Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Talk given in August 2015 Sacrament Meeting

(Taken from a recording)
Good morning Brothers and Sisters,
When I was back home, my parents always taught me that no matter what I do, if I ever wonder what I should do, I should follow the prophet.  It was something they always inspired into the minds of their children and I've always been able to remember that counsel.  So today, you've probably assumed I'm talking about following the prophet.  One of my favorite songs that my mother taught me when she was in the Primary; she was the Primary chorister; she taught us all about the song Follow the Prophet.  I always loved that song.  It is one of my favorites. It always talked about the many great stories from the scriptures like Adam, Noah, Moses, every single one of them and it really helped me to  get a love for the Prophets in the scriptures.  And also for the story's in the scriptures.  I've always loved the scriptures and telling stories from them.  I'm going to be telling several story's today from the scriptures.  To start off, there is a Scripture in D&C 1:38 "What I the Lord have spoken I have spoken and I excuse not myself and though the heaves 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."

I just want each of you to ponder that while I go through some of the great story's we have in the scriptures.  The first one is a story from the Old Testament about two kings that were trying to decide what they were to do.  One of them was named King Ahab and the other was named King Jehoshaphat.  King Ahab was a really wicked king.  King Jehoshaphat , although not a righteous king, he did recognize his dependence on the Lord.  They were deciding to go to war against this nation.  King Jehoshaphat asked for some prophets to come and to prophecy about what they should do to receive the will of the Lord. A bunch of Ahab's personal prophets came to them and they all said the same thing - "Oh Yes, go and fight Syria and the Lord will deliver them into your hands.  Everything is going to go great."  King Jehoshaphat said, "All of these prophets are saying the same thing.  There isn't any that will say anything else! Is there any other prophets?"  King Ahab says, "There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord but I hate him for he never prophesied good unto me only evil."  Jehoshaphat said, "Well let's bring him in and ask him."  Micaiah came in and told them, "Don't go to war. Go back to your homes.  Everything is going to be fine. The Lord will take care of you."   King Ahab, being a wicked king and hating Micaiah, ignored it and went to battle and was later killed in the battle.  And so when the Lord speaks through his servants it is very important that we listen to what they say because as the scripture said whether by my own voice or by the voice of my servant, it is the same.  Each must remember that if Jesus Christ himself came to us and asked us to say, abstain from coffee, tea, alcohol, and tobacco, then I would think that everyone in here would do it very easily.
Another story from the scriptures is the story of another king named Hezekiah.  He was a good king.  At  this point in time they were at war with Assyria.  The Assyrians were very violent and cruel.  And the Assyrians had seized Jerusalem and surrounded it.  Hezekiah went to the prophet.  The prophet at the time was Isaiah.  And he asked Isaiah to pray and ask God what they should do.  In spite of the fact that all these armies were surrounding the city, even at their gates.  And in spite of the fact that the king was making threatening notes to the king, Isaiah told Hezekiah to not worry -  that the Lord would fight their battles for them.  The next morning when the King of Assyria woke up, every single one of the soldiers in the Assyrian army was dead.  The Lord has promised us that as we follow the prophet we will be  protected, that we will be guided; we will be safe in our journeys.

 This leads me to the next story of Paul in the Book of Acts.  He was at the time heading to Rome.  The ship was being set sail at a time of the year that was very dangerous  for sailors.  Paul warned the captain of the ship that they shouldn't be sailing at this time.  If they did there was a very high likelihood that they would all perish  The captain ignored him and they went sailing.  A very bad storm came and after many days of this  fierce storm Paul was visited by an angel and the angel told him to tell the people on the ship that they were going to be safe if they followed Paul's counsel.  Now I don't know much about Paul, but I don't think he was much of a sailor, so it must have taken great faith for these sailors to follow the words of Paul, especially since he was a prisoner on the ship, but they obeyed his commands this time and while they did get shipwrecked, not one of them lost their lives. 
Now we're going to turn to the story of the Book of Mormon.  The story of Captain Moroni.  He's one of my favorites characters in the Book of Mormon.  I've always admired him. At this time there is again another war going on.  The Lamanites were attacking the Nephites.  But when they came to fight the Nephites, they saw them really armed very strongly; they had really thick clothing, they had shields and breast plates and it goes on to say that the Lamanites were just wearing loin cloths which was quite foolish preparation on their part.  And so the Lamanites  fled from the Nephites.  Captain Moroni needed to know where they went.  I'm sure alot of people were rejoicing saying, "Yes, we're not going to have to fight them!  They are practically surrendering!"   But Moroni, as the scripture says, but it came to pass as soon as they departed into the wilderness, Moroni sent spies into the wilderness to watch their camp  and Moroni also knowing the prophecies of Alma sent certain men unto him desiring that he should inquire of the lord whether the army should go to defend themselves against the Lamanites.  In this story, Moroni, he did all that he can do to protect himself and protect the people.  He also  goes to the Lord, specifically goes to the prophet, to Inquire of the lord where they should go.  Many of you know the story.  Alma tells him where the Lamanites went.  Moroni takes the army's over and they fight and they have a great victory.

 In more modern times we also have evidence of why we should follow the prophet.  When Joseph Smith was the prophet back in the 1830's, the saints who were in Missouri had been driven from their homes.  They had been mobbed and persecuted and many had been killed.  Joseph gathered the Saints who had been with him when he was over in Kirtland Ohio and they traveled many miles, many weeks, to the saints in Missouri to assist them and aid them and protect them.  On their way there was an army of  mobbers who outnumbered Joseph and his brethren.  And they blocked their path and they threatened that they would  slaughter every single one of them by the next morning.  While some of the men of Zion's camp, as it was called, wanted to fight and  defend themselves, Joseph told them that the Lord would fight their battles and he commanded them to "Be still and see the salvation of God."  It wasn't long after he said those words that a mighty storm came, and it was a storm that many of the brethren there said they'd never seen the likes of it.  The storm chased the mob away  and Zion's camp was able to reach the Saints in Missouri and was able to assist them.
Throughout the scriptures we are told that the Prophets were instrumental in teaching the people.  Through the prophets the people are able to learn the will of the Lord.  And if they obeyed the prophets,  all is well or at least the people were able to grow closer to the lord; that they were promised that everything would work out for their benefit.  In modern times we have been blessed to also have prophets.  President Russell M Nelson said, "My dear brothers and sisters, if the restoration did anything, it shattered the age old myth that god has stopped talking to his children.  Nothing could be further from the truth.   A prophet has stood at the head of God's church in all dispensations from Adam to the present day."

Brothers and Sisters,  I testify that gods' church has been led by prophets in the past and it is now being led by a prophet today.  And just as obedience to the old prophets is important, obedience to the living prophets is just as important.  As we follow the voice of the prophets then we will be able to be comforted and strengthened in our trials.  In just over a month we have General Conference. What a wonderful opportunity we have to listen to the prophet and 12 apostles again.  I know that as we  commit to writing questions that we have that those questions will be answered by the prophets in general conference.  We will be able to receive our own revelation from what they say.  I'm very grateful for the opportunity to share this message with everyone.  And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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