My Voice & Testimony

From the life of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

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Let us put our trust in God and His Prophets

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It is a big deal, to think that the Pope of the Catholic church or even Eddie Long of the Baptist church may in fact have the weight of responsibility before God, for concealing molestations either personally (Long) or hidden publicly (Pope) – leading so many faithful people astray.  Not to mention the enormous trust tax that takes place for everyone else, but the Lord Himself has got to be grossly offended by these admirable men.  He himself said: And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences!  For it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Matthew 18:5-7

Nephi of the Book of Mormon said:
9 Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after
this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark.

15 O the wise, and the learned, and the rich, that are puffed up in the pride of their hearts, and all those who preach false doctrines, and all those who commit whoredoms, and pervert the right way of the Lord, wo, wo, wo be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell! 2nd Nephi 28: 9-15

World leaders of religion are not prophets.

In 1999  Eddie Long’s baptist church rivaled the size of 25,000 which came along with all the glitz and fame.  He said to a reporter at the time, that the pressure of being a high-profile pastor could be brutal.  “You don’t want any of this,” he said in a raspy baritone voice as he shook his head. “You don’t want any of this…” The burden we place upon leaders of world religions is not an easy task – we almost raise them to the level of a prophet as we subject them to a pedestal they did not sign up for.  At the same time, we know that they are only elite men – at best.  It is stunning to think of the responsibility we hold these elite men of religion to and yet ironically dismiss them, “understanding” their sins of human nature.  Why do we esteem them as high ranking religious leaders when they do not make high ranking decisions – inspired by God? They cannot uphold the expectations we place upon them because they would even admit their role is misunderstood.  They are not a prophet as recorded in scripture.

The world qualifies leaders in religion through school and enduring the ladder to obtain the entitled priesthood.  Those who are skilled speakers move along faster in this system and like Eddie Long, end up becoming incredibly wealthy.  Prophets of God always preached a relentless message that was never the most popular one, often times lacked the majority of supporters and usually didn’t have the convenience for over-indulgent wealth.  Those who study the scriptures would identify the wicked kings to this kind of genre of leadership.  Since when did we decide the Lord would want his kingdom organized like this?  Since when do we put leaders into office that lead according to the dictates of their own conscience rather than God’s will?  Why does the world put their faith in man, to only have it diminished by the surprising acts of priests?  As much as we wish it were so, these good men are clearly not acting under the inspiration of God – otherwise they would not lead us astray!  So why do we settle for anything less than a prophet of this caliber with such strict guidelines and perfect alignment with God?

To that point I say: what man dares assume any kind of role as a “mouthpiece of God,” or seek any kind of entitlement to lead a people? Without the utmost assurance of being called by God, a person is standing on a sandy foundation.  Who could handle such a burden?  Who would want such a burden? Many good men seem to be certainly qualified and have the most admirable character (as far as we know) – but a prophet of God has historically been a unique role – even one men have not wished for according to the scriptures.  A role that often times ends up in martyrdom.  Perhaps this is why most people dare not take on the title of a prophet – it assumes a mantle that is too heavy to bear.  A responsibility man alone could not endure.  A mantle that requires complete unwavering obedience and humble subjection with no worldly adornment.  A role so challenging that a person would only accept if God commanded it.

Let God choose His prophets.

God’s kingdom is perfectly organized, including the structure and function of His church.  A prophet has always been at the head.  A prophet who serves Him and humbly conform to His plan and authority.  We “fear” the Lord because we trust and respect His ways.  The status of a prophet is not a question of your assumption or even desire.  This is not a business or course you take in school to achieve a standing before the Lord.  This has nothing to do with money or stature.  There are no qualifications designed by man that can qualify you – no matter how much you want it or how much you are entitled to it.  You must be called of God – literally personally chosen to be His prophet and mouthpiece.  Muhammad claims this status through a special experience he recorded and supported with enlightening discourses in the Qur’an.  I’m unqualified to identify the veracity of this – although I don’t see why the Lord would not call a prophet amidst another nation for we know there are more records than just the Bible.  Although his reforming efforts to preach against idol worship is worthy of acknowledgment, the one point I would make in regards to Muhammad (whom I admire and respect) is failing to acknowledge Christ as the Savior and Redeemer of mankind – something all of God’s prophets have done since the beginning of time in recorded scripture.  But like many great leaders, there is still much we can learn from him.  In any case, the Holy Ghost will seal this kind of title without question as you would have been foreordained from our pre-existent state and prepared to become such.  However more than not, a prophet humbly feels unqualified: chosen by God to the point that they dared not even deny it, perhaps even fearful of the charge like Moses or Enoch:

Moses

25 And calling upon the name of God, he beheld his glory again, for it was upon him; and he heard a voice, saying: Blessed art thou, Moses, for I, the Almighty, have chosen thee, and thou shalt be made stronger than many waters; for they shall obey thy command as if thou wert God.

26 And lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days; for thou shalt deliver my people from bondage, even Israel my chosen. Moses 1

13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them? Exodus 3

Enoch

27 And he heard a voice from heaven, saying: Enoch, my son, prophesy unto this people, and say unto them—Repent, for thus saith the Lord: I am angry with this people, and my fierce anger is kindled against them; for their hearts have waxed hard, and their fears are dull of hearing, and their eyes cannot see afar off.

31 And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying: Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?

32 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good. Moses 6

The Priesthood:  Authority to act in God’s name.

God selects his prophets and leaders through the priesthood delegated by Him to represent Him on earth.  The priesthood is the authority to act in God’s name and to lead His people in His organized church.  We can certainly study and live the gospel in faith as we prepare, but the opportunity and call from the Lord – has to be from the Lord.  Although the burden may be heavy and our qualifications few, the Lord through the Atonement of Jesus Christ will magnify our abilities with strength to rise to the occasion.  This is a difference between religious leaders chosen by man and priesthood leaders chosen by God.  He sustains and magnifies whom He calls and they can be rest assured their foundation is a rock, whereas those who aspire to a title are on a sandy foundation.  Within the priesthood the Lord selects those who are worthy for a purpose, and oftentimes those who humbly have much to learn.  We may never know the reasons why or how the Lord identifies His leaders.  We simply accept His will in faith and humbly serve Him, because He is the omniscient one – not us.  And remember, more than any entrepreneurs or philosophical specters, the Lord simply needs more obedient disciples whom he can use to fulfill His plan for us.  We do not need to “recreate the wheel”.  This teaching is as old as this earth and eternity.  Let us not rethink the plan of salvation or His gospel, but rather seek Him and serve.

34 Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?

35 Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and caspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—

36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be  controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.

37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

D&C 121:34-37

My message:  Let us be led by that ideal prophet.  One who is called by God and not rely upon leaders of world religion – the good men of the earth – with righteous intent who are subject to human frailties.  We need someone more eternally reliable whom the Lord would trust.  Let us raise the bar and set our standards as high as God’s.  Let us not put our faith in the arm of flesh, but rather our complete trust in God without reservation.  Let us unequivocally sustain that prophet whom God calls to instruct us with a message through inspired revelation.  And let us find God’s pure message, hold to it like the iron rod, and settle for nothing less than pure light and truth – pure water that springs up unto everlasting life.  After all, if the way really is narrow and strait, let us be quick to realize that there is a specific way that we must certainly identify that leads to Him.  Is there another goal so great in life?  We should carefully seek the inspiration of God’s will to know this way and whom His designated prophet on earth is.  As Christ said:

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Matthew 7

The good news is that although there has been a significant span of time since we’ve had a prophet on the earth, that all changed in 1820.  This is good news indeed and this is why I blog.

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Written by marshsned

September 25, 2010 at 3:56 pm