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Why Does God Call Prophets?

By Mormon.org
Noah preaching to a crowd with the ark in the background

Prophets—who are they, and why do we need them? Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that just as in times of old, God has called prophets—righteous men chosen by God and given authority to teach His word and lead His Church today.

But wait a second, you may think, why do we need a prophet if:

  • Jesus already came? Doesn’t that mean we don’t need prophets anymore?
  • I can pray and get answers from God on my own?
  • We already have the Bible, which is God’s word?

Let’s take a look.

It's Part of the Pattern

The concept of a modern-day prophet can seem strange to some, but it becomes less strange with the realization that God has a long-established pattern of calling prophets. Many well-known figures in the Bible, like Noah, Abraham, Moses, and others, were prophets, men chosen by God and given authority to lead His people. However, when people chose consistently not to listen, God took prophets away and waited until the people were ready to listen again. Thus, from the beginning of time emerges a pattern of prophets teaching the people, the people eventually turning away from God (a state called apostasy), and God sending prophets again to show His love and concern for His children.

It's about Love

We live in a world of many trials, conflicting ideas, and fears. Even with the Bible, the proper course of action isn’t always clear, as evidenced by the multitude of Christian churches that exist today. God knows this, and He loves us enough to guide us so we won’t have to navigate life’s challenges on our own. Prophets are one of the ways that God shows His love for His children throughout time; He gives prophets authority to speak for Him and guide His children through the spiritual darkness and storms of mortal life.

The Role of a Prophet

Prophets have many duties that come with their role. Here are a few:

  • To testify of Jesus: A prophet’s job first and foremost is to testify of Christ—that He died for us, was resurrected, and lives today. Prophets’ lives of love and service are examples of how to follow Him.
  • To lead God’s kingdom on the earth: While each person is entitled to revelation for himself or herself, prophets have the authority to receive revelation for the world.
  • To provide guidance and warning: Prophets have often been compared to watchmen on a tower. From the spiritual perspective that comes from their life experience and the revelation given to them from God, they can see things that the rest of the world can’t see and warn us of the consequences of certain actions.
  • To keep doctrine pure: God speaks to each of us differently, and sometimes His voice can be difficult to discern. How can we know if what we feel is in accordance with God’s will? The words of the prophets are a measuring stick; if what we feel is consistent with the teachings of the prophets and the scriptures, we can be confident it is from God.

God's prophet today is Thomas S. Monson, and he speaks to the Church and the world at large twice a year at a gathering called General Conference. Read or listen to his last address here.

To learn more about prophets, we invite you to chat with us today.