The other day, I ran across this amazing quote, “If God loves us enough to send us prophets, then we need to love Him enough to follow them.”1 What a great reminder as we get ready for general conference. This weekend, it will be our great privilege to listen to prophets of God. But we need to do more than just listen, we need to follow! Ronald A. Rasband reminds us, “We are distinguished as a Church to be led by prophets, seers, and revelators called of God for this time. I promise that as you listen and follow their counsel, you will never be led astray. Never!”2
What a great promise! And there are many more promises we have been given for following the prophet. I will list just a few.
Several promises come from our prophet, Russell M. Nelson, “What will happen as you more intentionally hear, hearken, and heed what the Savior has said and what He is saying now through His prophets? I promise that you will be blessed with additional power to deal with temptation, struggles, and weakness. I promise miracles in your marriage, family relationships, and daily work. And I promise that your capacity to feel joy will increase even if turbulence increases in your life.”3
Neil L. Andersen gives these two promises, “Don’t be alarmed when the prophet’s warning voice counters popular opinions of the day. The mocking fireballs of annoyed disbelievers are always hurled the moment the prophet begins to speak. As you are humble in following the counsel of the Lord’s prophet, I promise you an added blessing of safety and peace.”4 And, “I promise you that as you remain resolute in following the prophet, your faith in the Savior will increase.”4
Ulisses Soares teaches us, “By following [the prophets], our lives are happier and less complicated, our difficulties and problems are easier to bear, and we create a spiritual armor around us that will protect us from the attacks of the enemy in our day.”5
Similar to Elder Rasband’s promise, M. Russell Ballard declares, “Today I make you a promise. It’s a simple one, but it is true. If you will listen to the living prophet and the apostles and heed our counsel, you will not go astray.”6
Dean M. Davies said, “Listening to and hearkening to living prophets will have profound, even life-changing effects in our lives. We are strengthened. We are more assured and confident in the Lord. We hear the word of the Lord. We feel God’s love. We will know how to conduct our lives with purpose.”7
Of course there will be some who criticize and mock what the prophets say. There always are. Carol F. McConkie gives us this great reminder, “We heed prophetic word even when it may seem unreasonable, inconvenient, and uncomfortable. According to the world’s standards, following the prophet may be unpopular, politically incorrect, or socially unacceptable. But following the prophet is always right.”8 And, more than forty years ago, Ezra Taft Benson said, “As we come closer to the Lord’s second coming, you can expect that as the people of the world become more wicked, the prophet will be less popular with them.”9 But one truth remains: if we will follow the prophet, we will never be led astray!
I agree whole-heartedly with Elder Andersen when he says, “In a future day, … we will rejoice that we walked the earth at the time of a living prophet. At that day, I pray that we will be able to say:
We listened to him.
We believed him.
We studied his words with patience and faith.
We prayed for him.
We stood by him.
We were humble enough to follow him.
We loved him.”4
“If God loves us enough to send us prophets, then we need to love Him enough to follow them.”1
1. A Sure Foundatoion – Sheldon F. Child
2. The Things of My Soul – Ronald A. Rasband
3. Hear Him – Russell M. Nelson
4. The Prophet of God – Neil L. Andersen
5. Prophets Speak by the Power of the Holy Spirit – Ulisses Soares
6. His Word Ye Shall Receive – M. Russell Ballard
7. Come, Listen to a Prophet’s Voice – Dean M. Davies
8. Live According to the Words of the Prophets – Carol F. McConkie
9. Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet – Ezra Taft Benson