July 2014

“Elijah,” Liahona, July 2014, 14

Old Testament Prophets


“Elijah was one of the greatest of the prophets, and the Lord conferred upon him the sealing power.”1 —President Joseph Fielding Smith (1876–1972)


Elijah Contends against the Priests of Baal, by Jerry Harston

I ministered as a prophet in the Northern Kingdom of Israel.2 Due to the Israelites’ wickedness, I sealed the heavens against rain, causing a famine in the land. During the famine, I lived by a brook and ravens brought me food, but then the brook dried up.3

The Lord commanded me to go to a widow who lived in Zarephath, and she would feed me. I found her gathering sticks to prepare a final meal for herself and her son. I told her that if she fed me first, her “barrel of meal [should] not waste, neither [should] the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.”4 She exercised faith, and the Lord fulfilled His promise.

While I lived with her family, the widow’s son died. I pled, “O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again.”5 The Lord heard my cry, and her son lived again.6

Later, I demonstrated the Lord’s power to the people of Israel by challenging the priests of Baal to a contest. The priests prepared a sacrifice and called upon Baal all day long to send down fire, but no fire appeared. I constructed an altar of 12 stones, symbolic of the 12 tribes of Israel, and dug a trench around the altar. Then I had the altar and its sacrifice soaked with 12 barrels of water, drenching the wood and filling the trench. I called upon the Lord, and He sent down fire that consumed the sacrifice, the altar, and the water. Afterward, I prayed unto the Lord, and He opened the heavens to rain.7

At the end of my life, I did not die but ascended into heaven in a chariot of fire.8 During Christ’s mortal ministry, I appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration and gave priesthood keys to Peter, James, and John.9

I appeared again in the latter days “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers,” coming to the Kirtland Temple on April 3, 1836, and restoring the keys of the sealing power to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.10