3 Nephi 1:20
Heed the Prophet's words
Throughout history, a loving Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, who is the head of the Church, have blessed us with prophets who counsel and warn about future dangers.8 In Doctrine and Covenants, section 21, speaking specifically of the prophet, the Lord declares:
“Thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;
“For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.”9
We have had the great privilege this morning in a solemn assembly to sustain President Thomas S. Monson as our prophet, seer, and revelator and as the 16th President of the Church in this dispensation. Later in this priesthood session of conference we will be blessed to hear his first general conference address as President of the Church. We will want to sustain him with our hearts and our actions as we pay careful attention to what he teaches and what we feel.
My love and appreciation for our previous prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley, is planted deeply in my heart and will remain with me throughout the eternities. But just as there is room in our hearts for all the children who come into our families, we have that same love and devotion for each prophet the Lord calls to lead His Church.
Prophets are inspired to provide us with prophetic priorities to protect us from dangers. As an example, President Heber J. Grant, the prophet from 1918 to 1945, was inspired to emphasize adherence to the Word of Wisdom,10 the principle with a promise revealed by the Lord to the Prophet Joseph.11 He stressed the importance of not smoking or drinking alcoholic beverages and directed the bishops to review these principles in temple recommend interviews.
Sometimes prophets teach us prophetic priorities that provide protection for us now and in the future. As an example, President David O. McKay was the prophet from 1951 to 1970. One area of significant focus was his emphasis on the family. He taught that no success in life can compensate for failure in the home.12 He encouraged members to strengthen families by increasing religious observance. His teachings were a protection from the disintegration of the institution of marriage that came after his death.13 Because of President McKay’s teaching, the Latter-day Saints strengthened their commitment to family and eternal marriage.
As the priesthood holders of the Church, it is our solemn responsibility to follow our prophet. We sustain President Monson and his counselors, President Eyring and President Uchtdorf.Section 81 of the Doctrine and Covenants sets forth instructions to a counselor in the First Presidency. It contains important priesthood principles. The first instruction is to be “faithful in counsel.” President Monson has faithfully counseled with each of the three prophets under whom he has served. The unity of the First Presidency in all of their important decisions has been an example to all of us as priesthood holders in the exercise of Church government.
The second instruction is “proclaiming the gospel.” President Monson has been a great missionary all his life. His personal missionary effort,
Listen, read and study the words of the prophets. Especially the living prophets and follow their counsel. Heed the prophecies. Sustain them. They are called of God and do represent Him. They are sent as a blessing to us to guide us so that we can be found worthy to live with God again.
I am extremely grateful for their words, their works and example. We are so blessed to have living prophets on the earth now.
21- come Listen to a Prophet's Voice
22- We Listen To A Prophet's Voice
119-Follow the Prophet
134- Latter Day Prophets