It is interesting what people expect from men of God. Having just seen Evan Almighty, I saw an interesting take on what Hollywood expects of a man God talks to in addition to more realistic reactions over time.
Joseph Smith, Jr. also suffered from this:
“I was this morning introduced to a man from the east. After hearing my name, he remarked that I was nothing but a man, indicating by this expression, that he had supposed that a person to whom the Lord should see fit to reveal His will, must be something more than a man. He seemed to have forgotten the saying that fell from the lips of St. James, that [Elijah] was a man subject to like passions as we are, yet he had such power with God, that He, in answer to his prayers, shut the heavens that they gave no rain for the space of three years and six months; and again, in answer to his prayer, the heavens gave forth rain, and the earth gave forth fruit [see James 5:17–18]. Indeed, such is the darkness and ignorance of this generation, that they look upon it as incredible that a man should [speak] with his Maker.” (History of the Church, 2:302)
Another instance in Brother Joseph’s life was a time when he was wrestling in the streets with some boys. A newly converted family rolled into town on their wagon and saw the prophet of God wrestling, laughing and generally having a good time. Without thought to their testimonies, their conversions or anything else, they turned around and went home because that was not how they expected a prophet of God to act.
And yet of this man, it was said: “Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!” (D&C 135:3.)
And so to each of you men: How does a man of God appear and act? It’s important to remember that you are human. Each of you has your weaknesses and your strengths. Jesus Christ expects you to overcome the first and build upon the second.
Do you believe Captain Moroni came into this world perfect with no weaknesses and failings. I can assure, he did not. What he did was devote his life to Jesus Christ, and as such, it is written in the scriptures of this man: “Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.” (Alma 48:17.)
I’m a woman and I want that to be said of me. So how does a man go about becoming a man of God so that those seeking, truly seeking, will recognize you? I believe it comes straight down to the basics.
Behaving and acting according to the inspiration of the Holy Ghost will get you to that state quicker than anything else. Studying your scriptures, daily prayer, church and temple attendance, treating your families with love and care as well as your fellow men, serving both, and prayer. Pray with all your heart, mind and soul that His countenance is stamped in your face, your actions are His and your thoughts remain pure. Pray for strength, understanding and the courage to continually move forward toward Him. When you have done all that and are living your life accordingly, then you have become the man of God your Father in Heaven and your Savior, Jesus Christ, need you to be . . . now your spirit will be felt, you heart will be heard and you will be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with all the other men of God and raise a standard unto the world.