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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Prophets Know

            While I was studying the Book of Mormon – Another Witness of Jesus Christ this morning, I came across a well-known principle that I had written in my scriptures. The principle is simple and meaningful: “The Lord knows of future events and can reveal them to His prophet.” Amos 3:7 states the principle in a little different way: “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”

            The various prophets in the Book of Mormon prophesied of various events, and other prophets wrote of the fulfillment of the prophecies. One of the first prophecies that we read about is Nephi stating that the Messiah would be born 600 years from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem (Nephi 10:4). We know that Lehi was in Jerusalem in the first year of the reign King Zedekiah and most likely left during the same year. King Zedekiah started his reign about 600 years before the birth of Jesus Christ.

            Another ancient American prophet named Samuel (a Lamanite) prophesies that the Savior will be born in five years (Helaman 14:2). Since Jesus Christ was born in Jerusalem and the Nephites were in the Americas, Samuel gives several signs that will come to let the Nephites know that the Savior was born (Helaman 14:3-6). Five years pass, and the people see the signs – no darkness, a new star, and other signs and wonders. Another prophet by the name of Nephi reports that the signs came. There was a day, a night, and a day without any darkness, and “it was as light as though it was mid-day” (3 Nephi 1:19). Nephi also says that “a new star did appear” (3 Nephi 1:21).

            Various other prophecies concern the destruction of the Nephites. Nephi knows about 600 B.C. that his people will be destroyed 400 years after the coming of Jesus Christ (1 Nephi 15:5). Alma knows about 73 B.C. that the Nephites will be destroyed 400 years after Jesus Christ visits the Nephites (Alma 45:10-12). Moroni writes that he is alone because all of the Nephites are destroyed, and “four hundred years have passed away since the coming of our Lord and Savior” (Mormon 8:3, 6). These examples illustrate that the Lord knows of coming events and reveals them to His prophets.

            We are blessed to live in the day that a prophet of God is upon the earth, even President Russell M. Nelson. The Lord reveals His will to His prophet, and President Nelson is obedient. The Brethren have made numerous changes in the policies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in an effort to prepare the members and other people in the world for the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

            One of those changes is the change for Sunday meetings from three hours to two hours. The course of study for this year is the New Testament with an emphasis on the initiative “Come, Follow Me.” In the lesson last week we read and discussed the stories of the woman with the issue of blood (Matthew 5:25-34), the sick man that was let down through the roof (Luke 5:17-26, and the blind man (John 9:1-7). All three people were healed because of faith. The woman had enough faith in Jesus Christ to seek Him out and to reach out to touch Him, and she was healed because of her faith. The man’s friends had enough faith to carry him to the roof and let him down in order to be blessed by Jesus, and he was healed because of “their” faith. The blind man did not seem to be seeking to be healed, but Jesus offered him the gift by anointing his eyes with clay. The man was healed because he had enough faith to go wash the clay out of his eyes.

            In a discussion with my son, he shared the following insight with me. None of us sought for a new schedule or a “home centered church supported” study initiate. It is being offered to us by the Lord through His prophets and apostles. Do we have enough faith to accept it, cleanse our eyes, and experience more personal and family spiritual growth, or do we say, “No, I do not want to see more clearly – I will just continue stumbling around with this mud in my eyes?”

            I choose to accept the offering from the Lord through His prophet. I am using the study guide that I shared with you a couple of weeks, and I find that I am searching the scriptures deeper and gaining greater understanding. I have heard that the very act of writing down the material will help me to understand and to remember it better. I encourage you to accept the offering and join with me in gaining greater knowledge and understanding about the Savior.

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