This post is in response to a YouTube video posted by the LDS church found here.
If prophets are such a key part of LDS theology, the current day prophet is set up as God's mouthpiece on the earth today for the whole earth. The presumption is that this status (of being the "one" prophet for the whole earth) is acceptable because the LDS church has the means and technology to potentially reach all people throughout the earth. Ok. Well, what about in past times?
The Book of Mormon is claimed to be a record of prophets, and their dealings, following a people who came from ancient Jerusalem to the American continent. The record starts out by following a man named Lehi who is claimed to be a prophet, called of God, to preach to the ancient inhabitants of Jerusalem and warn them of their pending invasion and enslavement by the Babylonians.
Since the people in Jerusalem would not listen to Lehi, he was commanded to take his family and leave the area. They eventually made their way to the American continent where the Book of Mormon proceeded to come forth as the record of that people and their history.
It is presumed that Lehi and his successors represented God as his chosen prophets throughout the history of that book.
It also could be presumed that, since the LDS church teaches that the Bible also contains words of prophets which lived in the ancient Mediterranean region, that prophets lived there until there was a falling away when the words of the Bible stopped being added to.
This would mean that there were, simultaneously, two or more prophets speaking to groups of inhabitants, in different locations of the world, based on the region that people would have access to hear them?
Is it possible that there could have been other prophets that lived in other remote regions at the same time throughout history based on the assumption that God will continue to speak to people who are isolated geographically from hearing the words imparted by His chosen prophets in different regions of the world?
If so, this lends credibility to the idea that there could be (or have been) other prophets to other peoples of the world at different times historically.
Could this explain that Buddha or Mohammed were actually prophets in their times that spoke for God to the people in the regions where they lived?
If that is possible, what should be said of their writings?
Does that mean that there could actually be other books of scripture on the planet besides the Bible and Book of Mormon?
If that is so, why is there not at least some recognition given by the LDS church of the potential for truth to be found in these other books of scripture? I know the LDS church says that there is much good in other religions and that people should bring their good from their heritage and join the LDS church. However, should people be expected to absolutely forsake their closely held religious teachings which may have come from actual prophets of God?
The whole idea of having a chosen prophet of God seems pretty ridiculous and does not stand up to any kind of scrutiny when you begin to ask what should happen when two people both claim to be true prophets of God at the same time.
The LDS church would say that God will reveal which prophet is the true prophet of God if He is sincerely asked in prayer. It is interesting that the LDS church did have to answer this very question in their own history.
After the death of Joseph Smith, several men came forward and declared that they should be Joseph's rightful successor. Each had their own ideas based on what they felt were good reasons for being such. The modern LDS church says that their leader (Brigham Young) was the "real" successor to Joseph Smith. However, each of those men that claimed a right to succession of Joseph Smith, and be recognized as the current prophet, took many followers - and those followers sustained those men as their chosen leaders (and prophets) for their churches.
In this case, at least two different people, within communication range of each other, claimed a different man to be "their" prophet and recognized that leader to be God's chosen mouthpiece for them and their mutually recognized adherents.
To this day, many of these offshoots from the original LDS church, founded by Joseph Smith, remain. To this day, each member of each of these differing churches believes that their sect's founder was the legitimate successor to Joseph Smith. Many of them will also say that they prayed and asked God whether or not their church (as informed by their chosen prophet) is the "one true church on the earth" and they will each tell you that God answered their sincere prayer to that end.
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