Among other issues, last week's blog post has brought into crystal clear focus the need for living prophets - today, more than ever before! Incredibly The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) boldly declares, to the world, that a young boy, named Joseph Smith, was called of God to restore ancient Christianity, as established while Jesus Christ, Himself, was upon the earth. And today, by succession, the Church continues to function under the direction of President Thomas S. Monson, whom its members sustain as a prophet, seer and revelator. Mind you, this is no small matter -- and its importance must be acknowledged in the face of much confusion and controversy that surround us daily.

"Because Heavenly Father loves His children, He has not left them to walk through this mortal life without direction and guidance", said Dieter F. Uchtdorf, in the March 2012 First Presidency Message: Why Do We Need Prophets?  "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." 

He taught that, "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."

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It is not surprising that much of what prophets teach is not well received by the world. It is viewed as unpopular, out-of-date, and ultimately uninformed. However, that "wisdom", of which President Euchtdorf refers, often finds itself in direct opposition to the desires and opinions of some of our members. One might ask: How can that be? Well, you'd be quite surprised to hear many of the arguments to faithfully justify such thoughts -- often disregarding revealed doctrine, in the hopes of change. And as is often the case, in artful distortion, made to sound plausible enough to attract many proponents, who have similar hopes. Sadly many disregard that God is the authority on all things, and has given the charge to relate such information to His prophets.

Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled. 
What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same. D&C 1:38-39

Listening to such distortions of revealed truth, when understood, finds no basis for such beliefs. Unfortunately to those who hold fast to these rods of hope, they are found wandering as the scriptures teach would be their fate. (1Nephi 8:32)  The "iron rod", of which we are commanded to hold fast, is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ reveals His Words through His prophets. When ignored, as Euchtdorf explains, we run the risk of "trial, torment and toil" in our lives. 

For these members who find themselves "wandering", they also tend to feel as though they do not belong. They might even be struggling to figure out why this is so. I would submit that to belong is to hold on, with faith, to the words, teachings and counsel of living prophets. 

Diversity fades into the background when such unity is found among members of His Church. Not that it doesn't exist, but rather that we are then able to relate, support and build relationships, with each other, on His terms -- as He directs. 

Prophets are the key to unity among Latter-day Saints. Prophets beckon each one of us to "Come Unto Christ" and hearken to His commandments.  As we seek to understand, accept, and embrace one another, differences aside, we must first align our thoughts with revealed truth and counsel.  Together as move toward achieving this oneness, we are becoming that Zion people of which Jesus Christ will return.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

With so many controversial issues that plague our days, and threaten to divide us, I am confident that with faith in Jesus Christ, we will obtain this rest of which we all seek.

Kathryn Skaggs

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WBMW: How Living Prophets Make a Difference in Our Lives
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, does knowing that we have living prophets upon the earth - make a difference in our daily lives? As many of you are well aware, believing in modern-day prophets makes us quite peculiar to those outside of our faith.

For most Christians, the days of prophets, such as Noah, Abraham, and even Jesus Christ - are considered ancient history. As members of the LDS Church, we are uniquely different in our testimonies and understanding of living prophets upon the earth, today.

Dallin H. Oaks: He Heals the Heavy Laden
"Many carry heavy burdens. Some have lost a loved one to death or care for one who is disabled. Some have been wounded by divorce. Others yearn for an eternal marriage. Some are caught in the grip of addictive substances or practices like alcohol, tobacco, drugs, or pornography. Others have crippling physical or mental impairments. Some are challenged by same-gender attraction. Some have terrible feelings of depression or inadequacy. In one way or another, many are heavy laden." Prophets and Apostles Speak Today

Modern Prophets and Continuing Revelation
"Modern apostles and prophets are a distinctive characteristic of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Church members view senior Church leaders — Joseph Smith, Brigham Youngand the presidents of the Church that followed — as prophets of God in the same way they view Abraham, Moses, Isaiah and the apostles in the day of Jesus Christ. Thomas S. Monson is the current president and prophet of the Church."

President Henry B. Eyring: Come Unto Christ
"The words “come unto Christ” are an invitation. It is the most important invitation you could ever offer to another person. It is the most important invitation anyone could accept. From the beginning of the Restoration of the gospel in this dispensation, it has been the charge given by Jesus Christ to His representatives. Their charge has been “to warn, expound, exhort, and teach, and invite all to come unto Christ.”

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