We have a prophet living on the earth today. This prophet is the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has the right to revelation for the entire Church. He holds “the keys of the kingdom,” meaning that he has the authority to direct the entire Church and kingdom of God on earth, including the administration of priesthood ordinances (see Matthew 16:19). No person except the chosen prophet and President can receive God’s will for the entire membership of the Church. The Lord said, “There is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred” (D&C 132:7). The President of the Church is assisted by his counselors in the First Presidency and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve, who are also prophets, seers, and revelators.
We should do those things the prophets tell us to do. President Wilford Woodruff said that a prophet will never be allowed to lead the Church astray:
“The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff , 199).
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“Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).
Many people live in darkness, unsure of God’s will. They believe that the heavens are closed and that people must face the world’s perils alone. How fortunate are the Latter-day Saints! We know that God communicates to the Church through His prophet. With grateful hearts, Saints the world over sing the hymn, “We thank thee, O God, for a prophet to guide us in these latter days” (Hymns, no. 19).
A prophet is a man called by God to be His representative on earth. When a prophet speaks for God, it is as if God were speaking (see D&C 1:38). A prophet is also a special witness for Christ, testifying of His divinity and teaching His gospel. A prophet teaches truth and interprets the word of God. He calls the unrighteous to repentance. He receives revelations and directions from the Lord for our benefit. He may see into the future and foretell coming events so that the world may be warned.
A prophet may come from various stations in life. He may be young or old, highly educated or unschooled. He may be a farmer, a lawyer, or a teacher. Ancient prophets wore tunics and carried staffs. Modern prophets wear suits and carry briefcases. What, then, identifies a true prophet? A true prophet is always chosen by God and called through proper priesthood authority (see Articles of Faith 1:5).
Latter-day Saints sustain the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles as prophets. However, when we speak of “the prophet of the Church,” we mean the President of the Church, who is President of the high priesthood.
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Our sincere prayers are always answered. Sometimes the answer may be no, because what we have asked for would not be best for us. Sometimes the answer is yes, and we have a warm, comfortable feeling about what we should do (see D&C 9:8–9). Sometimes the answer is “wait a while.” Our prayers are always answered at a time and in a way that the Lord knows will help us the most.
Sometimes the Lord answers our prayers through other people. A good friend, a husband or wife, a parent or other family member, a Church leader, a missionary—any of these individuals may be inspired to perform acts that will answer our prayers. An example of this is the experience of a young mother whose baby was injured in an accident at home. She had no way to get the baby to a doctor. She was new in the neighborhood and did not know her neighbors. The young mother prayed for help. In a few minutes, a neighbor came to the door, saying, “I had a feeling I should come and see if you needed any help.” The neighbor helped the young mother get the baby to a doctor.
Often God gives us the power to help answer our own prayers. As we pray for help, we should do all we can to bring about the things we desire.
As we live the gospel of Jesus Christ and pray always, we will have joy and happiness. “Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers” (D&C 112:10).
Additional Scriptures and Other Sources
We can pray whenever we feel the need to communicate with our Heavenly Father, whether silently or vocally. Sometimes we need to be alone where we can pour out our souls to Him (see Matthew 6:6). In addition, we can pray during our daily activities. We can pray while we are in a Church meeting, at home, walking down a path or street, working, preparing a meal, or wherever we may be and whatever we may be doing. We can pray any time of the day or night. We can pray when we are alone or when we are with other people. We can keep our Heavenly Father in our thoughts at all times (see Alma 34:27). We can “pray always” (D&C 10:5).
At times we may not feel like praying. We may be angry or discouraged or upset. At these times we should make a special effort to pray (see 2 Nephi 32:8–9).
We should each pray privately at least every night and every morning. The scriptures speak of praying morning, midday, and evening (see Alma 34:21).
We are commanded to have family prayers so that our families may be blessed (see 3 Nephi 18:21). Our Church leaders have counseled us to pray as families each morning and night.
We also have the privilege of praying to give thanks and ask a blessing on the food before each meal.
We open and close all of our Church meetings with prayer. We thank the Lord for His blessings and ask for His help so we may worship in a manner that pleases Him.
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Jesus taught, “Ye must always pray unto the Father in my name” (3 Nephi 18:19).
Prayer is one of the greatest blessings we have while we are here on earth. Through prayer we can communicate with our Heavenly Father and seek His guidance daily.
Prayer is a sincere, heartfelt talk with our Heavenly Father. We should pray to God and to no one else. We do not pray to any other being or to anything made by man or God (see Exodus 20:3–5).
Why Do We Pray?Prayer has been an important part of the gospel from the beginning of the world. An angel of the Lord commanded Adam and Eve to repent and call upon God in the name of the Son (see Moses 5:8). This commandment has never been taken away. Prayer will help us draw closer to God. All of our thoughts, our words, and our actions are influenced by our prayers.
We should pray for strength to resist the temptations of Satan and his followers (see 3 Nephi 18:15; D&C 10:5). We should pray to confess our sins to God and ask Him to forgive us (see Alma 38:14).
We should pray for the Lord’s guidance and help in our daily lives. We need to pray for our families and friends, our neighbors, our crops and our animals, our daily work, and our other activities. We should pray for protection from our enemies. (See Alma 34:17–27.)
We should pray to express love to our Heavenly Father and to feel closer to Him. We should pray to our Father to thank Him for our welfare and comfort and for all things He gives us each day (see 1 Thessalonians 5:18). We need to pray to ask our Heavenly Father for strength to live the gospel.
We should pray so we can keep on the strait and narrow path that leads to eternal life. We must pray to God, the author of all righteousness, so we may be righteous in our thoughts, words, and actions.
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Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
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Priesthood keys direct women as well as men, and priesthood ordinances and priesthood authority pertain to women as well as men.
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