The Bible speaks of prophets, both true, and false. In Amos 3:7 we are taught "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." But in Matt. 24:11 we are taught, "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many." In these last days, the chance of having false prophets increases. We go on to learn in Matthew 24:24 "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." If God will do nothing in our day without revealing his secret unto his servants the prophets, then how are we to know which prophets are real, and which prophets are false?
I have posted a talk by Elder Hugh B. Brown in the past, but I would like to just outline here some points he gave on how to determine whether or not a person is a true prophet.
A. He will boldly claim that God [has] spoken to him.
B. Any man so claiming would be a dignified man with a dignified message; no table-jumping, no whisperings from the dead, no clairvoyance, but an intelligent statement of truth.
C. Any man claiming to be a prophet of God would declare his message without any fear and without making any weak concessions to public opinion.
D. If he were speaking for God, he could not make concessions although what he taught would be new and contrary to the accepted teachings of the day. A prophet bears witness to what he has seen and heard and seldom tries to make a case by argument. His message and not himself is important.
E. Such a man would speak in the name of the Lord, saying, “Thus saith the Lord,” as did Moses, Joshua, and others.
F. Such a man would predict future events in the name of the Lord, and they would come to pass, as did Isaiah and Ezekiel.
G. He would have not only an important message for his time but often a message for all future time, such as Daniel, Jeremiah, and others had.
H. He would have courage and faith enough to endure persecution and to give his life, if need be, for the cause he espoused, such as Peter, Paul, and others did.
I. Such a man would denounce wickedness fearlessly. He would generally be rejected or persecuted by the people of his time, but later generations, the descendants of his persecutors, would build monuments in his honor.
J. He would be able to do superhuman things, things that no man could do without God’s help. The consequence or result of his message and work would be convincing evidence of his prophetic calling. “By their fruits ye shall know them” [Matt. 7:20].
K. His teachings would be in strict conformity with scripture, and his words and his writings would become scripture. “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Pet. 1:21).
As many religions of the world crumble around us, we would do well to seek out the true prophets of God and listen to their counsel. Those church leaders that allow depravity and sins that are contrary to the commandments of God are clearly not true prophets. In order for them to qualify as true prophets, they must, as listed in item K above, make their teachings conform to scripture. Prophets teach the doctrine of God, not the teachings of men.
We have a true living prophet guiding the church today. His actions, words, and guidance are in alignment with the scriptures, and the doctrine of God. He gives prophetic guidance for our day. A recent example is the guidance we received from our prophet, Thomas S. Monson about same sex marriage. He counseled us to uphold marriage between a man and a woman. While this may go against the popular ideas of the world, Pres. Monson boldly stood against these things that go against the teachings in the scriptures. Another prophetic act was the issue of the "The Family: A Proclamation to the World". This statement was issued without apology or fear. It was issued in 1998 before the marriage issue began to heat up. It contains such doctrine as "All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose." and "We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan." Who can doubt but that this guidance was both timely and inspired? But those who do doubt can study Pres. Monson's teachings, then pray to God to know if he is a true prophet. I have done this, and I know he is God's mouthpiece today.