Inspired by my son’s drawing on Monday night, I’ve been thinking about the phrase “follow the prophet”. Generally I’m one of those people that think that too many members blindly follow. The current President of the Church is “talked up” so much that they seem infallible (even though the Church doesn’t officially teach that). I concede, however, that is hard to fall somewhere in the middle. It’s easy for member to view their prophet that way. It’s easy for non-members to view the man as just a man. How do you give him the respect and honour he deserves, without “worshipping” him?
One thing I do know for sure, is that if we are following the counsel of our prophets, we will be happier, healthier, and more successful. That might seem like a pretty sweeping statement, but consider what the prophets have taught us… families are forever, don’t gamble, don’t look at pornography, be healthy, serve others, save money, don’t go into debt, have food storage, have a garden, etc. I often find that if I am having a struggle with something in my life, there is probably a principle that I haven’t been following as closely as I should.
I really like this Blog Segullah posting where someone is talking about bearing testimony. They comment on how our testimonies should be short and focus on a few main points of the gospel (Joseph Smith was a prophet, the Book of Mormon is true, President Monson is a prophet, etc) and says, “I’m not sure who would want to hear me go up to the pulpit and recite a list of five sentences?”
Good point. I’ll leave it up to you to visit that site and leave your comments there. However, I will say that at one point, because of the suggestion of a member of our Stake Presidency, we were including “tips” in the program on how to bear your testimony. It is hardly ever put in any more. I don’t think we have a big problem. Most people are only up for a few minutes, and do a fine job at bearing their testimony. Our biggest problem is probably that it is always the same people. Perhaps some of those not bearing their testimony have similar feelings to this person.
Today marks the first anniversary of Thomas S. Monson being ordained President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Salt Lake Tribune had a good article on Friday about the first year, and compares President Monson with his predecessor, Gordon B. Hinckley. The article comments that President Monson has essentially kept doing what President Hinckley did. I agree, but I’m not sure what else would have been expected. It’s only been a year, after all. Most of what has happened this year was most likely already in the works (including plans to support Proposition 8). In fact, it may take a few years before we really see President Monson’s hand in the direction of the Church.
As a member of the Church, I do indeed sustain Thomas Spencer Monson as Prophet, Seer and Revelator. I commented in a talk recently that even though this man is essentially a stranger to us, that doesn’t matter. Through the Spirit, and from following his counsel, we very quickly know that he is the man who the Lord has chosen to lead the Church. I wish him continued health, strength, and success.
Note: Dave Banack at Mormon Inquiry has also posted about this.