Lord raises up prophets to further his purposes

In his general conference address of October 1963, Elder Howard W. Hunter of the Council of the Twelve said:

"As one turns the pages of the Old Testament, there appear the writings of great men of ages past who are referred to as the prophets. The books of the New Testament contain, among other things, the writings, teachings, and history of men of a later dispensation, who have been designated as prophets. We also have the record of the prophets of the western part of the world, who raised their voices, proclaiming the word of the Lord, protesting unrighteousness, and teaching the principles of the gospel. All of these have left their witness."A prophet is one who has been called and raised up by the Lord to further God's purposes among His children. He is one who has received the priesthood and speaks with authority. Prophets are teachers and defenders of the gospel. They bear witness of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Prophets have foretold future happenings, but this is not the most important of their responsibilities, although it may be some evidence of prophetic power. . . .

"At the beginning of the nineteenth century there had been no revelation for seventeen hundred years. There had been no heavenly appearances or scripture during that time and the world was in a chaotic religious state. Many times the gospel had been given to the world through the prophets, and each time was lost because of disobedience. In the year 1820 the silence was broken, and the Lord again appeared to a prophet. This prophet, Joseph Smith, could testify of his own positive knowledge that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, a Resurrected Being, separate and distinct from the Father. He did not testify as to what he believed or what he or others thought or conjectured, but of what he knew. This knowledge came to him because God the Father and the Son appeared to him in person and spoke to him. Through him and by subsequent events the priesthood and the gospel in its fulness were once more restored to the earth, never again to be removed. The Church of Christ, the Kingdom of God on earth, was re-established and destined, according to scripture, to roll forth and fill the whole earth. Since the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith, each succeeding president of the Church has been sustained as a prophet of the Lord, and there is a living prophet on the earth today."

Elder Bernard P. Brockbank of the Council of the Twelve said in his October 1965 general conference address said:

"The scriptures and ecclesiastical history reveal that many men are willing and anxious to accept the prophets and apostles of other ages. Many today are willing to accept Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jacob and others as prophets of God, but few of the people living at the time these prophets lived accepted them as prophets of God.

"Many men today accept Jesus Christ as the Savior and Son of God, but few accepted Him when He lived on this earth.

"Many are willing to accept the past prophets but comparatively few are willing to accept and follow the living prophets. . . ."

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