14 Fundamentals in Following the Prophet
One of the many lists to observe and obey in the Mormon Church is the topic of this article. I’m convinced these lists are what help to keep the people of Mormonism from having any independent thoughts or the opportunity to find truth. If you’re so busy trying to fulfill everything they’d have you do then how would you ever find time to actually hear what God has to say in His word?
We’ll be taking a look at the Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet and compare each to the biblical standard of Christianity.
1. The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything.
There are many scriptures that refute the above statement, but 1 Cor. 2:9-10 is a good place to begin. This scripture tells us God gave the Holy Spirit to believers in order to help them understand who He is. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit helps us to distinguish truth from error.
In the Christian church everyone can and does speak for God. If the pastor told his congregation he was the only one who could speak for God he’d be preaching to an empty sanctuary.
1 Cor. 2:9-10; “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
1 John 2:27; “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”
Job 32:8; “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.”
2. The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works.
Three passages of scripture come to mind quickly when I see the above statement. They are:
Isaiah 40:7-8; “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. 8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”
Matthew 24:35; “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
Hebrews 2:1-3; “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. 2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; 3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.”
How could anyone ever be more important than God’s written word? I love my husband and children beyond what words can describe, but God – well God takes precedence in everything in my life. I don’t worship the Bible, but surely His words are what I seek each day and want to know more than all else.
3. The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet.
With this kind of reasoning wouldn’t that mean Isaiah or Moses has little to nothing of import to give the people? The only plausible reason this would be is if the prophets were known to testify of a false gospel. And as we know Isaiah, Moses, Jeremiah, Daniel, et al, weren’t known for spreading false gospels.
God will never leave nor forsake us and gives us many ways to hear Him and follow. If Matthew 4:4 is correct then it wouldn’t matter if the prophet had passed away or not. The words of God are what we must have to nourish our souls, even today.
Matthew 4:4; “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
4. The prophet will never lead the church astray.
Number four in this little diatribe is the Church’s way of trying to make up for the previous fundamental. It’s their way of reassuring the masses there might be something the new prophet has to clear up from the previous guy to try and destroy any speculations that someone may have made a “mistake”.
Oh, what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive…
Deut. 18:20-22; “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”
2 Peter 1:20-21; “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
5. The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time.
Okay. So, what if the prophet of the Church told all the members to cash in all their 401K’s and bank accounts and give everything to the Church? Then what? What if he told them God had appeared to him and said it was time to start practicing polygamy again? I just can’t see my grandma accepting another woman into her home!
According to the first fundamental the prophet speaks for God on everything so whom would you believe, the prophet or…what would you do…?
2 Thess. 2:3-4; “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”
6. The prophet does not have to say “Thus Saith the Lord,” to give us scripture.
What if the current prophet said “Thus saith Prophet Monson; everyone must bow their knee when I walk into the room” and then next week he’s changed his mind? Does that mean it’s scripture? I mean up until a year or so ago I didn’t like trail mix, but now I do…that’s how preposterous this “fundamental” is!
Ps. 12:1-8; “Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. 2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. 3 The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: 4 Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us? 5 For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him. 6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. 8 The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.”
Jeremiah 26:2; “Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’s house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’s house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word.”
7. The prophet tells us what we need to know, not always what we want to know.
The following verses could also apply to the previous fundamental, but it occurred to me that because the Mormon Church’s tenets change with the wind, it seems they’re the ones deciding what is important, not God. If the changed “prophecies” were really from God to begin with wouldn’t God have made it possible for these things to be lawful?
Ezekiel 13:2-3; “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the LORD; 3 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!”
Jeremiah 23:32-40; “Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.” (Also see vs. 33-40.)
8. The prophet is not limited by men’s reasoning.
It might be those who speak for God aren’t confined by men’s reasoning, but the Church has historically changed their doctrine based upon the reasoning and laws of man in America; polygamy and the race issue are just two examples.
Additionally, what about Joseph Smith’s reasoning of burning down a newspaper press, declaring martial law, making his own monetary system, glass looking, polygamy, and on it goes. Is that God’s reasoning or man’s?
This fundamental completely flies in the face of common sense. If future behavior is any indicator of past behavior, the people of the Mormon Church are in for a world of surprises.
1 John 4:1; “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
1Thess. 5:21; “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”
9. The prophet can receive revelation on any matter, temporal or spiritual.
Again, what if the prophet said to pack your bags, you’re hoofin’ it to Missouri? When I grew up in the Church this was actually taught about and planned for. We all knew that someday we’d be walking back to the “Promised Land” our pioneer ancestors had once left behind.
Looking back on it now I just cannot imagine believing such a thing! In the Old Testament Era, God spoke to us through His prophets. In the New Testament era, God has spoken to us through His Son.
Deut. 12:29-32; “When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; 30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. 31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. 32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.”
Hebrews 1:1-2; “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.”
10. The prophet may advise on civic matters.
Didn’t all the prophets advise on civic matters? Imagine if Jeremiah hadn’t warned the Israelites about what was going to take place with Babylon. The only purpose this fundamental serves is to remind the people the prophet controls their lives.
2 Peter 2:1, 19-20; “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.”
11. The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich.
Well, I try not to be proud and I’m definitely not rich, however I do try to be learned. The Church has adopted a very bad habit of writing down and preserving every single thing that’s escaped from their lips.
On one hand they encourage their followers to study Mormon theology, yet on the other they don’t want you to have “gospel hobbies” (MD, pg. 334) and study too much, lest ye become learned. Sigh.
God has never forbidden anyone to study and learn. He’s given man a brain for a reason and I just can’t for the life of me believe He wouldn’t want you to use it!
2 Tim. 3:14-16; “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
Acts 17:2; “And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures.”
12. The prophet will not necessarily be popular with the world or the worldly.
They don’t have to be popular with the world, but hating other Christians is exactly what the Apostle John warned us about and commanded us not to do. Christians are supposed to love other Christians, not regard them as the “whores of Babylon” (1 Nephi 14:10).
Jude 1:4; “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 John 2:9, 3:14-15; “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”
13. The prophet and his counselors make up the First Presidency—the highest quorum in the Church.
When we place mankind so high, up making it impossible for anyone to come into contact with the “rulers”, we need to question what is going on. They’ve placed themselves into the exalted position of God.
Even in big churches there are elder and deacon boards, however I’ve never heard any of the larger churches claim that one of these groups is “higher” than the other. Additionally I’ve never attended, nor spoken at a church where I couldn’t make an appointment with either the senior or an associate pastor when needed. In the LDS Church there is no way the average person could ever have a face to face meeting with someone in the “highest quorum”.
Luke 14:11; “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
Matthew 24:23-24; “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
14. The prophet and the presidency—the living prophet and the First Presidency—follow them and be blessed—reject them and suffer.
John 14:6 says; “I am the way the truth and the light, no one comes to the Father, except by me”. Where in that verse does it say we are damned or should suffer if we reject the leaders of the Mormon Church? Paul states in four short verses to remember the gospel which was delivered by him and nowhere in those four verses does it talk about the Mormon leaders…
1 Cor. 15:1-4; “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
Gal. 1:6-8; “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.”
The preceding list of the Fourteen Fundamentals and the quotes at the end were taken from the Liahona, 1981. My mind just can’t wrap itself around the acceptance of any of the items listed, let alone all of them.
Why would anyone ever “suffer” or lose salvation by heeding God’s word?
“Liahona June 1981, pg. 1, Ezra Taft Benson, “Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet
(Address given Tuesday, February 26, 1980 at Brigham Young University); “In conclusion let us summarize this grand key, these “Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet”, for our salvation depends on them.”
“I testify that these fourteen fundamentals in following the living prophet are true. If we want to know how well we stand with the Lord then let us ask ourselves how well we stand with His mortal captain—how close do our lives harmonize with the Lord’s anointed—the living Prophet—President of the Church, and with the Quorum of the First Presidency.
May God bless us all to look to the Prophet and the Presidency in the critical and crucial days ahead is my prayer.” – Ezra Taft Benson
We’re praying the Mormon people will open their eyes and for a moment just think of the ramifications if the prophets are wrong about this. Not one of the fourteen items told the members to look to Jesus! Each of them demanded complete obedience to mankind, never God.
With Love in Christ;
1 Cor. 1:18