FIRST PRESIDENCY MESSAGE (LESSON FOR 3-4-12)
BY PRESIDENT DIETER F. UCHTDORF
Second Counselor in the First Presidency
Why Do We Need Prophets?
Because Heavenly Father loves His children, He has not left them to walk through this mortal life without direction and guidance. The teachings of our Heavenly Father are not the ordinary, predictable, run-of-the-mill kind you can pick up in paperback at the local bookstore. They are the wisdom of an all-powerful, all-knowing celestial Being who loves His children. Encompassed in His words is the secret of the ages—the key to happiness in this life and in the world to come.
Heavenly Father reveals this wisdom to His children on earth through His servants the prophets (see Amos 3:7). From the days of Adam, God has spoken to His children through appointed oracles who are charged with revealing His will and counsel to others. Prophets are inspired teachers and are always special witnesses of Jesus Christ (see D&C 107:23). Prophets speak not only to the people of their time, but they also speak to people throughout all time. Their voices echo through the centuries as a testament of God’s will to His children.
Today is not different from ages past. The Lord does not love the people of our day any less than in past times. One of the glorious messages of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ is that God continues to speak to His children! He is not hidden in the heavens but speaks today as He did in ancient days.
Much of what the Lord reveals to His prophets is intended to prevent sorrow for us as individuals and as societies. When God speaks, He does so to teach, inspire, refine, and warn His children. When individuals and societies ignore their Heavenly Father’s instructions, they do so at the risk of trial, torment, and toil.
God loves all His children. That is why He pleads so earnestly with us through His prophets. Just as we want what is best for our loved ones, Heavenly Father wants what is best for us. That is why His instructions are so crucial and sometimes so urgent. That is why He has not abandoned us today but continues to reveal His will to us through His prophets. Our fate and the fate of our world hinge on our hearing and heeding the revealed word of God to His children.
God’s priceless instructions to humankind are found in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. In addition, the Lord speaks to us through His servants, as He will again at the upcoming general conference.
To all who wonder if such a thing can be—who might ask, “Is it possible that God speaks to us today?”—with all my heart I invite you to “come and see” (John 1:46). Read the word of God as found in the scriptures. Listen to general conference with an ear willing to hear the voice of God given through His latter-day prophets. Come, hear, and see with your heart! For if you seek “with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, [God] will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost” (Moroni 10:4). By and through this power, I know that Jesus Christ lives and directs His Church through a living prophet, even PresidentThomas S. Monson.
Brothers and sisters, God does speak to us today. And He desires that all His children listen to and heed His voice. As we do so, the Lord will bless and uphold us greatly, both in this life and through the worlds to come.
Prophets and Apostles Speak Today
The divine work of the prophets and apostles never ceases. Between general conferences, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles continue to teach and minister to the world. “Prophets and Apostles Speak Today,” a section of LDS.org, documents the ongoing ministry of these Church leaders with videos, photos, and articles (available in several languages).
Learn from them about their ministry. Listen to and read their testimonies of the Savior. View and read about their messages of love and hope to members wherever they bear witness, whether at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City or as they fulfill assignments throughout the world.
Visit lds.org/study/prophets-speak-today to learn more about prophets and apostles speaking today.