Where does one turn to satisfy an intense spiritual appetite or quench a spiritual thirst? Nephi concluded his record with the promise that when we "feast upon the words of Christ ..., the words of Christ will tell (us) all things that (we) should do" (2 Nephi 32:3). The Savior told the woman at the well, "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14). The Lord provides access to the words of Christ - to those living waters - through his servants the prophets.
Since the earliest days of the Restoration, the Latter-day Saints have come to appreciate how the Lord communicates his word to the people through those sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators. He said, "What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulflled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same" (D&C 1:38; emphasis added).
One of the chief missions of a prophet is to teach truth. Elder John A. Widstoe observed, "A prophet is a teacher. That is the essential meaning of the word. He teaches the body of truth, the gospel, revealed by the Lord to man."
The mantle to authoritatively expound the gospel message rests primarily on fifteen chosen men - the prophets, seers, and revelators of the Church. Appointed by revelation, they fulfill a unique charge on the earth. President J. Reuben Clark Jr. described their responsibility: "Some of the General Authorities have had assigned to them a special calling; they possess a special gift; they are sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators, which gives them a special spiritual endowment in connection with their teaching of the people. They have the right, the power, and authority to declare the mind and will of God to his people, subject to the over-all power and authority of the President of the Church."
For the past thirty-five years, the Religious Studies Center at Brigham Young University has published landmark scholarship on Latter-day Saint scripture, doctrine, history, and culture. During that time, more than seventy significant essays by General Authorities have appeared in its collection of publications. This book contains selections from those works authored by prophets, seers, and revelators.
President James E. Faust encouraged, "I hope that we will always hunger and thirst for the word of the Lord through His servants, the prophets, and that we may be filled."
Table of Contents
Part 1 Teaching
1. How to Communicate Effectively President Thomas S. Monson
2. We Must Raise Our Sights President Henry B. Eyring
3. The Church in a Cross-Cultural World President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
4. Four Fundamentals for Those Who Teach and Inspire Youth Elder Richard G. Scott
5. Four Imperatives for Religious Educators President Gordon B. Hinckley
6. The Foolishness of Teaching Elder Bruce R. McConkie
Part 2 Learning
7. The One Pure Defense President Boyd K. Packer
8. Revelation Elder Dallin H. Oaks
9. The Journey of Lifelong Learning Elder Robert D. Hales
10. Rending the Veil of Unbelief Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
11. Seek Learning by Faith Elder David A. Bednar
Part 3 Scripture
12. Remnants Gathered, Covenants Fulfilled Elder Russell M. Nelson
13. "Always Remember Him" Elder D. Todd Christofferson
14. "A Surety of a Better Testament" President James E. Faust
15. The Book of Mormon: A Great Answer to "The Great Question" Elder Neal A. Maxwell
- Size: 6x9
- Pages: 272
- Published: 2010
About the Authors
RICHARD NEITZEL HOLZAPFEL is a professor of Church history and doctrine and publication director for the Religious Studies Center at Brigham Young University. He received a B.A. from BYU, completed graduate studies in Jewish history at Hebrew Union College, and earned a Ph.D. in ancient history at the University of California, Irvine. He has published many articles and essays on LDS and ancient history in academic and Church-oriented publications. He is the author or co-author of several books and articles, including Jesus Christ and the World of the New Testament and, most recently, Jehovah and the World of the Old Testament. He and his wife, Jeni Broberg Holzapfel, have five children and two grandchildren and reside in Springville, Utah.