Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

For discussion of liberty, freedom, government and politics.
Post Reply
liberty
captain of 100
Posts: 219

Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by liberty »

I need some help talking with my Bishop. We have been discussing how to find truth. He is pressing me to accept whatever my leaders say is a valid source of truth or to verify truth. After listening to Pres. Monson that truth is found by being obedient to the commandments, I can see my Bishop making a case that Following our leaders is a commandment. Please help with advice and references.

Thanks, HofL

liberty
captain of 100
Posts: 219

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by liberty »

bump

User avatar
Gad
General of Ignoramuses
Posts: 1166
Contact:

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by Gad »

I was going to respond, but didn't really have time to dig out scriptures. But since you bumped the thread, I am assuming you are seriously looking for an answer. In my opinion, the scriptures teach us to Follow Christ. They clearly state that Christ does not employ any servants at the gate. The foundation of any testimony must be build in the Rock (which is one of Christ's names) for it to survive.

But the scriptures do clearly teach that we are to "Receive" his servants. To me that means you accept learning from them and try to walk the path that they walked. A good example is Lehi and Nephi. Lehi heard a true prophet teach. Lehi received the message and then went to the Lord to confirm it. That resulted in Lehi having a grand vision of Christ. (See 1 Nephi chapter 1)

The example continues with Nephi. Nephi heard about his father's Lehi's experience. Nephi then prayed that his own heart would be softened.
1 Nephi 2:16
16 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers.
He received the words of Lehi and asked the Lord to soften his heart. That put Nephi in the path of eventually meeting and knowing Christ himself.

I know you asked for scriptural references, but being at work I can't look them all up for you. In any case, I hope this is a help to you.

To summarize:

The goal is knowing Christ.

The steps are to receive true messages. Pray to have your heart softened. And then seek to know for yourself.

User avatar
Jake
Videre faciem Dei
Posts: 415
Location: Syracuse, UT

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by Jake »

liberty wrote:I need some help talking with my Bishop. We have been discussing how to find truth. He is pressing me to accept whatever my leaders say is a valid source of truth or to verify truth. After listening to Pres. Monson that truth is found by being obedient to the commandments, I can see my Bishop making a case that Following our leaders is a commandment. Please help with advice and references.

Thanks, HofL
Moroni 10:5 wrote:And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf wrote:Latter-day Saints are not asked to blindly accept everything they hear. We are encouraged to think and discover truth for ourselves. We are expected to ponder, to search, to evaluate, and thereby to come to a personal knowledge of the truth.
The Holy Ghost is the only way to know of a surety that something is true. If a church leaders says something to you and you cannot obtain a manifestation from the Holy Ghost that it is true, you are not obligated to accept it as truth. Having said that, if there is something you believe is true and have not received a witness yet, I would encourage you to act on it and see if you receive a witness after you act in faith. I would also encourage you to pray and ask for guidance on how to discuss this with your bishop.

I am curious to know the circumstances under which this question came up.

User avatar
TZONE
captain of 1,000
Posts: 1724

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by TZONE »

I liked the comment from the first session (i think)

Quoted JS.

"I teach the saints correct principles and they govern themselves" (paraphrasing) We are not to follow anyone but to govern ourselves. If we are actively improving we can be guided by the spirit BEFORE the prophet even speaks about a subject. I always feel I am before I hear them speak. We find out what are correct principles by hearing the servants (receive it) and than pray and govern ourselves off the council.

karend77
captain of 1,000
Posts: 1009

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by karend77 »

liberty wrote:I need some help talking with my Bishop. We have been discussing how to find truth. He is pressing me to accept whatever my leaders say is a valid source of truth or to verify truth. After listening to Pres. Monson that truth is found by being obedient to the commandments, I can see my Bishop making a case that Following our leaders is a commandment. Please help with advice and references.

Thanks, HofL
Well, the scriptures are foremost the teachings of truth, with addition of latter day revelation by our apostles and prophets. This is different than following our leaders. As members of the LDS faith, we normally sustain our leaders, locally up through General Authorities. "Sustaining our leaders is evidence of our goodwill, faith, and fellowship" (see link to article below). Is it a commandment? I would say "no"

This article is a good one to explain sustaining, or following. https://www.lds.org/ensign/2012/03/we-s ... s?lang=eng" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The temple teaches us, even as wives to husbands, that we are not obligated to follow others, if we feel they are not leading in righteousness. It has always been my understanding to take whatever is said across the pulpit or from a "leader" (those with authority or responsibility for us) and prayerfully find out if what is said or being asked is in accordance with God's will. You go to the Lord in prayer to know the truth.

It is hard to answer you more specifically, since we do not know what issues there are between the Bishop and yourself in following your local leaders.

For instance it is a general policy to not bring treats into classrooms as a teacher. Leaders don't want treats to become a distraction, because they are handled incorrectly, they often are. It's can be a real concern. As a teacher I took that policy under consideration but then did what I thought was right for my classes. For the most part, leaders try really hard to do the right things, but ward to ward and stake to stake the personalities of the implementation of church functions can vary a little.A policy is not a "truth" but a policy, knowing the difference can bring you peace.

Hope you can come to a answer of peace on this.

User avatar
gclayjr
captain of 1,000
Posts: 2727
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by gclayjr »

Every Fast and testimony meeting ,I hear the member of the bishopric who is conducting end with something like "I know we all felt the spirit strongly here as these testimonies were born". Sometimes I think this is just something they say whether the sprit was there in any special strength or not. I know there are a lot of times I don't feel anything particularly special, or feel I have gained any particuar insight from that meeting or any of the testimonies born in that meeting.

That being said, I assume, that if I didn't feel anything, that is more of an indication where I am spritually, rather than that there was nothing special about that meeting.

I believe the same about the counsel given by the General Authorities. If I don't feel a confirming testimony of their counsel, I do not assume that I am right and they are wrong. I assume that I have a greater struggle to understand the counsel given, and need to work on it.

The day I am convinced that I have received true information from the holy spririt that the General Authorities are either wrong, or misleading in key gospel principles, or that the President of the Church has become corrupt, is the day that I ask to have my name removed from the church records. Otherwise, I will still assume that I have more work to do to either understand the counsel or to get myself right with the Lord to accept it.

Regards,

George Clay

User avatar
TZONE
captain of 1,000
Posts: 1724

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by TZONE »

gclayjr wrote:Every Fast and testimony meeting ,I hear the member of the bishopric who is conducting end with something like "I know we all felt the spirit strongly here as these testimonies were born". Sometimes I think this is just something they say whether the sprit was there in any special strength or not. I know there are a lot of times I don't feel anything particularly special, or feel I have gained any particuar insight from that meeting or any of the testimonies born in that meeting.

That being said, I assume, that if I didn't feel anything, that is more of an indication where I am spritually, rather than that there was nothing special about that meeting.

I believe the same about the counsel given by the General Authorities. If I don't feel a confirming testimony of their counsel, I do not assume that I am right and they are wrong. I assume that I have a greater struggle to understand the counsel given, and need to work on it.

The day I am convinced that I have received true information from the holy spririt that the General Authorities are either wrong, or misleading in key gospel principles, or that the President of the Church has become corrupt, is the day that I ask to have my name removed from the church records. Otherwise, I will still assume that I have more work to do to either understand the counsel or to get myself right with the Lord to accept it.

Regards,

George Clay
I actually relate to this. I found it very interesting. I found a few times as a missionary for example where I was at some place, teaching a lesson, bearring a testimony, listening to talks, and felt the spirit really strong. Other times I didn't. The strange thing was that the times I did or didn't sometimes I would talk to my companion and he would have the exact opposite of me. If I felt the spirit really strong he would say I didn't even feel it today there. I was like why did I feel it so strong and he didn't? Than other times I wouldn't feel it in a sacred place (The sacred grove where JS saw Christ) and my companion would tell me he felt it very strong that day.

I don't know why that is but it seems that the spirit can be there and not know it.

Jarbar
captain of 100
Posts: 265

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by Jarbar »

Is "Following the Prophet" a "Commandment?"

ABSOLUTELY NOT. Nowhere in the scriptures does it have the phrase "follow the prophet."

“I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self security. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not." - Brigham Young (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1954], 135.)

User avatar
skmo
captain of 1,000
Posts: 4495

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by skmo »

Jarbar wrote:Is "Following the Prophet" a "Commandment?"

ABSOLUTELY NOT. Nowhere in the scriptures does it have the phrase "follow the prophet."
Exactly. Jesus said "Follow me" He did not say follow the prophet. The scriptures tell us that God reveals his secrets unto His servants, the prophets, but being human there can be mistakes between God giving and us receiving.

That said, I believe it is wise to always follow the prophet, but to also confirm his directions through prayer. Of course, if they are leading right and we are following right, there should be no discrepency. If there is, my first thought would usually be that I lack the humility to see what I am to see, in order for me to choose to go against a prophet I would need a world shaking message.

User avatar
InfoWarrior82
Level 34 Illuminated
Posts: 8854
Location: "There are 15 on the earth today, you can trust them completely." -President Nelson (Jan 2022)

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by InfoWarrior82 »

D&C 1:3

38 What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.

When the prophet gives counsel, it is given to that prophet by the Lord Himself. Sometimes, when the prophet speaks, he is speaking as a man and is only giving his own opinion. This only happens in instances like t.v. interviews and personal private conversations. When we hear/read his words in talks to the members of the church, it is revelation and are also commandments that are given to us by the Lord.

We have seen many, many, many, many, many instances in the history of the church of individuals thinking they are following the guidance of the Spirit, when in reality, they were being led astray. Isn't this the whole point of prophets? When we receive counsel and commandments from the prophet, it is up to us to confirm his words with the Spirit. By the same token, we will never be moved upon by the Spirit to do contrary to the words of the prophet. It isn't in the programme.

Maybe can someone give examples of something a prophet said that is NOT considered a commandment?

Jarbar
captain of 100
Posts: 265

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by Jarbar »

Nephi 28:31 "Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost."

User avatar
InfoWarrior82
Level 34 Illuminated
Posts: 8854
Location: "There are 15 on the earth today, you can trust them completely." -President Nelson (Jan 2022)

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by InfoWarrior82 »

Jarbar wrote:Nephi 28:31 "Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost."
Yep! And the precepts given to us by the prophet are given by the power of the Holy Ghost. (And I might argue sometimes by the Lord Himself). Every one of us can confirm it by the same Holy Ghost.

User avatar
gclayjr
captain of 1,000
Posts: 2727
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by gclayjr »

Jarbar, why Thank You. If you want to throw me a fast-ball right over the plate, I’ll be glad to hit it out of the park. You do realize that in order for the scriptures to command us to “follow the prophet”, they don’t need to use those words, word for word.

1 Nephi 3:18, & 2 Nephi 27:5 is pretty clear what happens by NOT following the prophets

Jacob 6:8-9 & D&C 1:14
States what happens if you choose to reject the prophets

D&C 58:8 states that the mouths of the prophets shall not fail

This stuff pops up with less than 5 min looking at the index in my 4 in 1. True, if you are looking for a phrase that says “"follow the prophet.", sure, maybe you can justify not needing to follow the prophet. But if you spend just a few minutes with the scriptures, you will find that Lord does instruct us to follow the prophet; he tells us what happens if we don’t follow the prophet; and that the mouths of the prophet will not fail us. I’m sure those who are better scriptorians than I am or those who want to invest a bit more time in research can easily find more such instructions.

But hey if you want to justify your position until God chooses to use the exact phrase you are looking for, go ahead.

Regards,

George Clay

User avatar
InfoWarrior82
Level 34 Illuminated
Posts: 8854
Location: "There are 15 on the earth today, you can trust them completely." -President Nelson (Jan 2022)

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by InfoWarrior82 »

gclayjr wrote:Jarbar, why Thank You. If you want to throw me a fast-ball right over the plate, I’ll be glad to hit it out of the park. You do realize that in order for the scriptures to command us to “follow the prophet”, they don’t need to use those words, word for word.

1 Nephi 3:18, & 2 Nephi 27:5 is pretty clear what happens by NOT following the prophets

Jacob 6:8-9 & D&C 1:14
States what happens if you choose to reject the prophets

D&C 58:8 states that the mouths of the prophets shall not fail

This stuff pops up with less than 5 min looking at the index in my 4 in 1. True, if you are looking for a phrase that says “"follow the prophet.", sure, maybe you can justify not needing to follow the prophet. But if you spend just a few minutes with the scriptures, you will find that Lord does instruct us to follow the prophet; he tells us what happens if we don’t follow the prophet; and that the mouths of the prophet will not fail us. I’m sure those who are better scriptorians than I am or those who want to invest a bit more time in research can easily find more such instructions.

But hey if you want to justify your position until God chooses to use the exact phrase you are looking for, go ahead.

Regards,

George Clay

Thank you George for that grand slam. It was a doozy!

davedan
captain of 1,000
Posts: 3050
Location: Augusta, GA
Contact:

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by davedan »

I vote this a negative-biased thread

What good is a prophet unless we obey what the Lord tells us through His prophet.

D&C5:10 But this generation shall have my word through you;

User avatar
ajax
Level 34 Illuminated
Posts: 7947
Location: Pf, Texas

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by ajax »

Depends on whether the prophet is true or false.

Jarbar
captain of 100
Posts: 265

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by Jarbar »

"In a general sense a prophet is anyone who has a testimony of Jesus Christ by the Holy Ghost, as in Num. 11:25–29; Rev. 19:10."

Seek the Truth
captain of 1,000
Posts: 3511

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by Seek the Truth »

tpjs pg 276
John, at that time, was the only legal administrator in the affairs of the kingdom there was then on the earth, and holding the keys of power. The Jews had to obey his instructions or be damned
tpjs pg 273
no man could have better authority to administer than John; and our Savior submitted to that authority Himself, by being baptized by John; therefore the kingdom of God was set up on the earth, even in the days of John.
The people that followed Noah were wise, the people that didn't weren't. Israel followed Moses all over the desert for 40 years. Probably their best option. Lehi's family followed him right off the continent. The early Saints followed Joseph Smith all over the east and midwest, and then followed Brigham Young right out of the country.

After this conference I'm not sure how you could follow these prophets and be led astray. They preached with power gaining your own testimony, repenting, and getting the Holy Ghost into your life. A lot of people need these messages.

Seek the Truth
captain of 1,000
Posts: 3511

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by Seek the Truth »

Jarbar wrote: “I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self security. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not." - Brigham Young (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1954], 135.)
This statement does not address the issue at hand. This is about people who don's seek out a testimony but simply find safety in the Mormon herd. BY says it won't save you, one must gain a testimony of the God, the Savior, Prophets, Scripture, the truthfulness of the Church and so one for yourself from the Holy Ghost.

Seek the Truth
captain of 1,000
Posts: 3511

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by Seek the Truth »

liberty wrote:I need some help talking with my Bishop. We have been discussing how to find truth. He is pressing me to accept whatever my leaders say is a valid source of truth or to verify truth. After listening to Pres. Monson that truth is found by being obedient to the commandments, I can see my Bishop making a case that Following our leaders is a commandment. Please help with advice and references.

Thanks, HofL
liberty, I think we should get things in order. First, you need to gain a testimony of the existence of God, which is given through the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost will give you this witness if you are obedient to the commandment (Jesus says that if any of us will do his will we can know for our self if it is divine) and ask in prayer with real intent. It may happen in a few days, or a few years. One must also gain a testimony of the mission of Christ in the same fashion, then the Prophets and Scripture, the restored Church and so forth. Usually when one starts the rest follows pretty easily, although not always. I would recommend taking the time to do each one.

I learned of the truthfulness of all these things through this process, and believe the same thing can happen for you.

As far as following the prophet, these are my thoughts. God has given us commandments usually through his prophets and we have the freedom to obey or not. Those in authority cannot compel us to obey, if they do then they err, but in order to progress we must eventually obey. But it is up to you.

I would recommend following the prophet, in terms of studying his/their teachings, because they will lead you to Christ. I don't know an LDS authority that doesn't teach that Jesus is the Savior, our Redeemer, and that you can gain this knowledge for yourself through the Holy Ghost, to repent of your sins and come unto the Father. That is a big part of his job and they do it very well.

User avatar
Rensai
captain of 1,000
Posts: 1340

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by Rensai »

liberty wrote:I need some help talking with my Bishop. We have been discussing how to find truth. He is pressing me to accept whatever my leaders say is a valid source of truth or to verify truth. After listening to Pres. Monson that truth is found by being obedient to the commandments, I can see my Bishop making a case that Following our leaders is a commandment. Please help with advice and references.

Thanks, HofL
The title of your post Is confusing compared to what you wrote. Is your bishop counseling you to follow the prophets counsel or his? There is a big difference. :)

The scriptures may not come right out and say the exact words that "following the prophet is a commandment", but they show numerous examples of the negative consequences people face when they reject the words of the prophets. I can't think of a single example in scripture where following the prophet was the wrong thing to do.

User avatar
InfoWarrior82
Level 34 Illuminated
Posts: 8854
Location: "There are 15 on the earth today, you can trust them completely." -President Nelson (Jan 2022)

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by InfoWarrior82 »

We receive our commandments from the prophet. So, logically, following the prophet would also be a commandment.

User avatar
skmo
captain of 1,000
Posts: 4495

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by skmo »

InfoWarrior82 wrote:...Maybe can someone give examples of something a prophet said that is NOT considered a commandment?
"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." Brigham Young (Journal of Discourses, Vol.10, p.109)
"We will never get a man into space. This earth is man's sphere and it was never intended that he should get away from it...

The moon is a superior planet to the earth and it was never intended that man should go there. You can write it down in your books that this will never happen." Joseph Fielding Smith
But for the most part I fully support the Prophet.

Thomas
captain of 1,000
Posts: 4622

Re: Is "Following Prophet" a "Commandment"

Post by Thomas »

Rensai wrote:
liberty wrote:I need some help talking with my Bishop. We have been discussing how to find truth. He is pressing me to accept whatever my leaders say is a valid source of truth or to verify truth. After listening to Pres. Monson that truth is found by being obedient to the commandments, I can see my Bishop making a case that Following our leaders is a commandment. Please help with advice and references.

Thanks, HofL
The title of your post Is confusing compared to what you wrote. Is your bishop counseling you to follow the prophets counsel or his? There is a big difference. :)

The scriptures may not come right out and say the exact words that "following the prophet is a commandment", but they show numerous examples of the negative consequences people face when they reject the words of the prophets. I can't think of a single example in scripture where following the prophet was the wrong thing to do.
Kings 13:
7 And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward.

8 And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place:

9 For so was it charged me by the word of the Lord, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.

10 So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Beth-el.

11 ¶Now there dwelt an old prophet in Beth-el; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Beth-el: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father.

12 And their father said unto them, What way went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah.

13 And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the @#$. So they saddled him the @#$: and he rode thereon,

14 And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am.

15 Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread.

16 And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place:

17 For it was said to me by the word of the Lord, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.

18 He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.

The JST says lied not

19 So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water.

20 ¶And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the Lord came unto the prophet that brought him back:

21 And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the Lord, and hast not kept the commandment which the Lord thy God commanded thee,

22 But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the Lord did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers.

23 ¶And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the @#$, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back.

24 And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the @#$ stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase.
(-|
Last edited by Thomas on May 18th, 2015, 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

Post Reply