By T.J. Brinkerhoff
The invitation made by Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander in the priesthood session of general conference, asked members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to actively come to know, sustain and follow living prophets and apostles.
These three key elements are directed to members in order to make the word of God effective.
“To have living prophets, seers and revelators among us and not listen to them is no better than not having them at all,” he said.
First, Elder Neuenschwander suggested obtaining a knowledge of the purposes for prophetic teachers.
He declared that the role of these special witnesses is to testify to the world of the Savior, Jesus Christ and His gospel.
Their responsibility to proclaim the word of God requires that they do so with ‘clarity, authority and understanding,’ in order to provide direction in a world of increasing discord.
Secondly, Elder Neuenschwander maintained that the duty of faithful Saints is to ‘ponder and prayerfully consider what [the prophets] are teaching.’ The result will be a separation of the gospel from worldly ideals.
“The teachings of a living prophet are often contrary to the trends of the world,” Elder Neuenschwander said. “We, as Latter-day Saints… must understand that there is an expanding gulf between the standards of the world and those of the gospel and Kingdom of God, and that living prophets will always teach the standards of God.”
Thirdly, he stressed the importance of sustaining church leaders. He cited an experience from his own family and their opportunity to sustain former president of the church, Ezra Taft Benson.
He articulated that the sustaining of prophets and apostles is not confirmed only in an affirmative raise of the arm, but is manifested in ‘our courage, testimony and faith to listen to, heed and follow them.’