Rejecting a Prophet

K. Douglas Bassett

D&C 21:4-5; refer in this text to 2 Ne. 27:32; Ether 13:13-15

“Whether or not we have modern prophets and revelation really depends on whether the Book of Mormon is true. Therefore, the only problem the objector has to resolve for himself is whether the Book of Mormon is true. For if the Book of Mormon is true, then Jesus is the Christ, Joseph Smith was his prophet, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, and it is being led today by a prophet receiving revelation.” (Ezra Taft Benson, A Witness and a Warning, p. 5)
“… many are prone to garnish the sepulchers of yesterday’s prophets and mentally stone the living ones.” (Spencer W. Kimball, Conference Report, 1949, p. 121)
“Now the only safety we have as members of this church is to do exactly what the Lord said… . We must learn to give heed to the words and commandments that the Lord shall give through his prophet… . There will be some things that take patience and faith. You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord himself, … ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory’ (D&C 21:6).” (Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, 1970, p.152)
“Many men will say I will never forsake you, but will stand by you at all times. But the moment you teach them some of the mysteries of the kingdom of God that are retained in the heavens, and are to be revealed to the children of men when they are prepared for them, they will be the first to stone you and put you to death. It was this same principle that crucified the Lord Jesus Christ, and will cause the people to kill the prophets in this generation… . If the Church knew all the commandments, one-half they would reject through prejudice and ignorance.” (Joseph Smith, quoted in Life of Heber C. Kimball, Whitney, p. 322)
“The story is told in the early days of the Church—particularly, I think, at Kirtland—where some of the leading brethren in the presiding councils of the Church met secretly and tried to scheme as to how they could get rid of the Prophet Joseph’s leadership. They made the mistake of inviting Brigham Young to one of these secret meetings. He rebuked them, after he had heard the purpose of their meeting. This is part of what he said: ‘You cannot destroy the appointment of a prophet of God, but you can cut the thread that binds you to the prophet of God and sink yourselves to hell.’” (Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, Apr. 1963, p. 81)
“How we respond to the words of a living prophet when he tells us what we need to know, but would rather not hear, is a test of our faithfulness.” (Ezra Taft Benson, BYU Speeches of the Year, 1980, p. 28)

Latter-Day Commentary on the Book of Mormon