Friday, July 11, 2014

Early references to prophets, seers, and revelators

“And Ammon said that a seer is a revelator and a prophet also; and a gift which is greater can no man have, except he should possess the power of God, which no man can; yet a man may have great power given him from God” (Mosiah 8:16).

“And again, the duty of the President of the office of the High Priesthood is to preside over the whole church, and to be like unto Moses—Behold, here is wisdom; yea, to be a seer, a revelator, a translator, and a prophet, having all the gifts of God which he bestows upon the head of the church” (D&C 107:91-2).

“And from this time forth I appoint unto him [Hyrum Smith] that he may be a prophet, and a seer, and a revelator unto my church, as well as my servant Joseph” (D&C 124:94).

“I give unto you my servant Joseph to be a presiding elder over all my church, to be a translator, a revelator, a seer, and prophet” (D&C 124:125).

“I then made a short address, and called upon the several quorums, and all the congregation of Saints, to acknowledge the Presidency as Prophets and Seers, and uphold them by their prayers. They all covenanted to do so, by rising. I then called upon the quorums and congregation of Saints to acknowledge the Twelve Apostles, who were present, as Prophets, Seers, Revelators, and special witnesses to all the nations of the earth, holding the keys of the kingdom, to unlock it, or cause it to be done, among them, and uphold them by their prayers, which they assented to by rising” (Joseph Smith, HC 2:417).

“My knowledge is, if you will follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and his Apostles, as recorded in the New Testament, every man and woman will be put in possession of the Holy Ghost; every person will become a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and an expounder of truth. They will know things that are, that will be, and that have been. They will understand things in heaven, things on the earth, and things under the earth, things of time, and things of eternity, according to their several callings and capacities” (Brigham Young, JD 1:243).

“Hence the Twelve have so ordained patriarchs, as Hyrum Smith. But inquires one, should the Twelve ordain Prophets, Seers and Revelators? Yes. Were they not appointed in the Kirtland Temple, in the year 1836, after its dedication by the voice of Joseph, and the First Presidency, and the united voice of the Church to be Prophets, Seers and Revelators to the people? Yes. Then they could ordain such; or in other words they could set apart such to these duties. They could set apart Patriarchs, to such an office as brother Hyrum Smith held, when he was taken out of the First Presidency and placed in the Patriarchal office” (Orson Pratt, JD 19:114).

“You voted yesterday that the Twelve should be Prophets, Seers, and Revelators” (John Taylor, JD 19:124).

“You have just voted to sustain the Twelve Apostles as Prophets, Seers, and Revelators” (Charles C. Rich, JD 19:163).

“[T]he time will come when this people will become more fully revelators, and Prophets, and Seers themselves, and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of God” (Orson Pratt, JD 19:219).

“We sustain our brethren of the twelve, as prophets, seers, and revelators; and I have heard it remarked by some brethren, that they could not see any need of doing so, and that holding up their hands does not make those men prophets, seers and revelators. That is true enough as far as it goes. But by sustaining these brethren in our customary way, we manifest to God and the powers behind the veil, who work with the brethren in the flesh, that we are willing to receive any revelation that the higher powers may see fit to communicate through them in that capacity. We have a great deal of principle and doctrine given to us through the means of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, etc., with which we ought to make ourselves thoroughly familiar. At the same time we have men presiding over us in this Church through whom the word of the Lord will come in our present circumstances for our guidance and for the guidance of the whole Church in its onward march, as the exigencies of the case may require. And when we lift up our hands to heaven to sustain them, we manifest that we hold ourselves in readiness to receive the word of the Lord whenever he sees fit to impart it to us. They are the legal channels; they are the appointed receptacles to receive the words of the Lord for us as an organized body; and by lifting up our hands to heaven in this way, we show to God and to angels, that we are ready at any time, if the Lord has a word of revelation to communicate to us, to receive it” (Orson Pratt, JD 21:47).

“Here, my brethren and sisters, you are upholding the quorum of the Twelve twice a year in General Conference, besides doing so at your quarterly conference, as prophets, seers and revelators, and you pray for them twice a day, and perhaps oftener, and should it be anything very strange if they should receive a revelation? How strange, indeed! There are in this Church some six thousand seventies, and four thousand high priests, and four thousand elders, who hold the Melchizedek priesthood, which is after the order of the Son of God, besides many thousands of priests holding the Aaronic priesthood, and I would like to ask, if it was wrong to desire revelation? What business have we with this priesthood, if we have not power to receive revelation? What is the priesthood given for? If we do not have revelation, it is because we do not live as we should live, because we do not magnify our priesthood as we ought to; if we did we would not be without revelation, none would be barren or unfruitful” (Wilford Woodruff, JD 21:298).

“This failure to realize all the blessings and powers of the Priesthood does not apply to the elders and lesser Priesthood only; but it applies to the higher quorums, and comes home to ourselves, who are Apostles of Jesus Christ. We are presented before the Church, and sustained as prophets, seers and revelators, and we have received oftentimes the gift of prophecy and revelation, and have received many great and glorious gifts. But have we received the fullness of the blessings to which we are entitled? No, we have not. Who, among the Apostles have become seers, and enjoy all the gifts and powers pertaining to that calling? Still it is our privilege to become prophets, seers and revelators, for these blessings were promised us through the Prophet Joseph, in the year 1836. Now I don’t think many of us have attained to these gifts, but it is not the fault of the Almighty, but the fault is in ourselves. And can they be realized by us? Certainly they can, if we are faithful in seeking for them” (Orson Pratt, JD 25:145).

“Men that are the heads of families need now to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to be Prophets, Seers and Revelators to their families, to their kindred and to those that are around them” (Franklin D. Richards, JD 26:166).