Modern revelation

Posted on March 25, 2012 at 12:01 am

Joseph Smith

Follow Gramps:

Print Friendly

Dear Gramps,

I am concerned for friends of mine who say “that if a living prophet can say things that sets aside what a former prophet has said, what faith then can we take in what the prophets tell us today if their words can be set aside by a future living prophet”. My friends are wanting to only stick with the scriptures and words of Joseph Smith, saying that we are getting away from original teachings. Other then bear my testimony what else can I say?

Sincerely,

Frustrated

____________

Frustrated,

We are, above all else, to follow the living prophet. There is a valid concern in this rule that you have expressed. The answer is prayer. Every prophet from Joseph Smith to Thomas S. Monson today has repeatedly stated that it is the duty of every individual to determine for themselves, through prayer to God, whether or not they are indeed a prophet.

In other words, it needs to be a matter of personal testimony. Not even God expects us to blindly follow whomever claims to be His chosen mouthpiece.

Thomas S. Monson MormonWhile it is true that any living prophet can ‘set aside’ the words of a predecessor, I need to explain to you that throughout the history of the LDS Church, this has happened rarely, and under very specific circumstances. The changes must come through the proper channels, or with the proper authority. They also must come by way of revelation. In other words, the doctrines of the LDS Church cannot be changed just because the current prophet ‘feels like it’. Ultimately, the entire church must approve of the change before it is enacted. The two most commonly known of are the two official declarations found in the Doctrine & Covenants, one regarding the ending of polygamy, and the other regarding the extension of the priesthood to all worthy males regardless of race.

The restoration was not complete before Joseph Smith died. Endowments for the dead were first practiced in the St George temple after the founding prophet had died. At the time, sealings were done by “adoption”, where saints were sealed to a prophet or apostle instead of their own parents. This continued until Wilford Woodruff received a revelation correcting the practice.

President Woodruff testified that Joseph “accomplished all that God required of his hands. But he did not receive all the revelations that belong to this work, neither did President Taylor, nor has Wilford Woodruff. There will be no end to the work until it is perfected. (The Law of Adoption)” (You can find this quote in Packer’s The Holy Temple p 139 and again on p 196-206.)

Another point to remember is that this is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, not Joseph Smith. Christ is the head of the church, always has been, and always will be. Joseph Smith was called to establish the church in the latter days. His calling was to build it up and get it started. He was to point all mankind to the Savior according to the principles and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Successive prophets have been given the duty of continuing to lead and guide the church to Christ, not to Joseph Smith.

Joseph Smith was called of God to be a prophet, and so has every prophet of the LDS Chuch from Brigham Young to Thomas S. Monson today. This is a part of my personal testimony, and I obtained it through personal prayer to God along with a careful heed to what the prophets have said.

Any time we get ‘hung up’ on any one prophet and regard his successors as somehow less authoritative, we are taking the first steps on a very dangerous road that ultimately leads to personal apostacy. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been, is now, and always will be about focusing on Jesus Christ. It has never been about Joseph Smith, nor any other prophet since.

-Gramps

Summary
Article Name
Modern revelation - Ask Gramps - Q and A about Mormon Doctrine
Author
Description
I am concerned for friends of mine who say "that if a living prophet can say things that sets aside what a former prophet has said, what faith then can we take in what the prophets tell us today if their words can be set aside by a future living prophet".

Follow Gramps:

Is desire enough for baptism?

December 20, 2014 6:36 am

Question Gramps, I am unable to say, for sure, that I believe that the LDS Church is the true church of God or that Joseph Smith was a (more)

Was there same sex marriage during Noah’s time?

December 19, 2014 6:53 am

Question Hi Gramps, I’ve heard that in the time of Noah the term “giving in marriage” back then meant that there was same sex marriage occurring during that time. (more)

How should we handle hostility shown towards the LDS Church?

December 18, 2014 5:22 am

Question Gramps, Howdy! I’ve run across a few instances where people outside our faith have been offended of our view on other churches. They specifically reference 1 Nephi 14:10. (more)

Should we pay tithing on Social Security?

December 17, 2014 6:25 am

Question Gramps, My wife and I recently retired.  We have begun receiving Social Security and Medicare.  What do you advise regarding tithing? Jack   Answer Jack, Tithing is (more)

I get angry for no reason. What can I do?

December 16, 2014 6:14 am

Question Gramps, Sometimes I get mad for no reason. What should I do? Nathan   Answer Hello Nathan, Anger is a natural emotion necessary to our individual progression (more)

Do we have all of the translations from the Book of Mormon?

December 15, 2014 3:52 am

Question Gramps, Do we have all the translations from the Book of Mormon or is there some missing or info we don’t have? Kyle   Answer Kyle, I (more)

Can I receive my temple endowments at the age of 19?

December 14, 2014 8:24 am

Question Hello Gramps, I’d like to ask about the temple ordinance. I have heard that there have been recent changes about receiving temple endowments. I heard that I (more)

Why aren’t the National Anthems of all countries included in the hymnbook?

December 13, 2014 6:58 am

Question Gramps, Why is the US national anthem included in the LDS hymnbook? Does it mean that the national anthems of other countries are less worthy (for want (more)

How is dedicating a home done by a Priesthood holder?

December 12, 2014 5:00 am

Question Gramps, How is the performing of a dedication of a home by a Priesthood holder done?  Does he have to raise his hand?  Thanks. Luis   Answer (more)

How do we distinguish when Elohim or Christ is speaking?

December 11, 2014 2:00 am

Question Gramps, How can we distinguish when Elohim is speaking or when Christ is speaking? Doyle   Answer Dear Doyle, I believe that it is Christ speaking unless (more)

Why did Christ have to go through all of that suffering?

December 10, 2014 5:00 am

Question Gramps, Why did Christ have to go through all that suffering? I mean, why was that; Gethsemane, and the cross, the process selected to save us from (more)

What can I trust when there appears to be conflicting doctrine?

December 9, 2014 5:21 am

Question Gramps, I am struggling. I have loved this church for most of my life. I still love it. I am just so confused. We are told the (more)

Pin It on Pinterest