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Why Does the Mormon Church Ignore Jesus’ Role as Prophet of God’s Church?

By Eric Johnson and Bill McKeever

Check out a week-long Viewpoint on Mormonism series on The Role of Revelation that aired from September 9-13, 2019 Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4  Part 5 

Mormon Apostle James Talmage once wrote:

… the Church holds itself in readiness to receive additional light and knowledge “pertaining to the Kingdom of God” through divine revelation…. We rely therefore on the teachings of the living oracles of God as of equal validity with the doctrines of the written word (The Articles of Faith, p. 7).

Modern-day revelation is of utmost importance to the Mormons because their faith is based on the premise that their church is guided by the current LDS prophet. One of the most often-cited criticisms made by Mormons against Bible-believing Christians is that Christian churches are not guided by a living prophet today. But is that true? One of the more profound messianic prophecies in the Old Testament is found in Deuteronomy 18. In this chapter, Moses warns the people to be on their guard against false prophets who proclaim themselves to be prophets of God. He predicted the coming of a prophet who would resemble himself when he said:

The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken…. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him (Deuteronomy 18:15-19).

The Jews’ willful ignorance of these passages caused the Lord to rebuke them, saying, “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me” (John 5:46). Following the miracle of the multiplied loaves and fishes, people realized that Jesus was in fact “that prophet which should come into the world” (John 6:14).  It was Moses’ prophecy mentioned in Deuteronomy 18 that caused them to draw this conclusion. The seventh chapter of John’s gospel states that, on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus said:

If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

This comment apparently rang true to the people, for John 7:40 adds that “many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.” Again, the prophet they spoke of–Jesus–was the one foretold by Moses in Deuteronomy 18.

Peter and John were used by the Lord to heal a man at the gate Beautiful. Such a miracle gained the attention of those present and, taking advantage of the situation, Peter presented a powerful sermon concerning the “Prince of life, whom God hath raised from dead” (Acts 3:15). Toward the end of his message, Peter reminded his audience:

Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people (Acts 3:22-23).

Peter’s message was clear. We must listen to the words of the prophet as prophesied by Moses. The martyr Stephen also gave reference to the Deuteronomy passage when he gave his defense to the Jews in Acts 7:37. The bodily resurrection of Christ proves that He forever lives. Jesus is the final authority. To disregard His words is to bring destruction upon oneself. This fact, coupled with the aforementioned passages, demonstrates that Christ’s church does have a living prophet guiding it today. His name is Jesus! He is to be our source of truth. As Hebrews 1:1-2 puts it,

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son.

Our Lord said in John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice.” Christ’s true sheep do not listen to the voice of false prophets. True followers of Christ readily accept the revealed Word of God which has been a time-tested truth throughout the centuries and which Jesus said “would not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). Hebrews 2:1-3 adds,

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…. 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.

It is by God’s Word, the Bible, that all things are compared, including the words of those who claim to be modern prophets.

For further research on Jesus:

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