God loves each of us and wants us to feel that love so we can progress and grow. He provides us with ways to find meaning in our lives and feel a sense of peace and clarity amid the confusion of the world. The help God has given us includes the words of prophets.
As you connect with God through prayer, you can receive guidance for your own life. But God also speaks to His children collectively through prophets. These prophets are sent to teach us the gospel of Jesus Christ and share guidance from God specific to our day.
The ancient histories and sacred teachings recorded in the Bible and the Book of Mormon show that throughout history, God has chosen prophets to act in His name for the salvation of His children.
At times, people believed the words of the prophets and lived righteous lives. At other times they rejected God’s messages delivered by prophets and turned away from God—a condition known as “apostasy.” Those times of apostasy eventually gave way to renewed righteousness as people repented and once again listened to God’s chosen prophets.
In the Bible, Amos 3:7 teaches us that God will not do anything unless He reveals it to “his servants the prophets.” The Lord sent prophets throughout the Old Testament to warn people to prepare for famines, war, or other disasters. They shared God’s will with the people and testified of the consequences of sin. Most importantly, prophets brought hope as they prophesied about the birth of Jesus Christ and His life-changing gospel.
Prophets in the Bible and the Book of Mormon taught lessons and truths that still resonate today about building faith in Jesus Christ and becoming more like Him. You can find strength, hope, and inspiration in reading their words.
When Jesus was on the earth, He called twelve Apostles to help lead His Church. After Jesus died, the Apostles faced opposition and in some cases were killed. Over time, important gospel truths and priesthood authority from God were lost as people around the world fell into apostasy.
In 1820, a 14-year-old boy named Joseph Smith prayed earnestly, seeking guidance about the welfare of his soul and to know which church he should join. God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph and told him that his sins were forgiven and that he should join none of the existing churches. He later became the prophet chosen to restore Jesus Christ’s Church to the earth.
Since that time, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been led by a living prophet, supported by twelve Apostles and other leaders patterned after Christ’s ancient Church.
Today’s prophet and apostles follow in the footsteps of the prophets found in the scriptures. They teach eternal truths, testify of Jesus Christ, warn us of danger, give us reasons to hope, and provide guidance from God specifically for our time.
Following the words of a living prophet can bring you closer to Jesus Christ and help you find hope and joy. In recent years, some of the guidance President Russell M. Nelson, prophet and President of the Church, has given includes: