We’re back. Day Four. Anyone having fun yet? Today Ezra Taft Benson shares fundamentals nine, ten, and eleven from his classic talk, “Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet.” In his own words:
Ninth: The prophet can receive revelation on any matter—temporal or spiritual.
Said Brigham Young:
Some of the leading men in Kirtland were much opposed to Joseph the Prophet, meddling with temporal affairs. . . .
In a public meeting of the Saints, I said, “Ye Elders of Israel, . . . will some of you draw the line of demarcation, between the spiritual and temporal in the Kingdom of God, so that I may understand it?” Not one of them could do it. . . .
I defy any man on earth to point out the path a Prophet of God should walk in, or point out his duty, and just how far he must go, in dictating temporal or spiritual things. Temporal and spiritual things are inseparably connected, and ever will be. [Journal of Discourses, 10:363-364]
Tenth: The prophet may be involved in civic matters.
When a people are righteous they want the best to lead them in government. Alma was the head of the Church and of the government in the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith was mayor of Nauvoo, and Brigham Young was governor of Utah. Isaiah was deeply involved in giving counsel on political matters and of his words the Lord Himself said, “Great are the words of Isaiah” (3 Nephi 23:1). Those who would remove prophets from politics would take God out of government.
Eleventh: The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich.
The learned may feel the prophet is only inspired when he agrees with them; otherwise, the prophet is just giving his opinion—speaking as a man. The rich may feel they have no need to take counsel of a lowly prophet.
In the Book of Mormon we read:
O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.
But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.
And whoso knocketh, to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches—yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them. [2 Nephi 9:28, 29, 42; emphasis added]
General Conference Preparation tip of the day: I now give you my two favorite talks/articles that are specifically about General Conference and preparing your heart for the messages. (And I made little graphics for each one to remember a key point.) Click on the image to go to the article.
“An Ensign to the Nations,” by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
and “General Conference–No Ordinary Blessing,” by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf