What exactly was Moses’ role? The people saw him performing miracles on their behalf. He gave them laws to govern their behavior, and he prescribed specific patterns of worship. Yet his goal was always to bring them closer to God, not to stand between them and God.
“Enviest thou for my sake?” he asked when Joshua complained that people were prophesying without his direct supervision. “Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!” (Numbers 11:29).
It certainly would have made Moses’ life easier if his people were constantly communicating with God, but such was not the case. They may have had occasional spiritual experiences, but Moses’ connection with God was consistent and powerful.
When Miriam and Aaron challenged his authority (“Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us?”), the Lord responded with a firm affirmation of Moses’ uniqueness:
When there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions,
I speak to them in dreams.
But this is not true of my servant Moses;
he is faithful in all my house.
With him I speak face to face,
clearly and not in riddles;
he sees the form of the Lord.
Why then were you not afraid
to speak against my servant Moses?”Numbers 12:6-8 (New International Version)
What differentiated Moses from the others? God said, “He is faithful in all my house.” When the others wavered in their commitment and complained about their trials, Moses remained consistently devoted to God and willing to follow Him. That unwavering faithfulness qualified him to receive clear revelation on behalf of all of the people.
The apostle Paul pointed out that with this statement, God affirmed His confidence in Moses but also reminded the people of Moses’ humanity. He was faithful in God’s house, Paul observed, not over God’s house. God was the leader, and Moses was His servant. “Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant…. But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we” (Hebrews 3:1-6).
Prophets encourage us to seek for personal revelation. Nephi wrote, “If ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:5). He even expressed confidence that if his readers learned to receive revelation from God, they would eventually recognize that his words were true:
If ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.2 Nephi 33:10
In like manner, President Russell M. Nelson has urged us to strengthen our own individual connection with God, even as he testified that God leads His church:
Our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, will perform some of His mightiest works between now and when He comes again. We will see miraculous indications that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, preside over this Church in majesty and glory. But in coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.
My beloved brothers and sisters, I plead with you to increase your spiritual capacity to receive revelation.“Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,” General Conference, April 2018
Today, I will be grateful for prophets, who help me grow closer to God. I will strive to grow in my ability to receive personal revelation, and I will be grateful for people more spiritually mature than I, who can help me along that path.