Some months back I put a poll on this blog asking the question, "Does God speak today?". Most people who answered the question, agreed that God does in fact speak today. Now I know that we can all receive answers to our prayers. I have had countless prayers answered. I use the word "countless" for good reason; I can't begin to number the answers I've received because they are so numerous. I know that God will answer all who pray to Him in faith. In that way, God does speak today. But I want to discuss the bigger picture. Here are some questions I would like you to consider:
--If God had something He wanted to tell His believers today, how would he tell them? There are many believers, in many religions throughout the world. If, for example, He wanted to add a new commandment, or warn us of a present day situation, how would He tell us?
--Which church or organization would He work through? Would He go to the leaders of each separate church? Who within that church would he speak to? For example, the Baptist church in America is quite large and strong. But who would God speak to if He wanted to give a message to the entire "Baptist religion"? Or would he go to the President of the United States. How would God get the message out to the world?
--I asked if God speaks today. My next question is, "When was the last time God spoke to His believers, and what did He say?"
--If God does speak today, then why are there so many different Christian religions with differing beliefs?
I can answer all of these questions with one point of doctrine. God does speak today, as He did in days of old. God gives modern day guidance for modern situations. God does have a pattern for how to communicate with His people. This pattern was set up long ago. In the Old Testament, Amos asks us some rhetorical questions. He asks, "Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey?", and "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" He asks some common sense rhetorical questions, and then he says, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." Amos 3:7 From Adam, to Abraham, to Isaac, to Moses, to Isaiah, and on through time, God has spoken through prophets to lead and direct His people. The Prophet can then communicate God's will to the church. We have a living Prophet today, even Thomas S. Monson. This is the pattern that was set up in olden times, and that we follow today. Like Moses of old, Pres. Monson can receive revelation, and within minutes can communicate that message to the church as a whole. Joseph Smith was also a prophet, as were those who succeeded him in these modern days. Through them, the work of building up the kingdom of God on the earth is going forward like a stone cut out of the mountain without hands that rolls until it fills the earth. As the Prophet Joseph Smith once said, "The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done” (History of the Church, 4:540). We do have a living Prophet today who stands at the head of God's church. He is the watchman on the tower. "7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me." Ezekial 33:7 This is the work of a Prophet. I am thankful that we have a living prophet today.