If a Prophet Come Among You – Helaman 13:25-26

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.
(Helaman 13:25-26)

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.

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2 Responses to If a Prophet Come Among You – Helaman 13:25-26

  1. risa webb says:

    Great post Paul! I was struck by the reasoning in the first verse, the wicked saying that they would not have been a certain way if they were in different circumstances.I find their words very revealing about their justification process. They seem to think that believing they “would” behave differently somehow excuses them from behaving wickedly now. In a way they are saying their circumstances are responsible for who they are and what they do and they have very little say either way.I think this philosophy is a huge part of main stream thought today. Very sad that we abandon our agency so casually.

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  2. Great observation! As humans, we're really good at rationalizing bad behavior, aren't we? It seems to come naturally to us, and I think the only way to overcome it is to learn to detect and override that instinct. An important part of life is learning to take responsibility for our own decisions.

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