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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

MMM Sermons: "Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet"



by Saint Mark (bio)

MMM Note: This sermon, given by Ezra Taft Benson at BYU in 1980, is somewhat controversial. While many general authorities were supportive of the sermon's message, Spencer W. Kimball's biographer noted the prophet, "felt concern about the talk, wanting to protect the Church against being misunderstood as espousing ultraconservative politics or an unthinking ‘follow the leader’ mentality." For alternative views to Saint Mark's, check out excellent posts from J. Stapley (part 1 &  part 2) and Mark Brown, as well as the extensive comments on each post.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints call them "talks," but most non-Christians call them sermons. This is a series of sermons that many Latter-day Saints love and believe. I hope these sermons promote and perfect your faith as they do mine.

Read the sermon here.

Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7) For the Lord has 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 fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." (D&C 1:38)

Multiple times each year, we Latter-day Saints raise our hands to the square and sustain the Lord's servants, the Prophet and the Twelve Apostles, as "prophets, seers, and revelators" for our time. In raising our hands in the affirmative, we sustain the Prophet and Apostles as mouthpieces of God, as His oracles on the earth and covenant that we will obey and support their counsel. “'For members of the Church, sustaining Church officers is not a passive act of casting a vote,' says Elder [Marlin K.] Jensen [of the Seventy]. 'Sustaining in a solemn assembly [and other church conferences] indicates a willingness to offer continued faith, prayers, and support for the new Church President'” For it is better to be a sheep and follow the Prophet (whether "blind" like Adam or Nephi or whether "knowledgeable" like Moses or Joseph Smith) than to be a goat and abandon the Prophet (John 10:24-28; Matthew 25:31-46).

This sermon, given by the late Prophet, Ezra Taft Benson, expands this viewpoint and expresses the fundamentals in following the Prophet. President Benson gave this address on February 26, 1980 at BYU while he was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Because this particular sermon has been referenced multiple times recently (by Claudio Costa of the Presidency of the Seventy and Kevin Duncan of the Seventy), I believe it to be extremely pertinent to us today in deciding whether or not we will follow the Prophet.

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