When God called Moses, He didn’t say, “I will make you a prophet.” Instead, He described the work He needed Moses to do: tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, and tell the children of Israel that God had sent him to lead them out of Egypt. (See Exodus 3.) He said, “I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say (Exodus 4:12). When He appointed Aaron as Moses’ spokesman, He said, “He shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God” (Exodus 4:16). He subsequently said, “I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet” (Exodus 7:1).
A prophet (Hebrew nabi, נָבִיא) is a spokesman or a person who speaks on behalf of God. Moses himself wasn’t possessive about this title. “Would to God that all of the Lord’s people were prophets,” he said to Joshua, “and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them” (Numbers 11:29). Nevertheless, the people recognized that there was something special about Moses. In the final verses of Deuteronomy, the author summarizes the message of the five books of Moses in this way:
There arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face,
In all the signs and the wonders, which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land,
And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel.Deuteronomy 34:10-12
Alma explained to an Ammonihahite named Antionah that, because of the Fall of Adam and Eve, we have been cut off from the presence of the Lord. But God knows that we need instructions from Him. So He sends angels to speak with people, and He Himself also makes “known unto them the plan of redemption” (Alma 12:28-30).
Mormon later explained that some people receive these messages on behalf of others. Angels declare
the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him.
And by so doing, the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof; and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father, the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men.Moroni 7:31-32
Today, I will participate in general conference, with gratitude that the Lord has called prophets, who deliver messages from Him to the world. I will listen to their messages as though God Himself were speaking, and I will strive to learn what God wants me to learn from their words.
What an appropriate study note for conference weekend!
I found it helpful to think about Moses as I prepared to participate in general conference. God gives us some messages through other people. We have to be humble enough to listen to those messages. I definitely received guidance this weekend that was meaningful for me, and I’m grateful for it. Thanks for the comment!