Ezekiel tells role of prophet of God

In March 1977, President Ezra Taft Benson, then of the Council of the Twelve, addressed a group in the Missionary Home in Salt Lake City. He asked, "What is a prophet of God?"

To answer the question, he invited the missionaries to "consider what the scriptures say." He referred to Ezekiel 3:17-19:"Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear thy word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

"When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

"Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul."

After he finished reading these verses from Ezekiel, President Benson declared: "This is the responsibility of a prophet, to give the message of warning to the wicked. When he does so, his skirts are clean."


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Information compiled by Gerry Avant and John Hart

Sources: The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson; Church Educational System's Old Testament Student Manual; King James Bible commentary by John A. Dickson Publishing Co.; and October 1978 general conference report.

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