My Grandson asks this question. Because we have Prophets/Apostles today we don’t get messengers any more. In reference to this question;talking about Jeremiah/Ezekiel giving warning Jerusalem to repent. “Lehi” a plain man not prophet who (called by a Angel/Messenger) to call people to repentance and especially his family/friends. Besides our leaders in scriptures/writings, can God call men (as Lehi) to be messengers of repentance?
I want to address two things in responding.
First, the idea that we don’t get messengers today. If I’m rightly understanding you, by messengers you are specifically meaning angels? Unless it is God speaking to man Himself, of course, then all messengers from Heaven are either Angels or the Holy Ghost.
So wherein are we presuming we don’t get messengers today?
I think we do. I know we do. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland does too.
“But I testify that angels are still sent to help us, even as they were sent to help Adam and Eve, to help the prophets, and indeed to help the Savior of the world Himself.”
At the very least, I have personal experience receiving messages from God through the Holy Spirit. But I also know that there are angels. I also have no reason to doubt that God may well speak to our prophets at times directly. The fact that we don’t hear about these things immediately does not mean they are not occurring. In general these extremely sacred experiences are to be kept private. They are not meant to be published at large. Even many of the accounts of angels that we know of from scripture and Church history were not published at large when they occurred. Many of them only became commonly known much later.
In Moroni 7:29-30 and 35-37 we read:
“And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.
“For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness.”
“And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased?
“Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?
“Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.”
Secondly then, your question. The plain answer is very much, yes!
In short, Jonnie, every one who has been given the truth is commanded to become a messenger.
Lest we think that only those who are officially sustained as prophets, seers and revelators may be messengers like unto Lehi, let us recall Moroni Chapter 7:7-17 (vs. 7,8,13,14 and 17 quoted here):
“And ye may know that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever.
“And again, I exhort you, my brethren, that ye deny not the gifts of God, for they are many; and they come from the same God. And there are different ways that these gifts are administered; but it is the same God who worketh all in all; and they are given by the manifestations of the Spirit of God unto men, to profit them.
“And again, to another, that he may prophesy concerning all things;
“And again, to another, the beholding of angels and ministering spirits;
“And all these gifts come by the Spirit of Christ; and they come unto every man severally, according as he will.”
Everyone of us has the right to the beholding of angels and ministering spirits, and everyone of us should be “plain-men” prophets like unto Lehi declaring repentance. We are, in fact, commanded to be. The Savior commanded, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” (Matthew 28:19) He reiterated this teaching in 3 Nephi 11:41 “Therefore, go forth unto this people, and declare the words which I have spoken, unto the ends of the earth.” And the words that He had spoken that we are to declare in verse 38: “And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.”
Elder D. Todd Christofferson taught:
“In Doctrine and Covenants 6:9, 11:9, 14:8, and 19:21, the Lord repeats the command, ‘Say nothing but repentance unto this generation,’ He tells several brethren that the thing of most worth to them ‘will be to declare repentance unto this people.’ In section 18, as He eloquently declares the worth of souls, the Lord speaks repeatedly of repentance—that He suffered the pain of all that they might repent, what joy He has in the soul that repents, and the blessings that come to us in crying repentance.”
We all have equal responsibility to cry repentance to the world once we have learned His words.
But we must keep in mind God’s pattern. “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7).
The Lord reveals His truth to His followers. The primary method He uses for this is through the words of His prophets. Then He asks us to verify those words by direct communication with Him through the Holy Ghost. Whereupon He commands us to preach those truths to others, persuading them to follow the same method of learning and asking.
We are not all called as prophets with the authority to guide the Church. We are all given stewardships, and we will never be given direction from God that is outside our stewardships. There is no reason to presume that Lehi was acting outside his authority and stewardship. He preached repentance or destruction. Which part of that is outside what we all have been commended to preach. Moreover, it’s entirely reasonable that Lehi may have been well within the hierarchy of the organized church. We do not know. In verse 4 of 1 Nephi 1 we read:
“For it came to pass in the commencement of the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, (my father, Lehi, having dwelt at Jerusalem in all his days); and in that same year there came many prophets, prophesying unto the people that they must repent, or the great city Jerusalem must be destroyed.”
That’s all we get. We don’t know who these prophets were. We don’t know if they were in or out of the system. What we do know is that they preached according to prophesy and that we all may do the same, as long as we aren’t preaching against the authorized organization as set by the Lord.
It is true that the structure of the Church has not been able to function exactly the same throughout history. For example, there were twelve apostles in Jerusalem at the time of Christ who were to lead the Church. Then, upon His visit to America, Christ called twelve other disciples to lead the Church on that continent. Why do we not do the same in our day? Simple. Television. Airplanes. The Internet. Because technology allows it, we have one Quorum of Twelve who lead the Church, whereas there were at least two in one instance we know of. It’s possible there were others.
Likewise we might have seen multiple head-of-the-church prophets leading the world in days past. That was, perhaps, necessary because of the limitations of communication. Now that it is not necessary; the organization of the Church is established as it is.
But even now, we are all called. We should remember, as taught by Elder Holland, that not all angels are from the other side of the veil:
“But when we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us, and in my case, one of them consented to marry me.”
I recommend listening to Elder Hollands entire talk on angels.