As our new, beloved prophet President Russell M. Nelson has recently been sustained as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) in solemn assembly, we should probably review what we know about prophets of God.
Prophets are the Lord’s mouthpiece. They give His word to us to help us find our way back to our Heavenly Parents and Jesus Christ. They watch over us and warn us of what is to come and the dangers present in our time.
My personal observation is that prophets are often ignored. It is easy to look backwards in time and think, “Why didn’t those people listen to Noah?” or “Why didn’t people recognize Joseph Smith as the prophet of the restoration?” It may not be so easy to recognize the truths that are spoken by the living prophet. The truth is sometimes hard. It is hard when our will does not align with God’s will.
I’m a strong-willed person, and very independent. It is often difficult for me to acquiesce to Heavenly Father when I’m determined that I’m right about something. I struggle constantly to align my will to His. I’m not very good at being humble, and even worse at admitting I’m wrong. Those are character flaws that I’ve spent a lifetime trying to shake. I’m working on it—still.
The April 2018 LDS General Conference motivated me to change more than any other conference I’ve watched. Frankly, I’m a little overwhelmed. I’m taking one thing at a time in an orderly fashion, but I feel an urgency for change that I’ve never felt before. The following quote by Elder Anderson resonated with me. I keep reading and rereading it. I think I’ll try and commit it to memory.
The prophet’s voice, while spoken kindly, will often be a voice asking us to change, to repent, and to return to the Lord. When correction is needed, let’s not delay. And 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.
Don’t be surprised if at times your personal views are not initially in harmony with the teachings of the Lord’s prophet. These are moments of learning, of humility, when we go to our knees in prayer. We walk forward in faith, trusting in God, knowing that with time we will receive more spiritual clarity from our Heavenly Father. One prophet described the incomparable gift of the Savior as “the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father.” The surrender of our will to God’s will is, in fact, not surrender at all but the beginning of a glorious victory.
I have received personal confirmation through the Holy Ghost that President Russell M. Nelson is God’s living prophet, and that he has been chosen to guide us at this time. I know that he will not lead us astray. I know that he is intent on doing the Lord’s work. I have great faith in his ability to be the line of communication between the Lord and His church—and indeed, the world.
Where I stumble is in lack of faith in myself to follow the counsel of our living prophet when I’m used to doing things a different way, or when I think about something in a different way. I’m not so concerned with the big things; it’s the little things that bother me. It usually is the little things where Satan takes hold, isn’t it?
When I forget to pull something out of the freezer before I leave the house for church on Sunday, it’s so easy to turn into the parking lot of a fast food restaurant on our way home. We’ve been much better about this, as we’ve been working on this for a while, but it is still a temptation. It is easier this year because we are on the 9:00 a.m. church schedule, but last year’s 11:00 a.m. schedule was a killer for us because my husband is a diabetic. He takes a snack to church, but sometimes it is just hard to get all the way home before he needs to eat. However, even on the 11:00 a.m. schedule last year, we did remarkably well compared to past years. We have made great strides in keeping the Sabbath day holy.
There are lots of little things that need improvement in my life, and as I said, I’m feeling great urgency to take care of these matters. I want to align my will to God’s will. I desire to live as He would have me live. More than anything, I need the assurance that I will be in good favor with the Lord at the end of my life. I don’t want to leave anything undone. I want to be a faithful, covenant-keeping daughter of God. I need the added blessing of safety and peace that Elder Andersen spoke about in the quote above.
So, the character flaws I spoke of earlier need to be fixed. I need practice in being humble, and I need to let Heavenly Father help me align my will with His.
Tudie Rose is a mother of four and grandmother of ten in Sacramento, California. You can find her on Twitter as @TudieRose. She blogs as Tudie Rose at http://potrackrose.wordpress.com. She has written articles for Familius. You will find a Tudie Rose essay in Lessons from My Parents, Michele Robbins, Familius 2013, at http://www.familius.com/lessons-from-my-parents#.UYPhA6K.