~by Brenda

Mormon prophets speak at general conferenceI believe that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. There is a scripture that comes to mind when I think of President Monson. In James 1:27 we read, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” President Monson practices pure religion as James describes. I feel that I do not have to know President Monson personally to know that he is a prophet of God. The feelings I have when I hear him speak at General Conference or read his articles in church magazines have given me the opportunity to obtain a witness of his divine calling. When I hear the prophet speak in an official capacity, I take time to ponder, pray and receive confirmation of his message. I treat that confirmation as the will and word of the Lord.

Prior to President Monson, the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and our former prophet was Gordon B. Hinckley. He was our prophet for many, many years. He was sharp and funny, and I felt love pouring out of him every time he spoke to or of the members of our church. When President Hinckley died on January 27, 2008, I mourned. I keenly felt his loss, like I had lost a family member.

Photo courtesy of LDS Newsroom

In March of 2008, I visited some family who live in Salt Lake City for Easter. While there, my family went the Salt Lake cemetery to visit President Hinckley’s grave site. As we drove up the winding paths of the Salt Lake Cemetery, we saw President George Albert Smith’s monument, President David O Mckay’s, President Ezra Taft Benson’s, President Kimball’s and other church leaders’ grave sites. When we got out of our car at President Hinckley’s monument what struck me first was how simple it was and the simplicity was beautiful. President Hinckley’s wife of 67 years, Marjorie Hinckley, had died 4 years prior, and inscribed on the Hinckley tombstone near her name were the words, “Beloved eternal companion.”

Next, I noticed the large number of fresh flower arrangements lovingly placed near his tombstone. There was one arrangement that really stood out. It was an enormous brightly colored spray in all spring flowers that was propped up against President Hinckley’s tombstone. From the radiantly fresh look of the flowers they looked as if they had only arrived the day before. Under the flower arrangement there was a large sign that read, “To President Hinckley. He loved us and we loved him. From the saints in Japan.” I’d like to thank the saints [church members, as in “Latter-day Saints”] in Japan for making my mascara run that Easter Sunday and for giving me another reason to thank God for a prophet.

In the year 2000 President Hinckley, along with Thomas S. Monson and all other living Apostles wrote a document entitled The Living Christ wherein they testified of  the divinity of Jesus Christ.  I love this document, as it is evidence of these men doing their prophetic and apostolic duties to be witnesses of Jesus Christ. I do not worship the living or past prophets, but by following their words and examples I have come closer to my Savior Jesus Christ. I am thankful that God speaks and makes His will known again today, as He did anciently, through living prophets and apostles.

Next weekend is our semiannual General Conference. President Thomas S. Monson will be presiding and speaking. I invite you to join me, and listen to a Prophet’s voice online, on TV, or at a local LDS building (look for a crowded parking lot!).

You can watch a live broadcast on the internet here or here.

If you have Satellite TV whose package includes the BYU channel, you can watch General Conference on October 3rd and 4th, 2009 starting at 10 am Mountain Time.

Or, If you would like to listen to a live radio broadcast of General Conference over the Internet, please visit The Mormon Channel.

To listen to and view a live broadcast of General Conference at a local Latter-day Saint meetinghouse, you can find the nearest building in your area.