In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we often sing the hymn, “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet.”
President Gordon B. Hinckley expounded on the background of that song in a talk he gave with the same title. He said,
“It was written more than a century ago by a man of humble circumstances who lived in
How thankful we ought to be, how thankful we are, for a prophet to counsel us in words of divine wisdom as we walk our paths in these complex and difficult times. The solid assurance we carry in our hearts, the conviction that God will make His will known to His children through His recognized servants, is the real basis of our faith and activity. We either have a prophet or we have nothing; and having a prophet, we have everything.”
I believe that the last line in the quote could use further emphasis. We either have a prophet or we have nothing; and having a prophet, we have everything.”
What is the "everything" we really have?
In Amos 3:7 it is written, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”
The most important blessing we receive by having a prophet of God on the earth today is that of authority.
The Lord gives his prophets, seers, and revelators both the priesthood authority and the keys they need to act in his name. The keys are the right of presidency. President Joseph F. Smith wrote:
“It is necessary that every act performed under this authority shall be done at the proper time and place, in the proper way, and after the proper order. The power of directing these labors constitutes the keys of the Priesthood. In their fullness, the keys are held by only one person at a time, the prophet and president of the Church. He may delegate any portion of this power to another, in which case that person holds the keys of that particular labor.”
Our modern day prophet literally holds ALL the keys necessary for our salvation and exaltation concerning our progress here on earth. He is the key holder of the Aaronic Priesthood which gives him the right to administer in the ordinances of the gospel of repentance and baptism, and allow the ministering of angels. These ordinances then prepare us to receive the Melchizedek ordinances of which he also holds the keys. These Melchizedek Priesthood keys allow us to “know the mysteries of kingdom and the knowledge of God” receiving the higher ordinances of the temple.
His “right to presidency” turns all those keys on our behalf and allows us to choose to return back to the presence of our Father.
He also has been given, through the laying on of hands, the same keys that were given to Joseph Smith in the
As you can see it is evident that without a prophet we have nothing, and with him we have everything, as a people, a nation, and a church.