Every six months, the world is privileged to hear inspired addresses from living prophets and apostles of the living Lord Jesus Christ. In His day, Jesus ordained Twelve Apostles, groups of Seventy elders, and others to whom He gave His power and authority to act, called the Holy Priesthood. Over long centuries of apostasy and tampering by uninspired men, the true points of His Gospel were lost and He revoked His Priesthood. In 1820, the Lord and His Father appeared to one Joseph Smith, calling him to be a new prophet to restore the lost points of the Gospel and to be the instrument through which the Priesthood was against brought to the earth.
In due course, Joseph Smith was given the Priesthood – the authority to act and officiate in God’s name for the welfare of men on the earth – by the hands of the angels Peter, James, and John. Other ancient prophets, from John the Baptist to Elijah, returned to restore keys and powers. New scripture was revealed as a companion to the Holy Bible, called respectively The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, The Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. These sacred books confirmed the the Bible’s witness of reality of Jesus Christ, testified of His divinity and calling as the Redeemer, and pointed all men to Him for salvation and happiness.
On April 6, 1830, Joseph Smith restored the Lord’s Church. By revelation, the Lord named it “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Every six months, the current prophet – the successor of Joseph Smith – the Twelve Apostles – reorganized in our day just as during the Lord’s ministry – and other General Authorities and Seventies – the same as those had in the ancient Church of Christ – deliver messages on faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, the Atonement of the Savior, families, missionary work, and other key elements of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In a revelation through Joseph Smith in 1831, the Lord bore witness of Himself, His Gospel, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He also gave fervent counsel to the wayward world. Said He:
“Wherefore the voice of the Lord is unto the ends of the earth, that all that will hear may hear:
“Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh;
“And the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth.
“And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people;
“For they have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant;
“They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall.
“Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments;
“And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto thet world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets –
“The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh –
“But that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world;
“That faith also might increase in the earth;
“That mine everlasting covenant might be established;
“That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers.
“Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding. . . .
“Search these commandmennts, 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 fulilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.
“For behold, and lo, the Lord is God, and the Spirit beareth record, and the record is true, and the truth abideth forever and ever. Amen” (The Doctrine and Covenants 1:11-24, 37-39).
A powerful declaration! One of the things that stands out is the premium which the Lord places on listening to His prophets and servants. We are instructed to heed them as we would heed Him. Naturally, a prophet is only a prophet when he is speaking under inspiration of the Spirit. But when he so speaks, we are under obligation to listen and heed as if the Lord was speaking by His own mouth.
Every six months, the world is treated to the inspired word of God delivered by the mouths of prophets. These messages are broadcast over the web, on TV, on the radio, and in meetinghouses of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the world over. The messages are then printed, published, and archived so that we may have them in our hands or on our devides and study them with our families. Most importantly, these messages are carried throughout the world by the Holy Spirit who has the power to make them sink deep into your heart if you will simply invite Him in.
I give my personal witness that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s restored organization, that it is led by a living prophet called of God and possessing His Priesthood, that every six months we have a flood of light from Heaven channeled through inspired prophets and apostles, and that the Spirit has the power to confirm all of this to you independently of my words. I invite you to come and listen to a prophet’s voice this April 2 and 3 at General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The current prophet-president of the Church is President Russell M. Nelson. This wise man is a spiritual giant who has delivered numerous messages of comfort, motivation, and instruction since being chosen as a prophet, seer, and revelator by His Lord. He has given profound doctrine, guidance, and instruction, such as the following. Answer for yourself if these types of messages could benefit you and your family in this day of darkness and confusion:
“The voices and pressures of the world are engaging and numerous. But too many voices are deceptive, seductive, and can pull us off the covenant path. To avoid the inevitable heartbreak that follows, I plead with you today to counter the lure of the world by making time for the Lord in your life—each and every day.
“If most of the information you get comes from social or other media, your ability to hear the whisperings of the Spirit will be diminished. If you are not also seeking the Lord through daily prayer and gospel study, you leave yourself vulnerable to philosophies that may be intriguing but are not true. Even Saints who are otherwise faithful can be derailed by the steady beat of Babylon’s band.
“My brothers and sisters, I plead with you to make time for the Lord! Make your own spiritual foundation firm and able to stand the test of time by doing those things that allow the Holy Ghost to be with you always” (President Russell M. Nelson, “Make Time for the Lord,” General Conference, October, 2021).
“Each of God’s children deserves the opportunity to hear and accept the healing, redeeming message of Jesus Christ. No other message is more vital to our happiness—now and forever. No other message is more filled with hope. No other message can eliminate contention in our society.
“Faith in Jesus Christ is the foundation of all belief and the conduit of divine power. According to the Apostle Paul, “Without faith it is impossible to please [God]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
“Everything good in life—every potential blessing of eternal significance—begins with faith. Allowing God to prevail in our lives begins with faith that He is willing to guide us. True repentance begins with faith that Jesus Christ has the power to cleanse, heal, and strengthen us” (President Russell M. Nelson, “Christ is Risen; Faith in Him Will Move Mountains,” General Conference, April, 2021).
“The challenge for you and me is to make certain that each of us will achieve his or her divine potential. Today we often hear about “a new normal.” If you really want to embrace a new normal, I invite you to turn your heart, mind, and soul increasingly to our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Let that be your new normal.
“Embrace your new normal by repenting daily. Seek to be increasingly pure in thought, word, and deed. Minister to others. Keep an eternal perspective. Magnify your callings. And whatever your challenges, my dear brothers and sisters, live each day so that you are more prepared to meet your Maker” (Prsident Russell M. Nelson, “A New Normal,” General Conference, October, 2020).
“Earthquakes, fires, floods, plagues, and their aftermaths have disrupted routines and caused shortages of food, staples, and savings.
“Amidst all of this, we commend you and thank you for choosing to hear the word of the Lord during this time of turmoil by joining with us for general conference. The increasing darkness that accompanies tribulation makes the light of Jesus Christ shine ever brighter. Just think of the good each of us can do during this time of global upheaval. Your love of and faith in the Savior may very well be the catalyst for someone to discover the Restoration of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ” (President Russell M. Nelson, “Hear Him,” General Conference, April, 2020).
““Does everyone need to repent?” The answer is yes.
“Too many people consider repentance as punishment—something to be avoided except in the most serious circumstances. But this feeling of being penalized is engendered by Satan. He tries to block us from looking to Jesus Christ, who stands with open arms, hoping and willing to heal, forgive, cleanse, strengthen, purify, and sanctify us.
“The word for repentance in the Greek New Testament is metanoeo. The prefix meta- means “change.” The suffix -noeo is related to Greek words that mean “mind,” “knowledge,” “spirit,” and “breath.”
“Thus, when Jesus asks you and me to “repent,” He is inviting us to change our mind, our knowledge, our spirit—even the way we breathe. He is asking us to change the way we love, think, serve, spend our time, treat our wives, teach our children, and even care for our bodies.
“Nothing is more liberating, more ennobling, or more crucial to our individual progression than is a regular, daily focus on repentance. Repentance is not an event; it is a process. It is the key to happiness and peace of mind. When coupled with faith, repentance opens our access to the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
“Whether you are diligently moving along the covenant path, have slipped or stepped from the covenant path, or can’t even see the path from where you are now, I plead with you to repent. Experience the strengthening power of daily repentance—of doing and being a little better each day.
“When we choose to repent, we choose to change! We allow the Savior to transform us into the best version of ourselves. We choose to grow spiritually and receive joy—the joy of redemption in Him. When we choose to repent, we choose to become more like Jesus Christ!
“Brethren, we need to do better and be better because we are in a battle. The battle with sin is real. The adversary is quadrupling his efforts to disrupt testimonies and impede the work of the Lord. He is arming his minions with potent weapons to keep us from partaking of the joy and love of the Lord.
“Repentance is the key to avoiding misery inflicted by traps of the adversary. The Lord does not expect perfection from us at this point in our eternal progression. But He does expect us to become increasingly pure. Daily repentance is the pathway to purity, and purity brings power. Personal purity can make us powerful tools in the hands of God. Our repentance—our purity—will empower us to help in the gathering of Israel” (President Russell M. Nelson, “We Can Do Better and Be Better,” General Conference, April, 2019).
“Please believe me when I say that when your spiritual foundation is built solidly upon Jesus Christ, you have no need to fear. As you are true to your covenants made in the temple, you will be strengthened by His power. Then, when spiritual earthquakes occur, you will be able to stand strong because your spiritual foundation is solid and immovable.
“I love you, dear brothers and sisters. These truths I know: God, our Heavenly Father, wants you to choose to come home to Him. His plan of eternal progression is not complicated, and it honors your agency. You are free to choose who you will be—and with whom you will be—in the world to come!
“God lives! Jesus is the Christ! This is His Church, restored to help you fulfill your divine destiny. I so testify in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen” (President Russell M. Nelson, “The Temple and Your Spiritual Foundation,” General Conference, October, 2021).
Wise words from an inspired servant of God! General Conference is like a spiritual B12 shot that can lift you from the dolldrums and help you rise above your shortcomings. It can strengthen your faith in the Savior and increase your understanding of your potential. A dose of General Conference is just what the Master Healer ordered.
I repeat: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s true Church. It is a living Church led by living prophets who receive the living word from the Life and Light of the World, Jesus Christ. I know it from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet. I know it by the unmistakable power of the Holy Ghost. Whatever imperfections I may have, there is no imperfection is my witness of Jesus Christ and I bear it before the world, before you, and before God and His angels.
I urge you to come listen to a prophet’s voice this weekend, again in October, and every time the Lord’s chosen mouthpiece stands to address our Father’s children. Come and see. Open your heart. Hear Him. Let the Spirit tutor you and confirm my witness, the witnesses that will be shared during the Conference, and the witness of the Lord Himself cited earlier. He is coming sooner than many think. He has warned us to prepare for that great and wonderful day. The best way you can prepare is to come to Him and listen to His prophet’s voice.
“Come, listen to a prophet’s voice,
And hear the word of God,
And in the way of truth rejoice,
And sing for joy aloud.
We’ve found the way the prophets went
Who lived in days of yore.
Another prophet now is sent
This knowledge to restore.”
– Come, Listen to a Prophet’s Voice, Hymn No. 21
April 1, 2022