How the famine for 'thus saith the Lord' moves us
from 'just follow THE prophet' to 'would that ALL the Lord's people were
The following was written in response to a comment a post, "Would that
ONE Were a Prophet" [archive],
that laments the absence of great prophets like Joseph Smith who could speak
in powerful 'thus saith the Lord' terms, ending debate on a subject with the
word of God.
Here is my response: [archive]
June 7, 2000
I have several things to say in response to your
First, because the Saints (of which body we are loosely a part,
whether on paper or not) have become as salt that has lost its savor for the
most part, rejecting the fullness of the gospel, especially the baptism of
fire and of the Holy Ghost, they are under condemnation, which includes the
withholding of the gifts of the spirit, including the spirit of revelation
that would enable one to speak with the tongue of angels, speaking forth truth
with power and authority that stirs the soul.
No, these things are not entirely absent, for there are refreshing examples
both within and without the ranks of LDS membership. It's just that they are
significantly more difficult to come by as we labor under this condemnation
that rests upon the people. When we finally repent in sackcloth and ashes and
cry mightily to the Lord (both individually and as a people -- probably under
conditions unfavorable enough to stir us up to such deeply felt remorse,
though not necessarily), then will that condemnation be lifted from the
children of Zion.
The book I wrote, "A
Mighty Change for a New World" scripturally documents these points.
Second point: another reason for the general lack of revelation is
the "strong delusion" under which we are laboring as a people
generally, according to the
prophecy in II Thes. 2 and its parallel prophecy in Isaiah 66.
Rather than do things the way the Lord would have us, we as a people,
nearly from the beginning of this restoration, have insisted upon doing things
our own way. And as the Lord did with the children of Israel anciently, he is
now again saying to us, "Fine, if you don't want to do things my way,
then we will do them your way, and you will see what an awful situation it
will bring you into -- then maybe you will be ready to do things my way."
See Ezekiel 22 triple parallel (In
One of the primary deceptions the people have chosen is that THE prophet,
the president of the Church, is THE prophet, the one and only to speak forth
prophetically, and that he CANNOT and WILL NOT ever, never, lead the people
astray; hence we can trust him explicitly as if he was the Lord, for, after
all, he is THE Lord's spokesman. That is the same curse the Lord gave the
children of Israel in placing Moses over them as a prophet, for they refused
to come into his presence but said to Moses, "YOU speak to God then tell
us what he says." And the Mormons think this is the best thing going.
That is what wrought the Lords "provocation" anciently, and is
precisely why the people of God today have evoked his provocation yet again.
"Would to God that ALL the Lord's people were prophets" -- not just
speaking in the name of the Lord, but in prophesying, healing, and generally
going about doing good.
Putting one man forward as the only one who can speak for the Lord is
spiritual socialism. It does not produce a nation of kings and priests but of
peons. Furthermore, placing trust in the arm of flesh like that is sheer
folly. Only one is a sure foundation, and that is Jesus Christ, on whom we
become anchored through the principles of the gospel -- especially including
the commencement on the path of discipleship through the baptism of fire and
of the Holy Ghost.
The ultimate folly of this path this people has chosen will be manifest in
fulfillment of II Thes. 2 regarding the man of sin sitting in the temple of
God saying he is God, and Christ suffering it to be so as part of the strong
delusion HE (God) sends because people refused to follow God's plan. Already,
the Lord's people are far down that path. See "Man
of Sin Revealed"
The third point I would like to make is more on a positive note. I
would argue that to a certain extent there are many, many people today on this
planet who do receive revelation in their life, both for themselves, and which
are a blessing in the lives of others with whom those revelations are shared.
The heavens are not sealed. God is faithful to answer all who come before him,
often even when we don't deserve it, or especially when we don't deserve it
and we recognize that fact with a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
Furthermore, I am grateful that most people do not share their revelations
with a "thus saith the Lord" preface or conclusion, but let the
Spirit put that stamp on their words, or on the portion of the word that
deserves that label for us in our personal needs. I would further argue that
it is this very process that is nurturing a nation of kings and priests, of
queens and priestesses, as we each learn to discern the Spirit of God for
ourselves, rather than believing just because someone said "God said
so." My fourth point is to disagree with your conclusion that if Joseph
Smith were alive to day that all we would need would be for him to say the
word and the debate would be over. That is precisely the sort of "follow
the prophet" paradigm the Lord is trying to wean us away from. First of
all, even if he did say, "thus saith the Lord," I can promise you
there would yet be many people who would disagree with him. Second of all, I
would also dare say that even because he said "thus saith the Lord"
would not necessarily mean that it was the Lord who said it. That is something
that would need to be confirmed by the Spirit of the Lord to each person who
received the word through his instrumentality in that particular case. Third,
just because Joseph would say, "thus saith the Lord," would not mean
that we understood the words the same way the Lord impressed them upon
Joseph's mind. So even though a "genuine" prophet would be in our
midst would not remove from us the need to each receive personal revelation on
Along these lines, I will be so bold as to say that the Davidic Servant
(and those called after that order) will not be one who stands in the place of
the Lord for the people, but rather he will serve to point each person to
develop their own line of communication with the heavens. "Would to God
that all the Lord's people were prophets."
The chiasms and parallels
and alphabetics word
studies, are an example of this order of instrumentality. They do not tell you
out and out what is what, but leave the reader to draw the conclusions,
letting them be the responsible one for receiving the revelation. They are
intended to be a tool to invite and catalyze revelation for each who use them.
They are modern parables for those who have eyes to see to be able to see and
ears to hear to be able to hear.
Finally, I will end with a prophecy in D&C 1:20 that the time
will come "that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even
the Savior of the world." The coming day after the condemnation is lifted
and the Lord's people have repented will be a day of each individual being a
prophet. It will no longer be said, "know ye the Lord, for all will know
him from the least unto the greatest of them." (Ezek. 31:34.)
Thus saith the Lord. =_)
Sincerely, your servant in Christ,
Sterling D. Allan