The Unauthorized Investigator's Guide to
The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints

Lesson 4

Follow the Prophet

The Missionaries Will Teach...

Truth is reality.  When you know the truth, you know how things were, are, and will be.  Truth doesn't change with conditions, times, or culture.  God is the source of all truth, and we can have faith in God because God will teach us only the truth.  God wants all of his children to know the truth, so he reveals the truths we need to know in order to be saved through prophets, apostles, and scriptures.  Furthermore, he reveals the truth to us personally through the Holy Ghost.

God chooses righteous men to be his prophets, and directly communicates truth to them. God commands the prophet to teach everybody the truth.  God will bless the people who listen to and believe what the prophet teaches.

God called Joseph Smith to be the first prophet of the current dispensation, and his successors are the apostles and prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The current president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the person who God called to be the prophet, and we need to gain a firm conviction of the divinity of this calling and follow his teachings.

To sustain church  leaders means to pledge our support of them.  We have frequent opportunities to sustain church leaders.  We should spiritually prepare ourselves to hear their words so that the Holy Ghost can confirm to us that their words are true and we can be determined to obey the counsel they give.

If you follow and obey the counsel of the living prophet and apostles, you will not be led astray.  The world has shifting values which cause sorrow and sin.  But the prophet of the Church provides an anchor to the unchanging truth.  If we follow the prophet, we will always be in harmony with God's will.

Some Additional Thoughts...

There are two things being said here which contradict each other in a subtle yet very important way.  First, we are told that truth is unchanging and eternal, and that the prophets and apostles of the Mormon Church are a reliable source of knowing this eternal and unchanging truth.  Then we are told that it is vitally important to follow the living prophets and apostles.  The reason these two things contradict each other is that the living prophets and apostles sometimes contradict former prophets and apostles.  This isn't surprising; like all organizations that are led by and composed of human beings in this dynamic world, the Mormon Church changes and evolves. 

This principle really has nothing to do with gaining knowledge of things as they really are, were, and will be.  Rather, the principle is a call for total loyalty to the current hierarchy of the Church.  When would a conflict arise between loyalty to the church and something else?  When the church asks you to do or believe something that your own spirit and brain believes is wrong.  That's really all it's about. 


Fourteen Principles of Following the Prophet by Ezra Taft Benson.  A discourse explaining that you should believe and obey everything the prophet says, no matter what.

I Call that Church Free.  This poem certainly doesn't reflect an ideal church from the Mormon perspective.  But for what it's worth, it reflects the kind of church I would want to be a member of.

Stand for Something is the Book the the prophet Gordon B. Hinckley wrote.  Chris Tolworthy read the book and argues that "If we follow the counsel of Gordon B. Hinckley, then we must choose between being a Mormon and choosing the right."

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