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Prophet seer & revelations

Prophet, seer, and revelator


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Prophet, seer, and revelator is an ecclesiastical title used in the Latter Day Saint movement. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) is the largest denomination of the
movement, and it currently applies the terms to the members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. In the past, it has also been applied to the Presiding
Patriarch of the church and the Assistant President of the Church. Other sects and denominations of the movement also use these terms.
Contents
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1Origin of the phrase
2Meanings of the terms
3Current usage within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
4See also
5Notes
6References
7External links
Origin of the phrase[edit]
The phrase "prophet, seer, and revelator" is derived from a number of revelations received by the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, Joseph Smith. The first revelationreceived
by Smith after the organization of the Church of Christ on April 6, 1830, declared that "there shall be a record kept among you; and in it [Smith] shalt be called a seer, a translator, a
prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church through the will of God the Father, and the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ".[1] In 1835, Smith further clarified the role of
the President of the Church, "to preside over the whole church, and ... to be a seer, a revelator, a translator, and a prophet".[2] In 1841, Smith recorded a revelation that again restated
these roles: "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."[3] In 1836, at the dedication of the Kirtland
Temple, approximately one year after Smith organized the church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, he instructed that the members of the First Presidency and the apostles should also
be accepted by the church as prophets, seers, and revelators:
I 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.
... I then called upon the quorums and congregation of Saints, to acknowledge the Twelve, 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.[4]
Later, Smith further confirmed that people other than the President of the Church may hold these titles. For example, in 1841, a revelation described the role of Smith's brother Hyrum
Smith as Assistant President of the Church: "And from this time forth I appoint unto him that he may be a prophet, and a seer, and a revelator unto my church, as well as my servant
Joseph".[5]
Meanings of the terms[edit]
The words prophet, seer, and revelator have separate and distinct meanings within the Latter Day Saint movement. LDS Church apostle John A. Widtsoe described the meanings of the
terms and the differences between them:[6]
A prophet is a teacher. That is the essential meaning of the word. He teaches the body of truth, the gospel, revealed by the Lord to man; and under inspiration explains it to the
understanding of the people. He is an expounder of truth. Moreover, he shows that the way to human happiness is through obedience to God's law. He calls to repentance those who
wander away from the truth. He becomes a warrior for the consummation of the Lords purposes with respect to the human family. The purpose of his life is to uphold the Lord's plan of
salvation. All this he does by close communion with the Lord, until he is "full of power by the spirit of the Lord." (Micah 3:8; see also D&C 20:26; 34:10; 43:16)
The teacher must learn before he can teach. Therefore in ancient and modern times there have been schools of the prophets, in which the mysteries of the kingdom have been taught to
men who would go out to teach the gospel and to fight the battles of the Lord. These "prophets" need not be called to an office; they go out as teachers of truth, always and everywhere.
A prophet also receives revelations from the Lord. These may be explanations of truths already received, or new truths not formerly possessed by man. Such revelations are always
confined to the official position held. The lower will not receive revelations for the higher office.
In the course of time the word "prophet" has come to mean, perhaps chiefly, a man who receives revelations, and directions from the Lord. The principal business of a prophet has
mistakenly been thought to foretell coming events, to utter prophecies, which is only one of the several prophetic functions.
In the sense that a prophet is a man who receives revelations from the Lord, the titles "seer and revelator" merely amplify the larger and inclusive meaning of the title "prophet." Clearly,
however, there is much wisdom in the specific statement of the functions of the prophet as seer and revelator, as is done in the conferences of the Church.
A seer is one who sees with spiritual eyes. He perceives the meaning of that which seems obscure to others; therefore he is an interpreter and clarifier of eternal truth. He foresees the
future from the past and the present. This he does by the power of the Lord operating through him directly, or indirectly with the aid of divine instruments such as the Urim and
Thummim. In short, he is one who sees, who walks in the Lord's light with open eyes. (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 8:15-17)
A revelator makes known, with the Lord's help, something before unknown. It may be new or forgotten truth, or a new or forgotten application of known truth to mans need. Always,