The following is a slightly edited copy of remarks I gave in the sacrament meeting service of my LDS congregation today. Long time readers will recognize some parts that were adapted from previous essays.
Regarding personal testimony in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Uchtdorf, of the First Presidency of the church, has taught that even though each of our individual testimonies are unique and may be a little different from each other, there are five truths that a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ will always include.
The five truths are:
- That God lives and He is our loving Heavenly Father
- That Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the World
- That Joseph Smith is the prophet of God through whom the Gospel of Jesus was Restored
- And that the Book of Mormon of Mormon is the Word of God.
- That current President of the Church, his Counselors, and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are Prophets, Seers, and Revelators in our day.
It is this fifth truth that is essential to a testimony of the Restore Gospel that I wish to address.
Sustaining the prophets and apostles has become increasingly difficult and controversial. It used to be that what was expected of good members of society aligned reasonably well with the teachings of the church.
But that is no longer true.
In the General Conference of April 1975, Ezra Taft Benson, who was the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at that time, said that “practically all objections that have ever been made against the Church by nonmembers and dissident members alike […] hinge on whether Joseph Smith and his successors were and are prophets of God receiving divine revelation.”
In my experience, President Benson was right about this. Objections to the church almost always to boil down to whether or not the modern prophets are really receiving direction from God or not. Continue reading