30 For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness.
31 And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfil and to do the work of the covenants of the Father, which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him.
In this passage, Mormon lays out the pattern by which our Father in Heaven reveals truth to His children on earth:
- Angels deliver the word of God, including a call to repentance, to certain people, “the chosen vessels of the Lord.” Those people are chosen because of their faith and their reliability.
- Those chosen vessels, in turn, bear testimony and teach everyone else the messages which they have received by the ministering of angels.
- By hearing the words of these chosen vessels, all of God’s children have the opportunity to develop faith, so that the Holy Ghost can reveal truth directly to them.
Mormon tells us that this pattern enables Heavenly Father to fulfill His covenants with His children. What are those covenants? For one thing, He promised Abraham that, through the priesthood, all of the families on the earth would receive the gospel, which would lead them to eternal life (Abraham 2:11). Because of the veil which has caused us to forget our premortal life and which has separated us from the presence of God (Alma 42:7), we need some way to receive instructions from our Heavenly Father so that we know how to return to His presence (Alma 12;29-32). That process begins with other mortal people teaching us what they have learned by direct revelation from God, and it continues with us learning to receive revelation from God for ourselves.
I’m grateful for a Heavenly Father who keeps His covenants and who loves His children. I’m grateful for “chosen vessels,” men and women of strong faith who declare to the world the words which they have received by the ministering of angels. As I participate in General Conference today, I will open my heart and mind to the messages delivered by prophets of God, so that my faith can increase and so that I can receive personal revelation through the Holy Ghost.