Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Follow the Prophet

Note: This blog post was originally posted on our private family blog on October 18, 2010. I first reposted it on this blog on March 23, 2011 so that I could refer to it in another post. I am reposting it today because I want to get some more feedback on these thoughts. How do you sustain our prophets when others seem to attack them from every side - and sometimes might even seem to have rational arguments for doing so?

On Sunday, October 3, 2010, President Boyd K. Packer, whom members of the church sustain to be a “prophet, seer and revelator” gave this talk.

As a prophet, President Packer’s responsibility is to call the world to repentance – much like Noah did in his day as he built the ark, like Lehi in Jerusalem, and like many other prophets in the past.

Unfortunately, as they did with Noah and Lehi, the world has rejected the words of the prophets, and have even gone so far as to petition him to withdraw his statements. This is not a new thing. It has happened again and again throughout history, and God’s word has always remained unchanged. As President Packer so bluntly put it:

...there are those today who not only tolerate but advocate voting to change laws that would legalize immorality, as if a vote would somehow alter the designs of God’s laws and nature...There are both moral and physical laws “irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world” that cannot be changed...To legalize that which is basically wrong or evil will not prevent the pain and penalties that will follow as surely as night follows day.

I respect everyone’s right to an opinion. But I also believe in God’s word, and I firmly believe in God’s prophets who deliver His word to us – especially in these latter days.

Satan is stirring up the hearts of men. A war is waging. “Who’s on the Lord’s side, who? Now is the time to show...” This particular battle hits really close to home for me. I have had to make some really difficult decisions about some people who are very dear to me. All I can think about is how to “love one another” while still being devoted to righteousness, and not “look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.” This article, a Q&A with Elder Oaks and a member of the 70, has been particularly helpful. I also read something Joseph Smith said in one of the first Relief Society meetings. He said, "God does not look on sin with allowance, but when men have sin'd there must be allowance made for them." We still need to be caring and compassionate - no matter the circumstance.

In response to the petition I mentioned earlier, the brethren had this to say:

Much of this was not new, but there were a lot of really great things said. A few of my favorites:

“As a church, our doctrinal position is clear: any sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong, and we define marriage as between a man and a woman.”

“None of us is limited by our feelings or inclinations. Ultimately, we are free to act for ourselves.”

“The Church distinguishes between feelings or inclinations on the one hand and behavior on the other. It’s not a sin to have feelings, only in yielding to temptation.”

I believe that people have same-gender, or homosexual, attractions, and that they can sometimes be very strong. But those people are still just children of God to me. I believe that there is nothing fundamentally different between someone who struggles with same-gender attraction, and the rest of God’s children who struggle with something else. We are all children of God experiencing trials and struggles on this earth with Satan tempting us and trying us. We inhabit imperfect bodies with imperfect emotions and chemical make ups. We all face trials. (read more about that here)

God made man and woman. He created them specifically different – to fulfill different purposes. From The Family: A Proclamation to the World, “Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”

As I write this, I realize that I am not writing it to an audience of people who don’t believe in Christ and the atonement. I am writing it in hopes that someone who feels unsure about the word of God on this issue can maybe read my testimony and perhaps feel the spirit and have a little better understanding of God’s word.

It is not easy to stay true to the Savior. Especially in today’s social and political climate. There is so much of the Adversary’s influence in our societies that we can be easily confused by the arguments out there.

Sometimes I get very discouraged because the world is getting more and more wicked – good is called evil, and evil is called good. But I know that there is hope and happiness available to those who live the gospel – for those who earnestly call on God in the name of His Savior, Jesus Christ and ask for a confirmation of that which is true. The Spirit will guide us. I know that because I beg the Lord for His Spirit to be with me as I raise my children - often I feel like I don’t know anything.

If there is one thing I know is absolutely true, it is that God lives and loves us and has given us living prophets on the earth to help guide us when we become confused about how to live in the world and not be of the world.

And I hope and pray that you will try to get that testimony for yourself.

Recommended reading:

Cleansing the Inner Vessel by President Boyd K. Packer
The Q&A with Elder Oaks and Elder Wickman
The Response to the HRC Petition
Many of These Articles
This Proclamation
Another Good Article by Elder Oaks


  1. God said it. I believe it and that settles it.

  2. I read a blog post by someone who discredited the proclamation because it is not canonized, as if Jesus has to put some additional stamp of approval on things he sends his servants to say. Do we sustain them as prophets, seers, and revelators or not? Leaves me more than a little bewildered. And speaking of evil being called good and good evil, I love Moroni 7:15 & 16 - Moroni says it is easy and as plain as day and night to know between good and evil. A great book that I recently read that has helped me understand this more is "Following the Light of Christ into His Presence" by John Pontius. It's good stuff!


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