We live in a marvelous time. The Lord has a living prophet, accompanied by living apostles, who guide and direct His Church today, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, casually known as the Mormons.
Thomas S. Monson is the living prophet, seer and revelator today. A kind and gentle man, President Monson teaches the principles of Jesus Christ’s gospel with love and understanding of the dangers facing the children of God today. He is a man who has fought in war. He is a man who has served as an apostle under multiple prophets. He is a man who has loved, married and had children. He is a man who serves his God at all times, in all things and in all places. If we follow the teachings and revelations of this prophet we will never go astray, for he is a devoted servant of a loving, living God.
Joseph Smith, Jr. described them as follows:
They are the Twelve Apostles, who are called to the office of the Traveling High Council, who are to preside over the churches of the Saints, among the Gentiles, where there is a presidency established; and they are to travel and preach among the Gentiles, until the Lord shall command them to go to the Jews. They are to hold the keys of this ministry, to unlock the door of the Kingdom of heaven unto all nations, and to preach the Gospel to every creature. This is the power, authority, and virtue of their apostleship. (Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols. 2:200)
Our living apostles are:
- President Boyd K. Packer (president of the Quorum)
- Elder L. Tom Perry
- Elder Russell M. Nelson
- Elder Dallin H. Oaks
- Elder M. Russell Ballard
- Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin
- Elder Richard G. Scott
- Elder Robert D. Hales
- Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
- Elder David A. Bednar
- Elder Quentin L. Cook
- Elder D. Todd Christofferson
And there we have, a living prophet and apostles. Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father did not leave us here to walk through mortality alone. They gave us righteous men to teach and guide us.
And so it comes down to this. Knowing now that there are fifteen righteous men who have been charged with the building and caring of the Lord’s kingdom . . . can you walk away?
This question is more powerful than one might think. An integral part of our return to our heavenly home is recognizing the power and authority of the servants of God serving in our lifetime. There comes a unique and undeniable strength which comes in recognizing the presence and priesthood authority of a living prophet and apostles.
Elder Henry B. Eyring, one of those living apostles, stated:
In a chapel far from Salt Lake City, in a place where a member of the Quorum of the Twelve rarely goes, a father approached me. He led his young son by the hand. As they reached me, he looked down at the boy, called him by name, and said, nodding his head towards me, “This is an Apostle.” I could tell by the sound of the father’s voice that he was hoping his son would feel more than that he was meeting a dignified visitor. He hoped that his son would feel a conviction that priesthood keys were on the earth in the Lord’s Church. His son will need that conviction again and again. He will need it when he opens a letter from some future prophet he has never seen calling him to a mission. He will need it when he buries a child or a wife or a parent. He will need it for courage to follow direction to serve. He will need it for the comfort that comes from trusting a sealing power that binds forever. (Henry B. Eyring, “Faith and Keys,” Ensign, Nov 2004, 26)
I imagine it is a very difficult life to believe the relationship you have with that young child in your arms ends at death. I can promise you it does not. It must be hard to believe this man or woman you love more than life itself will be gone forever upon the entrance of death. This does not have to be. The knowledge of the highest priesthood authority in the form of prophets and apostles brings peace to a troubled heart which is only increased by the sure knowledge of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Redeemer.
The eternal family unit is one you already belong to . . . whether you remember them or not. You do have a loving Father in Heaven who sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to meet the price of justice that we all might have the choice to return to Him. Jesus Christ sent prophets and apostles to guide us. These are truths inviolate.
And so yes, I more than accept a living prophet of God, along with the apostles. For in them I see power from heaven bestowed upon man and recognize that path to Jesus Christ.