Thursday Thought

Braden Bell is part of the writing group I belong to, LDStoryMakers.  He’s also the author of the book, “The Road Show” and writes a blog: http://www.bradenbell.com/bradens-blog.html.    Braden graciously offered to let me use one of his posts for our blog, so I totally took him up on it.  Below is one of his posts from 04/03/2011

What I believe: A Prophet of God

Last night I had a profound experience: I heard a prophet of God speak.

I know that sounds crazy and I thought about not writing this. But this is my blog, a place for me to reflect and ponder. And that’s what I’m in the mood to do. I’m always a bit reluctant to be too personal on the blog, since I have such a wide variety of friends who visit–different ages, faiths, political beliefs–still, I suppose it’s my blog, so I can be reflective when I choose.

One of the distinctive beliefs (I think it’s unique, actually, but am not positive) of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka the Mormons) is that God speaks to the earth through prophets again–just as in ancient times with Moses and Elijah and John the Baptist and Peter.

When I became old enough to really understand the boldness of that claim, and mature enough to be aware of all of the implications, I was stunned. I realize that is a pretty big claim to make. It’s not very safe. Such a claim inevitably brings derision, accusations of mental illness, and an incredible amount of pressure. People will expect an awful lot from someone who says they are a prophet. That is true both of the prophet, as well as of those who follow the prophet. I realize it is an immense–some would say insane–claim to make.

But before writing me off as either crazy, consider: why wouldn’t God send prophets today. And, perhaps Braden is crazy–but what if he’s not? Would it be valuable to know that? (If you find yourself curious, feel free to learn more at Mormons.org it’s a very non-threatening, easy way to do so.)

I’ve always found a quiet, internal logic to this claim. If one accepts the Bible and accepts that God used to speak to the world through prophets, then there is a question: why have things changed? Goodness knows that life is much more complicated than it was back in those days. Surely God didn’t just get tired or bored? Does He just love us less now?

I’ve always found that point compelling. It seems logical to me that God would not leave us without living guidance in our day.

But logic and reason aside, there is something deeper–something inside my soul.

Last night I heard a man speak–the man that members of my church believe is a prophet. And as I heard him speak, a spark ignited in my soul. I knew, deep down, that what I was hearing was true, and that it was coming to me through a prophet.

It wasn’t that the content was unique or radical or even new. He spoke about marriage–to the young men about preparing for marriage, and for those who were married, being good husbands. Most people of any faith,  would probably agree with much of what he said on the merits, without acknowledging anything special. (Cool! I just realized I could link a video of his talk).

But for me, it wasn’t the content as much as the source. I heard and just knew in my soul: This is a prophet. Follow him. That was last night, but the feeling continues this morning. A deep and profound peace and knowledge, rooted in the soil of my soul. I feel comfort and surety washing over me in waves, and I know this in an elemental way, the same way I know that God lives and loves me, the same way I know I love my wife and children–it’s something in my core.

In a world as topsy-turvy as ours, I find great comfort and joy in knowing that there is a safe channel, a place I can tune to hear God’s word, to find safety and peace for myself and my family.

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