The Reason Following The Prophet Is So Important And the Possible Consequences of Not

From the very beginning of man’s mortal experience, the Lord established a dual avenue for communicating with His spirit children. One was by personal revelation to the individual for matters pertaining to him and his stewardship. The second was through prophets who would receive revelation for the entire world. This chapter will deal with the second source of divine guidance—prophets.


What is the divinely appointed purpose of prophets? Paul wrote:


And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. (Ephesians 4:11–14)


How long would prophets be necessary in God’s plan? Paul said: “Til we all come to a unity of the faith.” It doesn’t take a PhD in theology to see that we are anything but at a unity of the faith. Therefore, the continuing need for prophets exists.



Skeptics question whether we, as Latter-day Saints, are blindly following our sustained prophet leaders, noting the changing times and the advancing age of our leaders. However, following the issuing of the Manifesto abolishing plural marriage, Wilford Woodruff, the prophet at the time, said: “The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the program. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty” (D&C, page 292).



There have always been false prophets and prophetesses in opposition to true prophets. We would do well to give heed to the word of the Lord concerning two of these satanic efforts to deceive. The first came shortly after the restoration of the Church when a faithful member, Hiram Page, found a “peep stone” through which he claimed to be receiving revelations. The Lord revealed:


  • But, behold, verily, verily, I say unto thee, no one shall be appointed to receive commandments and revelations in this church excepting my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., for he receiveth them even as Moses . . . And again, thou shalt take thy brother, Hiram Page, between him and thee alone, and tell him that those things which he hath written from that stone are not of me and that Satan deceiveth him;
  • For, behold, these things have not been appointed unto him, neither shall anything be appointed unto any of this church contrary to the church covenants.
  • For all things must be done in order, and by common consent in the church, by the prayer of faith. (D&C 28:2, 11–13)


The second warning came when a woman (Mrs. Hubble) proclaimed Joseph Smith to be a prophet but said she was designated to be “the teacher” in the Church. The Lord revealed:


  • For behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, that ye have received a commandment for a law unto my church, through him whom I have appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations from my hand.
  • And this ye shall know assuredly—that there is none other appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations until he be taken, if he abide in me.
  • But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him; for if it be taken from him he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead.
  • And this shall be a law unto you, that ye receive not the teachings of any that shall come before you as revelations or commandments;
  • And this I give unto you that you may not be deceived, that you may know they are not of me.
  • For verily I say unto you, that he that is ordained of me shall come in at the gate and be ordained as I have told you before, to teach those revelations which you have received and shall receive through him whom I have appointed. (D&C 43:2–7)


“The gate,” as explained by the Lord, that a man enters to eventually become the prophet is when he is called to be an apostle. Then through a long training and testing period, the man is groomed by the Lord to be His mouthpiece on earth.


Now in these uncertain times, we are faced with the same challenge: will we believe and follow the counsel of living prophets, seers, and revelators? Ammon, in teaching the people of King Lamoni, said:


  • And Ammon said that a seer is a revelator and a prophet also; and a gift which is greater can no man have, except he should possess the power of God, which no man can; yet a man may have great power given him from God.
  • But a seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall all things be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and things which are not known shall be made known by them, and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise could not be known.
  • Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings. (Mosiah 8:16–18)


That “great benefit” evaporates and actually turns to a curse if we turn our back on the Lord’s chosen leaders. May we follow Moroni’s plea as he witnesses the entire destruction of his people: “Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been” (Mormon 9:31).


What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments!


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