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Lord guides through appointed servants -- Principle of revelation central to the Church

"In 1841 the Saints were commanded to build a temple in Nauvoo in which to perform baptisms for the dead, and they were given time to do it. They would be rejected if they failed," said Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve at the October 1989 general conference. (See D&C 124:31-32.)

The Saints did not fail. "However impossible it may have seemed to them, given the terrible opposition they faced, the Lord promised to guide them through His appointed servants:" `If my people will hearken unto my voice, and unto the voice of my servants whom I have appointed to lead my people, behold, verily I say unto you, they shall not be moved out of their place.

" `But if they will not hearken to my voice, nor unto the voice of these men whom I have appointed, they shall not be blest.' (D&C 124:45-46; italics added.)

"Later, speaking on the same subject of temple ordinances, the Lord affirmed again that He will reveal His will to His authorized servants:

" `For him to whom these keys are given there is no difficulty in obtaining a knowledge of facts in relation to the salvation of the children of men.' " (D&C 128:11.)

Elder Packer said, "That principle of revelation has been with the Church ever since. Those who hold the keys have obtained knowledge of what to do. When changes have come, they have come through that process. The Lord does as He said He would do:

" `I, the Lord, command and revoke, as it seemeth me good.' (D&C 56:4.)

" `I command and men obey not; I revoke and they receive not the blessing.' " (D&C 58:32.)

Elder Packer said that the Lord told the Saints that when enemies prevented them from keeping a commandment, He would no longer require them to do so. " `The iniquity and transgression of my holy laws and commandments I will visit upon the heads of those who hindered my work, unto the third and fourth generation, so long as they repent not.' " (D&C 124:50.)

Elder Packer added: "The gospel plan was revealed line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little. And it goes on: `We believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.' (Articles of Faith 1:9.)

"There will be changes made in the future as in the past. Whether the Brethren make changes or resist them depends entirely upon the instructions they receive through the channels of revelation which were established in the beginning.

"The doctrines will remain fixed, eternal; the organization, programs, and procedures will be altered as directed by Him whose Church this is."

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