To sustain prophets and apostles, President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, says, “We must examine our lives, repent as necessary, pledge to keep the Lord’s commandments, and follow His servants.”
Our faith and our gratitude for membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can be manifest by sustaining and praying for those who have been called as prophets and apostles, President Eyring says.
“I am personally aware of the power of the faith of members of the Church to sustain those who have been called. … I have felt in powerful ways the prayers and the faith of people whom I do not know and who know me only as someone called to serve through the keys of the priesthood.”
Prophets Are a Great Blessing
In the midst of the ominous problems of our day, Heavenly Father provides us with prophets to answer our petitions for divine guidance, says President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency.
“Today, we have … apostles, seers, and revelators who are watchmen on the tower, messengers of supernal, healing truth,” he says. “God speaks to us through them. They are profoundly aware of the different circumstances we members are living in. They are in this world but not of this world. They point the way, and they offer help for our difficulties, not through the wisdom of this world but from an eternal Source.
“We have a living prophet on the face of the earth again, even President Thomas S. Monson. He knows our challenges and fears. He has inspired answers. There is no need to fear. We can have peace in our hearts and peace in our homes. We can each be an influence for good in this world by following the commandments of God.”
When we follow the President of the Church as the prophet who leads the Church, President Uchtdorf says, “It is our responsibility not only to listen but also to act upon his word that we may claim the blessings of the ordinances and covenants of the restored gospel. [The Savior] said, ‘I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise’ (D&C 82:10).”
A Clear Voice
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles says, “I cannot stress enough the importance of listening to and following the prophet and the apostles. In today’s world, where 24 hours a day television and radio commentators spew forth conflicting opinions, where marketers compete for everything from your money to your vote, there is one clear, unpolluted, unbiased voice that you can always count on. And that is the voice of the living prophet and the apostles. Their only motive is ‘the everlasting welfare of your souls’ (2 Ne. 2:30).
“It is no small thing to have a prophet of God in our midst. Great and wonderful are the blessings that come into our lives as we listen to the word of the Lord given to us through him. At the same time, knowing that President [Thomas S. Monson] is God’s prophet also endows us with responsibility. When we hear the counsel of the Lord expressed through the words of the President of the Church, our response should be positive and prompt.”
Elder Ballard shares a story of a 17-year-old girl who, after hearing the counsel of fifteenth President of the Church Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008) to only wear one modest pair of earrings, “came home from the fireside, took off the second set of earrings, and said to her parents, ‘If President Hinckley says we should only wear one set of earrings, that’s good enough for me.’”
Elder Ballard continues, “Wearing two pairs of earrings may or may not have eternal consequences for this young woman, but her willingness to obey the prophet will. And if she will obey him now, on something relatively simple, how much easier it will be to follow him when greater issues are at stake.” He continues, “I make you a promise. It is a simple one, but it is true. If you will listen to the living prophet and the apostles and heed our counsel, you will not go astray.”
And he warns, “Many of us might miss out on great and promised blessings because we do not listen and then do the relatively simple things our prophet is telling us to do today. …
“I caution you to not disregard the counsel of the President of the Church. He has spoken to you plainly. Study his words and strive to obey them. They are true and come from God.”
Hope and Safety Come from Following the Prophet
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles teaches that the best way to respond to problems and peril is to follow the living prophets. “From time to time, as individuals and as a church, we go through periods of crisis and danger. Some arise quickly like a fire. Others are subtle and go almost undetected before they are upon us. Some require heroic action, but most are less spectacular. The way we respond is crucial. [I reemphasize] the importance of heeding the words of the prophets. This is one sure way to respond to physical and spiritual dangers of all kinds.”
The way to follow the prophet is simple, Elder Cook said: “We … sustain him with our hearts and our actions as we pay careful attention to what he teaches and what we feel.
“Prophets are not speaking just to our own day; they give us counsel that will bless us and our children in the future and through the eternities. If we follow the prophet, we can look to the future with great optimism.”