“Living Church, Living Prophets,” Liahona, September 2021
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:
1830: The Prophet Joseph receives revelation that the Church should gather in conferences. The first general conference is held in June.
1849: President Young announces the Perpetual Emigrating Fund during general conference. It eventually helps about 30,000 Saints reach the Salt Lake Valley.
1878: President Taylor organizes the Primary, which helps teach children about the gospel.
1890: President Woodruff presents the Manifesto in the October general conference (see Official Declaration 1).
1899: President Snow shares his revelation on tithing in conferences of the Church.
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.”
1936: President Grant announces the Church Security Plan to encourage work and self-reliance.
1946: President Smith prophesies that the gospel will soon be shared with people in remote areas of the world through technology.
1959: President McKay teaches that “every member is a missionary.”
1970: President Smith designates Monday as the day for family home evening.
1973: President Lee announces the Welfare Services Department to oversee humanitarian efforts.
1978: President Kimball’s revelation on the priesthood is presented for acceptance by the Church in general conference.
1986: President Benson reveals the Lord’s desire to emphasize the Book of Mormon as the center of gospel study.
1994: President Hunter asks all members to be worthy to hold a temple recommend.
1998: President Hinckley announces that the Church will build smaller temples in more areas.
2012: President Monson lowers the age requirement for missionaries to 18 for males and 19 for females.
2020: President Nelson announces the Restoration proclamation in the 190th Annual General Conference.