The other day I was mowing my lawn and began to think of all of the latest revelations given to us by a “modern day prophet” I could think of in my life time. I could not really think of very many.
Let’s see, you have the revelation that states that you should only have 1 set of earrings and no tattoos. Then you have the re-confirmation that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world set out in “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles. Then you have the revelation that marriage should be between a man and a woman, we should have many children and homosexual relationships are bad in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”. None of these were a big surprise and already commonly believed by the members.
The big one of course was made when I was only a few months old. In that one, “all worthy male members” became eligible for the priesthood and temple blessings. Now, I’m not a rocket scientist or anything but even I could tell you that black men should have the ability to hold the same authority and positions as any other men in the LDS church. What I really find interesting about this one is the manner in which it was received. President Kimball “received” it after much prayer and meditation but then took it to 3 different levels of the priesthood leadership and had them vote on and approve the revelation before he would make the formal announcement. That sounds more like a CEO going to the Board of Directors of a major corporation to have his new business plan approved before it could be implemented. I can’t recall ever reading where the early LDS prophets had revelations voted on before they were given to the general membership. In fact, I could not see Joseph Smith and many of the early prophets putting the “revelations” they received up for a vote. What the prophet Joseph said in those days was considered concrete revelation from God and no one second guessed it.
What would have happened if there were enough people who voted against the revelation to let Blacks have the priesthood? Would that have rendered the revelation false? Could the general authorities of the church really override the prophet? If they in theory could, then would that infer that the prophet could in fact lead us astray if he did not allow others to review his revelations before they are made public?
The major question I have regarding modern day prophets is what is the point of having them if they only tell us what we already know with the use of common sense? All I hear about is how bad the world is getting and how we need a prophet to guide us who can talk to God in these troubled times but there does not appear to be much of anything coming down from on high. It seems that the church focuses on “personal revelation” because those who should be able to receive revelation for the entire church have not been able to for quite a few years now.