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Why Do I Need a Prophet?

by Jeff Lindsay

Certainly we all have access to God through prayer, and have access to many or His words through the scriptures. But God has further words and instructions for the world, and has given prophets and apostles to bring us to a unity of the faith, as Paul teaches in Ephesians 4:11-14. If we accept Christ, we will also accept the authorized servants that He sends. Indeed, He will hold us accountable for how we receive or reject His prophets and apostles. Listen to the words of Christ in John 13:20, which he spoke to the 12 Apostles: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me." Likewise in John 15:20, Christ taught his authorized Apostles this:

Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

Further, in Matthew 10:40-41, Christ said,

He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward....

Yet in Matthew 23:34, Christ foretold that the prophets He would send would be rejected, persecuted, and killed, as happened to the leaders of the early Church and as happened to Joseph Smith:

Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city....

We will be held accountable for how we receive His servants. The challenge, of course, is to determine whether or not Joseph Smith was a true servant and prophet of God. In spite of the volumes of slander against him that enemies of the Church have prepared, their lies are refuted not only by the many witnesses who truly knew Joseph and experienced the miracles and divine manifestations associated with the restoration of the Gospel (among those witnesses are some of my own ancestors who left their own personal accounts) , but most importantly by the power of the Book of Mormon, which is a witness for Christ and powerful evidence that Joseph Smith really was a divinely called and authorized prophet of God.

(See Basic Beliefs home page; Church Organization and Priesthood Authority home page; Priesthood Organization home page; Following the Prophets home page)

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