25 And now when ye talk, ye say: If our days had been in the days of our fathers of old, we would not have slain the prophets; we would not have stoned them, and cast them out.
26 Behold ye are worse than they; for as the Lord liveth, if a prophet come among you and declareth unto you the word of the Lord, which testifieth of your sins and iniquities, ye are angry with him, and cast him out and seek all manner of ways to destroy him; yea, you will say that he is a false prophet, and that he is a sinner, and of the devil, because he testifieth that your deeds are evil.
A fundamental characteristic of prophets is that they tell us what we need to know, not necessarily what we want to hear. They are representatives of God and deliverers of His messages, and their role is to deliver the message accurately, not to be fashionable or crowd-pleasing. As Harold B. Lee taught:
You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord Himself, with patience and faith, the promise is that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against you” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, Chapter 9: “Heeding the True Messenger of Jesus Christ“).
I am grateful for modern-day prophets, who communicate the will of God with respect to the events and issues of our time. I know that it is important not only to listen to the words of the prophets but also to open my mind and my heart to the messages I receive from them, particularly when those messages are challenging or unintuitive. We can identify a true prophet, not because his messages are appealing or easy to hear, but because he speaks the truth.