prepare Ye the Way, by Harry Anderson © Pacific Press Publishing Association, may not be copied; detail from He Is Risen, by Dan Burr; detail from Prophet of the Lord, by David Lindsley, may not be copied