This is a follow up post to the False Prophets one. These are some of the characteristics of True Prophets, True Disciples, and True Messengers.
True messengers come directly from the presence of God. Their calling originates from God. They walk the path required for salvation and obtain. That’s what makes them worthy of listening to. The pattern is clear, those who enter heaven, while in the flesh, receive a message or book and are then commanded to give that message to the people. The message originates from the throne of Heaven. That’s how you distinguish a true message. It comes from God, it is His voice sounded through His messenger. The message is all the authority that these messengers need. Because God Himself has testified to them in the presence of His angels. That’s the spirit of prophecy or the testimony of Jesus. From Him to the messenger. That’s the pattern played out in scripture over and over again.
That’s why the need to hearken to the WORDS. Nephi emphasizes this in his final discourse (2 Nephi 33). Messages from God are important, not the messengers.
Think about the temple. It’s simple. If they aren’t sent by God, from His presence, then they are just Yankee guessers.
- Prophet’s have been in the presence of God and the Angels. (1 Nephi 1:8), (1 Nephi 11:14), (Isaiah 6:1–2), (Alma 36:22), (Acts 7:55–56), (Ezekiel 1:1), (Helaman 5:45–49)
- Angels minister unto them. (3 Nephi 19:15), (2 Nephi 4:24), (3 Nephi 7:18), (Helaman 5:48), (Jacob 7:5), (Mosiah 3:2)
- They have stood in the Lord’s council. (Jeremiah 23:18)
- They have perceived and heard His word. (Jeremiah 23:18)
- They are made clean or whole. (Isaiah 6:6), (Zechariah 3:2–5), (Enos 1:5)
- They are given a new name. (Isaiah 6:6), (Zechariah 3:2–5), (Enos 1:5)
- They are clothed with a new garment. (Isaiah 6:6), (Zechariah 3:2–5), (Enos 1:5)
- The Lord makes Himself known to them in visions. (Numbers 12:6) (2 Nephi 4:23) (1 Nephi 1:8) (JS-H 1:17)
- The Lord speaks to them in dreams. (Numbers 12:6), (1 Nephi 2:1–2)
- They are given a message via a book or vision. (1 Nephi 1:11) (Rev 10:9–10) (JS-H 1:59)
- They are sent forth to preach. (Mark 3:14), (1 Nephi 1:18), (1 Nephi 11:7)
- They have power to heal sickness. (Mark 3:15), (D&C 84:67)
- They have power to cast out devils. (Mark 3:15), (D&C 84:67)
- They shall do many wonderful works. (D&C 84:66)
- In Christ’s name they shall open the eyes of the blind. (D&C 84:69)
- In Christ’s name they shall unstop the ears of the deaf. (D&C 84:69)
- In Christ’s name they shall cause the tongue of the dumb shall speak (D&C 84:70)
- If any man shall administer poison unto them it shall not hurt them. (D&C 84:71)
- The poison of a serpent shall not have power to harm them. (D&C 84:72)
- They don’t boast themselves of these things, neither speak them before the world. (D&C 84:72)
- They have a divine commission. (Hel 13:7) (Mosiah 2:2) (Mosiah 3:1–4,23)
- They are persecuted for the truth (Hel 13:24–26) (1 Ne 1:19–20)
- They are ordained by God. (Jer 1:5)
- They are commanded to speak for the Lord. (Jer 1:7)
- God reveals His secret unto them. (Amos 3:7)
- All things are made known to them by the spirit. (1 Ne 22:2)
- They teach people the consequences of sin. (2 Ne 9:48)
- God will fulfill all that is spoken by them. (3 Nephi 1:13) (D&C 42:39) (D&C 1:38)
- They speak as they are inspired by the Holy Ghost. (D&C 20:26) (Moses 6:32)
- They testify of Christ in all things. (D&C 20:26)
- They give the laws of the kingdom of God. (D&C 58:18)
- Whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture. (D&C 68:4)
- Whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be the will of the Lord. (D&C 68:4)
- Whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be the mind of the Lord. (D&C 68:4)
- Whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be the word of the Lord. (D&C 68:4)
- Whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be the voice of the Lord. (D&C 68:4)
- Whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be and the power of God unto salvation. (D&C 68:4)
- Receiving them is receiving Christ. (D&C 84:36)
- Their testimonies are offensive to others (Moses 6:37)
- They evoke fear in others because of their authority. (Moses 6:39) (John 18:4–6) (Alma 14:29)
- They walk with God. (Moses 6:39)
- They speak with Christ face to face as a man speaketh with a friend. (Gen 32:30) (Exodus 33:11) (Ether 12:39) (Moses 7:4) (Abr 3:11) (Ether 12:39)
To be continued…
I don’t know of any true prophet since Christ. For no prophet since Christ has ever kept his commandments and proven to be a true prophet, maybe not even any in the Bible. It is so rare to find a true follower of Christ, I really don’t know anyone today who really believes in Christ and follows his teachings, though most people go to church or claim they believe in Christ, but their behavior gives them away. It’s all lip service and church attendance is just too look good.
It’s sad too, for those who are really trying to follow Christ would really appreciate knowing others who are trying to do so also. It would help to have a true prophet to actually give us guidance on how to follow Christ better. So sad that there are no true prophets today or if there are they are too hard to find and not making themselves known.
I would add a few things to your great list that are critical qualifiers:
1. They never receive remuneration for their ministry: not even one senine: Alma 30: 31–34;
2. The labor with their own hands for their support: Mosiah 2: 12–14; Alma 1: 26, D&C 52: 39
3. The don’t carry purse or scrip: D&C 84:86
4. They preach the gospel in all places: in homes, on the streets, in the market places, in the synagogues–they don’t confine their preaching to formal, comfortable, premeditated situations. (like the sons of Mosiah, Paul, the apostles)
5. They don’t prepare their sermons before they deliver them. When preaching, the speak only as inspired by the Holy Ghost. Matthew 10:19; Mark 13: 11; Luke 12; 11-12; D&C 84: 85
5. They fear not men, but fear God only, and they boldly declare the word of God. (As Nephi) And they will boldly declare repentance before rulers and kings (as did Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Peter and Paul, Ammon and Aaron, Abinadi and of course Jesus)
6. They remember in all things the poor and the needy: D&C 52:40
7. The teach the commandments unto the children of men that they might also enter the rest of the Lord, or enter into His presence as they have done: Alma 13: 6, 13–30; Hebrews 5 (and numerous verses)
8. They come bearing an example and are ordained in such a manner that teaches people how to look to the Lord for redemption. Alma 13: 2
9. The diligently seek to sanctify a people that they might behold the face of God. D&C 84: 23; Exodus 19 & 20; TPJS 158-159 – Adam did this; Joseph Smith did this with his constant exhortation to have the saints make their ‘calling and election sure’, and finally with the invitation of the Lord to build the temple so He could come to the people in the temple to restore the fulness of priesthood to them, the priesthood that he had taken from them earlier: D&C 124: 28
10. They most often come among the people without recognizable priestly authority as Isaiah, Lehi, Amos, Moses, Abinadi, Paul, John the Baptist, Samuel the Lamanite, etc.
I very much appreciate your humble efforts to teach the truth and point to Christ. Bless you brother.