Sometimes a single sentence or thought found in a conference talk can stand out as worthy of further study and exploration. And sometimes this can happen completely out of the context of the talk itself. I felt that way when I read a portion of Marion G. Romney’s talk entitled Caring for the Poor and Needy. This was a good talk about welfare principles and caring for those in need but the rest of the talk didn’t resonate with me in particular. But one part really did. After Elder Romney recited scriptures from the Old and New Testaments and the Book of Mormon about welfare he said: “These ancient scriptures are impressive and edifying, but it is the modern scripture by which we are bound and will be judged. It is therefore imperative that we know what these modern scriptures teach.”
As I read this, I was struck by the notion that God has given us everything we truly need to know to be disciples of Jesus Christ in modern revelation. The ancient scriptures are powerful tools of testimony and conversion. But God does not leave us to rely on his words to Moses or Mormon. He does not make us depend on ancient ambiguities, lost texts, or difficulties of translation.
One of the best examples of this is the fact that in the Doctrine and Covenants we can find a recitation of modern day versions of pretty much all of the ten commandments. Looking at D&C 42 in particular we can find a modern day iteration of these eternal commandments. But there are certain additions that are particularly suited for a contemporary audience such as the injunction to “love thy wife with all thy heart, and . . . cleave unto her and none else.” (D&C 42:22).
In our day, God once again laid down the foundation for his Church just as he did in times of old. But he has promised us that there will be no more apostasy and that the Church will remain on the earth. So the Doctrine and Covenants and other declarations from the living prophets will provide a sure foundation for our life and membership in the CHurch.
Every six months we get to hear the will of the Lord expressed for our day and time. We find the modern prophets frequently quoting from ancient prophecy and scripture. But they do not need a scriptural source or hook for their words. And modern day utterances such as the Family Proclamation are as inspired and revelatory as anything found in the Book of Mormon or New Testament.
At times, I have seen bloggers questioning the authority of the Family Proclamation and other modern day teachings by arguing that there is no clear scriptural proof for some of the teachings. These criticisms miss the point. We should be grateful that we live in a day when “those things which never have been revealed from the foundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed unto babes and sucklings in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times.” (D&C 128:18). We live in that day when truth is flooding the earth. God has given us so much more than he has ever given his people before.
So many close their eyes to these new truths and instead blindly focus on the old. This is tragic. Nephi warned that in our day people would reject modern day revelation with such an attitude.
God does not wish for us to be unsteady or uncertain in modern times. He has given us all that we need to know in order to succeed. And if we hearken to the words of the modern day prophets we cannot be led astray.