David Moore, associate dean of academic affairs and research at the J. Reuben Clark Law School, addressed students on the importance of following the prophet at the August 2, 2016 devotional.
Moore compared modern-day prophets with the ancient watchmen on watchtowers in Israel. The job of a watchman was to detect any threats before they were visible from the ground. Just as ancient watchmen were able to protect cities from any danger, Moore explained that the prophets and apostles do the same for members of the church today.
He explained that prophets and apostles bring knowledge of eternal perspectives to everyone as special witnesses of Christ. Not only do prophets share their knowledge of Christ, but they bear testimony of Christ through their actions.
“The prophets have a worldwide stewardship, but they bear witness of the Lord Jesus Christ by serving as his ministers to bless individuals,” Moore said.
Prophets also serve as seers and revelators to help members of the church, according to Moore.
“The prophetic gift of seership is evident in the Word of Wisdom and the Family Proclamation,” Moore said.
Because of this, the Lord’s seers foresaw health hazards such as tobacco long before scientists began to study its harmful effects. Moore said the prophets also affirmed the eternal nature of genders before the concept of gender came under attack.
“As prophets, seers and revelators, members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles help us to see and understand in ways we could not on our own,” Moore said.
Moore said the prophets will not only guide, but will also help bring change into the lives of others.
“Exercising faith in the words of the prophets can work a mighty change in our hearts,” Moore said. “After participating in General Conference, I have felt a change of heart, a feeling of being sanctified, a desire to do better than I have done.”
Moore said those feelings come from exercising the words of the prophets.
Heeding the words of the prophets helps members become converted. However, Moore said one cannot be truly converted until he or she has gained a testimony of the divine calling and role of prophets. For some, it is not easy to have a testimony about the prophets.
Moore warned students that rejecting the words of the prophet will make their lives difficult.
“Those who refuse to learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat it,” Moore said in reference to following the words of ancient prophets.
Moore promised students they can learn what happens to those who reject the prophets from the history in the scriptures.
“In light of this history, it is no wonder that the Beatitudes do not say, ‘Blessed are those who persecute the prophets,’ but, ‘Blessed are ye when ye are persecuted as were the prophets,'” Moore said.
Even though life is difficult, Moore assured students that following the prophets and having a steady foundation in Christ will protect them in perilous times.
“We will not find that foundation if we are not watchful, nor can we build upon the foundation of the Savior if we reject or neglect ‘his servants the prophets,'” Moore said.