I was once talking to a friend about an issue she had with something the living prophet had said in conference that she didn’t fully agree with.
“But he is the prophet,” I said, “his counsel is coming from the Lord.”
“But what ever happened to seeking out direction for yourself from the Holy Ghost?” She said, “We have to ask for ourselves if we should follow the counsel or not.”
Her response troubled me. I realized that she didn’t recognize that God is not going to “inspire” us to do anything that is contrary to what the prophet says. That’s not because the prophet is greater than God. It is because the instruction we receive personally from our Father in Heaven will never supersede the instruction given to the prophet from God. His discernment of revelation is flawless, but ours is not. We can be deceived. The prophet will not be deceived.
It was as if the girl I spoke to had a testimony of God and His Spirit, but it then stopped there. Indeed, we should pray, but it may be more effective to pray for humility to heed the counsel, rather than ask whether or not it’s right. We already know it’s right. It came from God’s servants to us. I sincerely hope the girl I was speaking to (this conversation was years ago) comes to understand that you can’t be selective in your testimony, and expect it to stay firm. If it stops somewhere, fix it!
Does your testimony stop?
Many believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and their testimony stops there.
Some believe in the Lord’s words, and stop there.
Some believe in his church, and stop there.
Some believe in his leaders, and stop there.
Some believe in the things they study, and stop there.
Some believe that the Holy Ghost will guide them, and stop there.
Do we stop? Or are we ready to accept every word of God, given at any time by the proper sources? Do we have faith in ourselves, to be able to be guided by the Lord when we are worthy? Do we have faith to accept the words of our local leaders (including bishops who issue callings) as the word of the Lord to us?
This Saturday and Sunday we have the opportunity to hear the word of the Lord through His prophet and apostles. Will we listen – intently? Will we follow their counsel, or will we stop listening when we hear something we don’t like?
I testify that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God, and he has been sent here, by God, to further instruct us. I hope we will listen and accept his words as if they are coming directly from God.