Living Church, Living Prophets
September 2021

“Living Church, Living Prophets,” Liahona, September 2021

Living Church, Living Prophets

article on direction given by Presidents of the Church

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a “living church” (Doctrine and Covenants 1:30) guided by a modern prophet. He receives revelation from God to direct the whole Church. Here are some examples of inspired direction given by Presidents of the Church:

Joseph Smith

1830: The Prophet Joseph receives revelation that the Church should gather in conferences. The first general conference is held in June.

Brigham Young

1849: President Young announces the Perpetual Emigrating Fund during general conference. It eventually helps about 30,000 Saints reach the Salt Lake Valley.

John Taylor

1878: President Taylor organizes the Primary, which helps teach children about the gospel.

Wilford Woodruff

1890: President Woodruff presents the Manifesto in the October general conference (see Official Declaration 1).

Lorenzo Snow

1899: President Snow shares his revelation on tithing in conferences of the Church.

Joseph F. Smith

1918: President Smith, the day after receiving his vision of the redemption of the dead, states in general conference that he has had “communication with the Spirit of the Lord.”

Heber J. Grant

1936: President Grant announces the Church Security Plan to encourage work and self-reliance.

George Albert Smith

1946: President Smith prophesies that the gospel will soon be shared with people in remote areas of the world through technology.

David O. McKay

1959: President McKay teaches that “every member is a missionary.”

Joseph Fielding Smith

1970: President Smith designates Monday as the day for family home evening.

Harold B. Lee

1973: President Lee announces the Welfare Services Department to oversee humanitarian efforts.

Spencer W. Kimball

1978: President Kimball’s revelation on the priesthood is presented for acceptance by the Church in general conference.

Ezra Taft Benson

1986: President Benson reveals the Lord’s desire to emphasize the Book of Mormon as the center of gospel study.

Howard W. Hunter

1994: President Hunter asks all members to be worthy to hold a temple recommend.

Gordon B. Hinckley

1998: President Hinckley announces that the Church will build smaller temples in more areas.

Thomas S. Monson

2012: President Monson lowers the age requirement for missionaries to 18 for males and 19 for females.

Russell M. Nelson

2020: President Nelson announces the Restoration proclamation in the 190th Annual General Conference.