Saturday, October 19, 2013

Doctrine and Covenants Lesson 37 "We Thank Thee O God, for a Prophet"

President Hugh B. Brown a former member of the First Presidency shared the following experience that occurred before he was called as a General Authority: While working as an attorney, a barrister, in England just before the start of World War II, he befriended a member of the English House of Commons. This gentleman was a prominent member of the legal community and a former justice of the supreme court of Britain.  As friends, they discussed a variety of subjects of mutual interest.  One day in 1939, as it became apparent that WWII would soon commence, his English friend asked Bro. Brown to speak in defense of his religious beliefs—just as if they were discussing a legal issue.  In a general conference address, Pres. Brown recounted the essence of their exchange.
“I began by asking, ‘May I proceed, sir, on the assumption that you are a Christian?'  ‘I am.’  ‘I assume that you believe in the Bible—the Old and New Testaments?’ “’I do.’ ” His friend affirmed his belief in the biblical accounts of the Lord speaking to prophets.  However, he maintained that such communication had stopped soon after the Resurrection of Christ.  The conversation continued with another question from Bro. Brown: “Why do you think it stopped?” “ ‘I can’t say.’ “You think that God hasn’t spoken since then?’ ‘Not to my knowledge.’ “ ‘May I suggest some possible reasons why he has not spoken. Perhaps it is because he cannot. He has lost the power.’ “He said, ‘Of course that would be blasphemous.’  “ ‘Well, then, if you don’t accept that, perhaps he doesn’t speak to men because he doesn’t love us anymore.  He is no longer interested in the affairs of men.’ “ ‘No,’ he said, ‘God loves all men, and he is no respecter of persons.’ “ ‘Well, then,…the only other possible answer as I see it is that we don’t need him. We have made such rapid strides in education and science that we don’t need God any more.’ “And then he said, and his voice trembled as he thought of impending war, ‘Mr. Brown, there never was a time in the history of the world when the voice of God was needed as it is needed now.  Perhaps you can tell me why he doesn’t speak.’ “My answer was, ‘He does speak, he has spoken; but men need faith to hear him’ “ 
This was 1939. The Nazi danger has now passed.
What are your thoughts on that experience Hugh B Brown related to us?  For me it reminds me of how the Lord has indicated that he will tell us in our hearts and in our minds, our own personal biological dual witness (as outlined in eternal principles "by the mouth of two or three witnesses..."). Here he reasons with very good logic but then also indicates it is a matter of faith.

Amos 3:7 increases our understanding of how God speaks to us. He uses official appointed messengers called prophets.
What other titles do prophets have and what do these titles tell us about the nature of their calling?

This video gives a brief quote from each of the prophets from this dispensation. I am sure there will be many fond memories elicited from this video as you watch and remember beloved prophets. But pay close attention to the messages each one shares. Note how you feel as you ponder each message. And quietly ask yourself how well have you done at following the counsel from the Lord in these Latter Days.

Listening to those voices did anything come to mind? 
If God is the same yesterday, today and forever, why are there so many different messages from His prophets? Which is the most important message to listen to?

“For the next six months, your conference edition of the Ensign should stand next to your standard works and be referred to frequently” Ezra Taft Benson

Harold B Lee said that the report of the conference should “be the guide to [our] walk and talk during the next six months” 

“The most important prophet, so far as we are concerned, is the one who is living in our day and age. This is the prophet who has today’s instructions from God to us today. God’s revelation to Adam did not instruct Noah how to build the ark. Every generation has need of the ancient scripture plus the current scripture from the living prophet. Therefore, the most crucial reading and pondering which you should do is of the latest inspired words from the Lord’s mouthpiece” Ezra Taft Benson

Where does the Book of Mormon fit in to this instruction? Is it classified as ancient scripture if it was written for us in our day? I suggest this is the reason greater emphasis is placed on our need to study this book daily. It was written for us in our latter days and stands with our latter day prophet as vital to our daily spiritual survival.

The Lord has called prophets whenever a people qualify to hear his voice. If you think about it there have been times through the history of mankind where God ceased to speak to his people collectively. In these latter-days we have qualified to hear His voice. How does that make you feel?

We have just listened to the prophet and apostles speak to us during General Conference. 
What are some of the messages that you remember? What are your favourite messages? Why do we remember different messages more than others? Does that discount the other messages? 

Maybe we have become perfect in one principle while another principle needs improvement in our lives. Different messages will resonate at different times with different people. But to dismiss any of them as of no worth to you is a dangerous path to start walking down. I believe that if we followed the prophet more carefully our lives would be a little less stressful.

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