Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Living Prophets and Apostles

                I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I believe that God speaks to His children.  One of our Articles of Faith states, “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God” (Pearl of Great Price, Articles of Faith 1:9).  I believe that we can all improve in our ability to learn from the revelations from God, which are found in the Holy Scriptures and in the words of living prophets.  I also believe that we can each receive personal revelation from God through the power of the Holy Ghost to assist us in our individual lives and families.

                I believe that living prophets and apostles receive revelation to guide the Church.  I also believe that their counsel reflects the will of the Lord.  I know that God knows each of us perfectly; I also know that He understands our individual challenges.  I believe that God reveals to living prophets and apostles the information that we need right now. 

                Just two weeks ago, April 5-6, I had the opportunity to spend ten hours listening to the counsel of these prophets and apostles, along with counsel from other Church leaders.  I believe that their counsel contains the information we need to know to survive and prosper in the coming six months or until the next General Conference of the Church.  The counsel of these great leaders can be found here.  

                Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostle spoke in the October 2013 General Conference about conference strengthening our faith and testimony.  “Conferences have always been part of the true Church of Jesus Christ.  Adam gathered his posterity and prophesied of things to come.  Moses gathered the children of Israel and taught them the commandments he had received.  The Savior taught multitudes gathered both in the Holy Land and on the American continent.  Peter gathered believers in Jerusalem.  The first general conference in these latter days was convened just two months after the Church was organized, and conferences have continued to this very day.
                “These conferences are always under the direction of the Lord, guided by His Spirit….”

                Elder Hales explained that no topics are assigned to any speaker and that each speaker, through much fasting and prayer, determines what the Lord would have him/her say.  “In conferences we can receive the world of the Lord meant just for us.  … [Because each speaker tries to present the words of the Lord, each listener can receive personal revelation directly from the Lord.] …

                “This is possible because the Holy Ghost carries the word of the Lord unto our hearts in terms we can understand.  When I take notes at conference, I do not always write down exactly what the speaker is saying; I note the personalized direction the Spirit is giving me.

                “What is said is not as important as what we hear and we feel.  That is why we make an effort to experience conference in a setting where the still, small voice of the Spirit can be clearly heard, felt, and understood.

                “Oh, how we need general conference!  Through conferences our faith is fortified and our testimonies deepened.  And when we are converted, we strengthen each other to stand strong amid the fiery darts of these latter days.” 

                There was much in our most recent conference that reminded me of actions I should take to become more like the Savior, but I received personal revelation in several instances about how I should apply the counsel in my personal life.  I am very grateful for my knowledge of living prophets and apostles and for the many modern technological advances that makes hearing their counsel so easy.  

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