The following quotation is found in the teacher’s manual for lesson 32 of the Gospel Doctrines Class.  It is from President Harold B. Lee.

“Now the only safety we have as members of this church is to do exactly what the Lord said to the Church in that day when the Church was organized. We must learn to give heed to the words and commandments that the Lord shall give through his prophet, ‘as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; … as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.’ (D&C 21:4–5.) There will be some things that take patience and faith. You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord himself, with patience and faith, the promise is that ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.’ (D&C 21:6.)” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1970, 152; or Improvement Era, Dec. 1970, 126).

Just before this the teacher is encouraged to write on the chalkboard, “Follow the prophet ‘with exactness’”.  This is just one example of many illustrating the fact that the LDS Church teaches that its final authority is not the Bible. It is not even their other scriptures.  The final authority in the LDS Church is the living prophet.

All this coincides with its belief in continuing revelation – that God needs to give revelation because the world and circumstances change.  This point was made to me years ago by a LDS leader who told me that he felt sorry for me because all I had to live by was the Bible!

A couple of things come to mind because of this emphasis on the living prophet.  One is that this is still another in a long list of proofs of how much Mormonism differs from Christianity.  Christians do not think that their only safety comes from giving heeds to the words of the living prophet.

Another thought is the question of why the Lord is not revealing more new things through his prophet.  The last official “new” doctrine was the proclamation in 1978 allowing blacks to be in the priesthood.  Now almost everybody is agreed that the world has seen more change in the last thirty years than ever before.  It would seem that if the reason why there has to be continuing revelation from God is because things change, then it seems that we should have expected a whole lot of new revelation these past 30 years!  If not now with all this rapid change, when?

But most seriously of all, if people follow the words of the prophet as he reinforces the LDS doctrine that eternal life in the presence of heavenly Father is not solely the work of Jesus but is something that people also have to earn – if they follow that teaching the gates of hell will prevail against them while the gates of heaven will remain close to them.

5 Responses to “THE ONLY SAFETY?”

  1. 1 Robert Timmerman
    August 23, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Well said. Salvation rest in Jesus and Jesus alone. Blessings all.

  2. 2 wyomingwilly
    August 24, 2012 at 4:49 am

    Mark, you brought up some important points for the Mormon people to ponder, namely that in trusting
    their prophets/apostles to be trustworthy guides in spiritual truth is to be in a very dangerous position.
    These men have claimed to be personally directed by Jesus to preach His gospel of salvation and to
    reveal His will to their flock , yet what we see upon examining the teaching track record of these men
    ever since they’ve claimed to have restored His gospel , is that the Mormon people can’t trust them
    to be consistently reliable guides . Leaders who can’t seem to get their teaching right are not the
    kind worth following .The Mormon people can do the right thing by exchanging their apostles
    for the ones that Jesus sent out to preach His truths about the good news of a complete salvation and
    saving relationship with Him , the teaching of these apostles are available in the New Testament .
    That’s where the Mormon people can find spiritual safety. God help those Mormons who know that
    something is’nt quite right in the lives by following their “living” prophet , may they step back and
    take time to open a Bible and read of those who learned from Jesus and those who were discipled
    by Him . He’s the Prophet worth following .

  3. August 24, 2012 at 6:07 am

    ~”You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views. It may contradict your social views. “~

    Aren’t they asking folks to go against their conscience?

  4. 4 RLO
    August 24, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    “ . . . Follow the prophet ‘with exactness’ . . . A couple of things come to mind because of this emphasis on the living prophet . . . The last official ‘new’ doctrine was the proclamation in 1978 allowing blacks to be in the priesthood . . . ”

    These brief excerpts remind me of a couple of things myself . . .

    The year 1978 also marked another moment in history when disciples of Jim Jones tragically followed their living prophet “with exactness,” lending an entirely new meaning to the expression, “drinking the kool-aid.”

    And not 20 years later, in 1997, disciples of Marshall Applewhite followed their living prophet “with exactness” as well, by “eating the applesauce.”

    “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9

    . . . because today, we have Mormon teachers encouraging their followers to also “follow their living prophet “with exactness.” And yet, the Mormon doctrine of “following their prophet ‘with exactness’” is even more insidious than the “kool-aid of Jim Jones, or the “applesauce of Marshall Applewhite. Because it leaves the body treacherously intact as it goes about its work of destroying the soul.

  5. 5 Kent
    August 25, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Hebrews 1:1-2

    1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds

    The above passages make it clear that there are no longer prophets on the macro level such as Moses was any longer who lead an entire people so hence there is no such person today as, ‘the living prophet.’

    I know Mormons counter with the Bible says there are prophets, teachers, etc, but that is on the micro level such as people receving revelations for guidance from the Holy Spirit but it is not, as I stated, on the macro level such as having a modern day Moses.

    Mormons, read the passages from Hebrews 1 above to see why I believe this is case.



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August 2012

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