Chapter 11 of the Ezra Taft Benson Teachings of the Presidents of the Church manual covers the importance of following living prophets. The “from the life” section gives examples of President Benson following Church leaders in his childhood on matters such as family home evenings, and sustaining his fellow general authorities throughout his adulthood. Section one focuses on the idea that prophets are the Lord’s mouthpieces, directing the Church under divine wisdom. Section two is centered on the idea that the most important prophet at any given time is the living prophet. Section three is about the living prophet telling us what we need to know, not what we want to hear. Section four is about the promised blessings of following the prophet.
Resources for Lesson/Teaching Helps:
“We Thank Thee, O God, For a Prophet” (Hymns 19)
“Come, Listen to a Prophet’s Voice” (Hymns 21)
“We Ever Pray for Thee” (Hymns 23)
“Now We’ll Sing with One Accord” (Hymns 25)
“Follow the Prophet” (Primary Songbook)
Gift wrap two boxes. Leave one empty and put some treats in the other one. Tell the class that one of the boxes has something special in it, while the other one has nothing. Ask a volunteer to choose a box. Let the volunteer see what’s inside the box and ask the class if they want her to decide for them. They’ll say yes because she now knows what’s in both boxes. We follow the prophet because he has “seen what’s in the box” of life! He knows what choices we need to make in order to receive eternal rewards.
Gather sap from a pine tree, margarine, soap, and water. Make an instruction card with the following information: (1) grease hands liberally with butter, margarine, or solid shortening; (2) wash with soap and water. In class, ask for a volunteer. Have the volunteer put some sap on her hands (not on clothing—it doesn’t come out). Tell the volunteer to only follow part (2) of the instructions. As the volunteer does so, explain to the class the importance of following all of the directions. Discuss similar examples in cooking (leaving ingredients out, not letting bread rise, etc.). Now tell the volunteer to follow all the directions and give her the resources to do so. The sap should come off.
Joseph Smith: It is contrary to the economy of God for any member of the Church, or any one, to receive instructions for those in authority, higher than themselves; therefore you will see the impropriety of giving heed to them; but if any person have a vision or a visitation from a heavenly messenger, it must be for his own benefit and instruction; for the fundamental principles, government, and doctrine of the Church are vested in the keys of the kingdom.
Now for persons to do things, merely because they are advised to do them, and yet murmur all the time they are doing them, is of no use at all; they might as well not do them. There are those who profess to be Saints who are too apt to murmur, and find fault, when any advice is given, which comes in opposition to their feelings, even when they, themselves, ask for counsel; much more so when counsel is given unasked for, which does not agree with their notion of things; but brethren, we hope for better things from the most of you; we trust that you desire counsel, from time to time, and that you will cheerfully conform to it, whenever you receive it from a proper source.
We are differently situated from any other people that ever existed upon this earth; consequently those former revelations cannot be suited to our conditions; they were given to other people, who were before us; but in the last days, God was to call a remnant, in which was to be deliverance, as well as in Jerusalem and Zion [see Joel 2:32]. Now if God should give no more revelations, where will we find Zion and this remnant?
John Taylor: Adam’s revelation did not instruct Noah to build his ark; nor did Noah’s revelation tell Lot to forsake Sodom; nor did either of these speak of the departure of the children of Israel from Egypt. These all had revelations for themselves.
B. H. Roberts: While the servants of God, chosen as presidents, apostles, and other leaders of the great New Dispensation movement, carried heavenly treasures in their hands and high truths, yet they bore these in earthen vessels, liable at times to be broken and the heavenly treasures marred.
It must be said of those entrusted with this great mission of God that they were not always 100 percent perfect and right in their administration. Neither were those who fought them always and every time 100 percent wrong. Even in the divine things human frailty touches them or enters into their development and are liable to take on human limitations and uncertainties.
Let not this remark, however, be regarded as implying too great a censure upon the leading men of the New Dispensation. While many of them fell into grievous sins, and all of them at times plainly manifested errors of judgment and limitations in their conceptions of the greatness and grandeur of the work in which they were engaged, yet doubtless they were the best men to be had for the work, since they were chosen either directly of God, or else by a divinely appointed authority, and in either case called of God, and ordained to bring forth the work.
I want to warn members of the Church against speaking lightly or slightingly of sacred things, or of the servants of God. In nothing, perhaps, can you more offend God or grieve his Spirit. . . . Remember, we live under the law of God.—Speak no evil of mine anointed; do my prophets no harm. And remember always that whatever the weakness and the imperfections of men may be, whatever weaknesses they may have manifested before the Church in the past, or may manifest before it in the future (for the end is not yet), their weaknesses and imperfections affect not the truth that God has revealed. The Lord will vindicate his truth, and at the last it will be found that,
‘Tis no avail to bargain, sneer, and nod,
And shrug the shoulder for reply to God.
M. Russell Ballard: It is no small thing, my brothers and sisters, to have a prophet of God in our midst. … When we hear the counsel of the Lord expressed through the words of the President of the Church, our response should be positive and prompt. History shows that there is safety, peace, prosperity, and happiness in responding to prophetic counsel as did Nephi of old: ‘I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded’ (1 Nephi 3:7).
Harold B. Lee: Soon after President David O. McKay announced to the Church that members of the First Council of the Seventy were being ordained high priests in order to extend their usefulness and to give them authority to act when no other General Authority could be present, a seventy I met … was very much disturbed. He said to me, “Didn’t the Prophet Joseph Smith say that this was contrary to the order of heaven to name high priests as presidents of the First Council of the Seventy?” And I said, “Well, I have understood that he did, but have you ever thought that what was contrary to the order of heaven in 1840 might not be contrary to the order of heaven in 1960?” He had not thought of that. He again was following a dead prophet, and he was forgetting that there is a living prophet today. Hence the importance of our stressing that word living.
Years ago as a young missionary I visited Nauvoo and Carthage with my mission president, and we were holding a missionary meeting in the jail room where Joseph and Hyrum had met their deaths. The mission president related the historical events that led up to the martyrdom and then he closed with this very significant statement: “When the Prophet Joseph Smith was martyred, there were many saints who died spiritually with Joseph.” So it was when Brigham Young died: so it was when John Taylor died. … Some Church members died spiritually with Wilford Woodruff, with Lorenzo Snow, with Joseph F. Smith, with Heber J. Grant, with George Albert Smith. We have some today willing to believe someone who is dead and gone and to accept his words as having more authority than the words of a living authority today.
Come Unto Christ
A somewhat popular joke that I have heard before from both Mormons and Catholics (with roles reversed, depending on who’s telling it) goes that the pope’s secretary enters his office one day and tells the pope: “I have good news and bad news.”
“Well, what’s the good news?” the pope asked.
“We just got a phone call—the Second Coming is happening and Jesus Christ is on the line.”
“That’s wonderful! What bad news could there be with that?”
“He’s calling from Salt Lake City.”
In the LDS Church we focus a lot of on following the prophets and apostles with emphasis on the idea that they are special witnesses of Christ. Often times, the reasoning is that in order to be special witnesses, they have to have had an experience or opportunity that sets them apart as special in some way that makes their witness of Christ more powerful than the average person. The assumption is often that they have personally met Christ during this life and possibly talk with him often, but the experiences are too sacred to share in public. The exaggerated, caricature version of this is that Church members think Christ has a personal phone line to the holy of holies in the Salt Lake Temple that He calls the prophet on regularly.
I believe that it is accurate to state that the men we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators receive revelation on a regular basis. I don’t believe, however that they have regular, personal interviews with Christ, though that does occur once in a while. To explain that statement, I would like to dive into the historical record.
Joseph Smith left a number of experiences where he met with Christ or saw Christ on record. The First Vision, the stunning revelation of the Three Degrees of Glory (often simply referred to as “the Vision”), and the appearance of Christ in the Kirtland Temple stand out as particularly well-known and powerful experiences of this sort. Joseph Smith also did not desire to be alone in meeting Christ—he spent his life trying to bring people into the presence of the Lord. For example, in speaking of ancient prophets, he taught:
This is why Abraham blessed his posterity: He wanted to bring them into the presence of God. They looked for a city, &c. Moses sought to bring the children of Israel into the presence of God, through the power of the Priesthood, but he could not. In the first ages of the world they tried to establish the same thing—& there were Elias’s raised up who tried to restore these very glories but did not obtain them. But (Enoch did for himself & those that were with Him, but not for the world.) they prophesied of a day when this Glory would be revealed.—Paul spoke of the Dispensation of the fulness of times, when God would gather together all things in one &c &.
Since he indicated that he was establishing the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times, it seems that he intended to succeed where past prophets had failed. As such, Kathleen Flake—an important Mormon historian—noted that “Joseph Smith was the Henry Ford of revelation. He wanted every home to have one, and the revelation he had in mind was the revelation he’d had, which was seeing God.”
This urge to usher people into the presence of God and of Christ appears a number of times in the Doctrine and Covenants—particularly in relation to the Melchizedek priesthood and temple experiences. In fact, Dr. Richard Lyman Bushman (the foremost expert on Joseph Smith at the moment) has suggested that the particular “endowment of power” Joseph expected to be associated with the Kirtland Temple was a general appearance of Christ to the Saints to enable them to all testify more powerfully about the Savior while on missions. Further, Church leaders did indeed indicate that this was the goal of the apostles as “special witnesses of Christ.” Oliver Cowdery gave the Twelve a charge along these lines shortly after their ordination in 1835:
You have been indebted to other men in the first instance for evidence [of God’s existence, and] on that you have acted. But it is necessary that you receive a testimony from Heaven for yourselves, so that you can bear testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon. And that you have seen the face of God; that is more than the testimony of an Angel. When the proper time arrives you shall be able to bear this testimony to the world. When you bear testimony that you have seen God. This testimony God will never suffer to fall, but will bear you out. Although many will not give heed, yet others will. You will, therefore see the necessity of getting this testimony from heaven. Never cease striving until you have seen God, face to face. Strengthen your faith, cast off your doubts, your sins and all your unbelief and nothing can prevent you from coming to God. Your ordination is not full and complete till God has laid his hand upon you. We require as much to qualify us as did those who have gone before us. God is the same. If the Saviour in former days laid his hands upon his deciples. Why not in the latter Days.
There were some successes in this endeavor. Visions and appearances of God in the Kirtland area that have been documented number at least into the teens and took place in at least four different sites. Unfortunately, I don’t have a list of which, if any, of the men called into the Quorum of the Twelve in Joseph Smith’s time took place in any of those experiences.
There are a number of apostles and presidents of the Church who we have record of having visions or meeting with Christ since the time of Joseph Smith. The Savior appeared to Wilford Woodruff after the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple to accept the temple, Lorenzo Snow met with the Savior in the Salt Lake Temple after Wilford Woodruff’s death, George Q. Cannon stated that “I know that Jesus lives; for I have seen Him,” Elder Orson F. Whitney spoke of dream-vision where he saw and talked with the Christ while serving a mission as a young man, Elder Melvin J. Ballard also had an experience of meeting with Christ while presiding over a mission, President Hugh B. Brown told his nephew that the Lord appeared to him in an informal manner to offer comfort towards the end of his life, and David B. Haight had a lengthy vision of the Savior’s ministry during a serious illness. Other modern apostles and prophets have said things that could be taken to mean that they have seen or met the Christ, but are more cryptic than George Q. Cannon’s straightforward statement. For example, President Boyd K. Packer has stated on at least two occasions (once in 1971 and once in 2014) that “I know the Lord.” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland stated recently that he gave his testimony “with the conviction Peter called the ‘more sure word of prophecy.’” President Ezra Taft Benson stated that “There is no truth or fact of which I am more assured, or know better by personal experience, than the truth of the literal resurrection of our Lord.” There is also room for apostles that have seen the Lord, but have chosen not to leave it on record due to the sacredness of the experience. President Boyd K. Packer said: “We do not talk of those sacred interviews that qualify the servants of the Lord to bear a special witness of Him, for we have been commanded not to do so. But we are free, indeed, we are obliged, to bear that special witness.”
A most interesting story along these lines concerns President Heber J. Grant’s call to the apostleship. According to his grandson, Truman G. Madsen, when President Grant was first called to the Quorum of the Twelve, he spent a number of months deeply depressed because he felt unworthy to serve in that calling. There were a number of reasons why (moral worthiness was not a concern), but one of them was that one of the Brethren had said that no man could serve in the Quorum of the Twelve who had not had an open vision of Christ, and Heber J. Grant had not. He felt like a liar whenever he bore his testimony because he had “never seen Him; [and did] not know.” Eventually, however, he did have a vision where he saw the council in the spirit world of important individuals—most notably the Savior himself—that had decided to send revelation to the Church leaders to call Heber J. Grant. Concerning the nature of the vision, President Grant stated, “I understand what Lehi meant when he said, ‘I seemed to see.’ I was not seeing it with my eyes, but it was powerful. It was as if I could see it, and I could hear.” This experience seemed to satisfy his concerns over the issue.
That being said, there have been prophets and apostles who have admitted that they have not actually seen the Christ. President Joseph Fielding Smith told his son after almost forty years of serving as an apostle: “I did not live in the days of our Savior; he has not come to me in person. I have not beheld him.” Similarly, President David O. McKay was asked by a reporter whether he had seen the Christ after he had served as president of the Church for a few years, he responded “that he had not.” In that same interview, he also gave more information on how he was able to say things like “My testimony of the Risen Lord is just as real as Thomas’s on that occasion. I know that He lives” despite not actually seeing the Lord: “[David O. McKay said that] he had heard His voice—many times—and that he had felt presence and his influence. . . . Then he told me how some evidences are stronger even than that of sight” and spoke of the words of Christ to Thomas. Similarly, Joseph Fielding Smith said that while he hadn’t beheld the Christ, “it is not necessary. I have felt his presence. I know that the Holy Spirit has enlightened my mind and revealed him unto me, so that I do love my Redeemer.”
These stories and references indicate that some, but not all, of the apostles have seen the Christ. It can probably be assumed that they all have powerful witnesses of the Savior in some way or another, even though they haven’t had a fireside chat with the Christ. The other half of the question is whether or not the president of the Church has regular interviews with the Savior.
As I said above, I do believe it is accurate to say that the Church is guided by revelation, but I also believe that it is on an as-needed basis and is generally through the whisperings of the Spirit to the combined council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. President Gordon B. Hinckley explained on two separate occasions that:
We have a great, basic reservoir of revelation. But if a problem arises, as it does occasionally, a vexatious thing with which we have to deal, we go to the Lord in prayer. We discuss it as a First Presidency and as a Council of the Twelve Apostles. We pray about it and then comes the whisperings of a still small voice. And we know the direction we should take and we proceed accordingly.
We have a great body of revelation, the vast majority of which came from the prophet Joseph Smith. We don’t need much revelation. We need to pay more attention to the revelation we’ve already received.
Now, if a problem should arise on which we don’t have an answer, we pray about it, we may fast about it, and it comes. Quietly. Usually no voice of any kind, but just a perception in the mind. I liken it to Elijah’s experience. When he sought the Lord, there was a great wind, and the Lord was not in the wind. And there was an earthquake, and the Lord was not in the earthquake. And a fire, and the Lord was not in the fire. But in a still, small voice. Now that’s the way it works.
Similarly, Elder B. H. Roberts wrote that:
From some things that have been said recently relative to revelation one would reach the conclusion that because we have in our midst prophets and apostles, inspired men, God and angels and the Holy Spirit are subject to their beck and call; and because a man is upheld as a prophet of God some people seem to suppose that he may enter the presence of God when he will and talk with Him face to face; or, that by his summons, a prophet may bring angels to his side at his own sweet will! Not so. These divine things are under the control of the Lord Almighty, and He will reveal Himself when and in whatsoever mode seemeth Him good. . . . The times and modes of revelation are in the hands of God; our faith is simply this: that the Lord reigns supreme in heaven, aye, and on the earth, and whenever His work requires that His hand should touch it and guide it He will inspire His servants to take the course that is necessary to conform His works to His will. If it be necessary to send from the presence of His throne an angel, clothed with power, might and majesty, to stand in the presence of prophets and apostles, to make known a divine purpose, the sovereign will of God is sufficient to order that to be done; and if it becomes necessary to summon a prophet into the presence of God to commune face to face with Him, then He will summon that prophet into His presence; or open the vision of His mind, snatch away the veil of the covering that at present separates us from God, and will commune with His servant as He did with Moses face to face—all according as God wills.
That being said, the Prophets and apostles have pretty consistently testified that they are guided by inspiration, albeit, the subtle, gentle revelation of the Spirit. We might, in conclusion, read the words of President Spencer W. Kimball:
Expecting the spectacular, one may not be fully alerted to the constant flow of revealed communication. I say, in the deepest of humility, but also by the power and force of a burning testimony in my soul, that from the prophet of the Restoration to the prophet of our own year, the communication line is unbroken, the authority is continuous, and light, brilliant and penetrating, continues to shine. The sound of the voice of the Lord is a continuous melody and a thunderous appeal. For nearly a century and a half there has been no interruption…. Every faithful person may have the inspiration for his own limited kingdom. But the Lord definitely calls prophets today and reveals his secrets unto them as he did yesterday, he does today, and will do tomorrow: that is the way it is.
A Deeper Look
The fact that we believe in continuing revelation and a living prophet is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because we receive ongoing guidance from God and are better able to adapt and respond to the needs of a changing world. It is a curse because it is means change when we are often looking for finality in religion. Nothing is settled permanently, which leaves life a bit unsettled. This has always led to some defection from the Church when change does come.
We see this pattern most clearly in the early days of the Church, when things were most fluid. Joseph Smith received revelation after revelation, often changing both the doctrine and procedures of the Church. Some scholars have noted that there were three general tiers of this process—a basic, Christian “apostolic” restoration in the early days of the Church in which Mormonism resembled closely a form Protestant Christianity that believed in New Testament gifts and powers. Second, and “Abrahamic” restoration in which Mormonism fit Christianity into Old Testament molds, bringing back temples, gathering into central locations to build communities, and so forth. Third, was the introduction of esoteric doctrines in the Nauvoo era, such as the endowment ceremony, temple sealings and work for the dead, explicit expression of belief in humankind’s ability to become like God, and the introduction of polygamy. Each step along the way, some members left. Further splintering occurred after Joseph Smith’s death when he was no longer around to hold even those who had doubts about more recent revelations by his charisma, often splitting along lines of belief.
I always wondered why stalwarts such as John Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery, apostles in the early Church, and other such individuals would leave. At best, I figured that the trials they faced were just too much. While that was at least partly the case, Jan Shipps (a historian who has studied Mormonism pretty intensely) has made another suggestion that makes a lot of sense to me:
General acceptance of the concept of continuing revelation notwithstanding, each time a new stratum of theology and doctrine was imposed on existing belief and practice, a substantial number of Smith’s followers were disturbed enough to leave. Those who rejected the new dogma were generally branded as apostate (or worse). Yet persuasive evidence suggests that, in cases too numerous to count, the problem was that the ones who left were so thoroughly committed to the form of Mormonism to which they had been converted that they regarded the new revelation as false prophesy.
One outstanding example of this sort of occurrence was in the “great apostasy” in the fall of Kirtland. A number of prominent individuals—including a few apostles—started their own Mormon Church, calling it the “Church of Christ” (as the Church has been called up through that time) or the “Old Standard,” which held to belief in most of the Church’s doctrines but sought to reform the Church by insisting that Joseph Smith was a fallen prophet who had departed from the true faith. As indicated by Dr. Shipps, there are other examples. David Whitmer and William McClellan both held that the Book of Mormon was true to the end of their lives, but rejected most of what followed in the Church. Many of the individuals that organized the RLDS Church (now Community of Christ) held the first two tiers (New York era/Apostolic Restoration and the Kirtland era/Abrahamic Restoration) but rejected much of the Nauvoo era introductions, especially polygamy. Within the Utah Church, splinters have continued to happen as ongoing revelation occurs. The post-Manifesto formation of “fundamentalist” sects that hold to polygamy are a testament to that statement, as is the fact that at least a couple of people left the Church over the Spencer W. Kimball revelation that opened up the priesthood and temple ordinances up to people of black African descent because it meant that long-standing Church policy was being changed.
As members of a Church that believes in ongoing revelation, we need to take an approach to our Church that embraces beliefs and policies as they are now, but makes room for the fact that they may change in the future as living prophets direct. Wilford Woodruff was exemplary in his viewpoint that:
When a boy begins his education at school he begins at the first rudiments, and continues to progress step by step. It is so with the student in the study of the everlasting Gospel. There were not many principles revealed to us when we first received it, but they were developed to us as fast as we were capable of making use of them.
Consider as well the Harold B. Lee statement in the quotes section of this post. While we have made considerable progress from the days of the early Church, arriving closer to the fullness of the Gospel, the Restoration is still ongoing, as President Dieter F. Uchtdorf indicated relatively recently at general conference. It is my hope that we all can endure the concerns raised by ongoing revelation while we embrace the blessings of it as well.
 Boice, Trina (2014-11-09). The Ready Resource for Relief Society Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson (Kindle Locations 1112-1115). Cedar Fort, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
 Beth Lefgren, Jennifer Jackson, Power Tools for Teaching: Ideas for Creative Lessons (SLC: Bookcraft, 1988), 49.
 Joseph Smith, Jr. Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (SLC: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2007), 197-198.
 Smith, Teachings, 200.
 Smith, Teachings, 195-196.
 Millennial Star,1 Nov. 1847, 323.
 B. H. Roberts, The Autobiography of B. H. Roberts, ed. Gary James Bergera (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1990), 228.
 B. H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Churchof Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1965), 1:vii.
 B. H. Roberts, Improvement Era, March 1905, 370.
 M. Russell Ballard, in Conference Report, Apr. 2001, 84.
 Harold B. Lee in Stand Ye in Holy Places , 152–53.
 Cook, Lyndon W. (2009-09-03). The Words of Joseph Smith (Kindle Locations 524-529). Deseret Book Company. Kindle Edition.
 Richard Lyman Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Random House, Inc., 2005), 308-309.
 “Kirtland Council Minutes,” 21 Feb. 1835..
 Karl Ricks Anderson, Joseph Smith’s Kirtland: Eyewitness Accounts (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1989), 107-113.
 Wilford Woodruff, in Collected Discourses Delivered by: President Wilford Woodruff, His Two Counselors, the Twelve Apostles, and Others, edited by Brian H. Stuy, 5 vol. (BHS Publishing, 1987–1992), 5:225.; citing John Lee Jones biography (no date) and Minutes of Salt Lake Temple dedication on 6–24 April 1893, 16th session, 13 April 1893.
 Lorenzo Snow, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow (Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2012), 238-239.
 George Q. Cannon, “Supporting Church Leaders,” (6 October 1896), reported in The Deseret Weekly 53 (31 October 1896): 610; reproduced in Stuy, Collected Discourses 5:225
 Orson F. Whitney, “The Divinity of Jesus Christ,” Improvement Era Vol. 29, NO. 3 (Jan 1926), 119-127. https://prophetsseersandrevelators.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/the-divinity-of-jesus-christ-by-orson-f-whitney/
 M. Russell Ballard, Our Search for Happiness (Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1993), 18-20.
 Cited in G. Homer Durham, N. Eldon Tanner: His Life and Service (Salt Lake: Deseret Book, 1982), 254-256.
 Boyd K. Packer, Conference Report, April 1971: 122–25, Boyd K. Packer, “The Witness,” General Conference (webpage), accessed April 20, 2014, https://www.lds.org/general-conference/print/2014/04/the-witness?lang=eng&clang=eng.
 Jeffrey R. Holland, “Lord, I Believe,” CR, April 2013, https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/04/lord-i-believe?lang=eng#16-10785_000_51holland.
 Ezra Taft Benson, “Five Marks of the Divinity of Jesus Christ,” University of Utah fireside, 9 December 1979. Published in New Era 10 (December 1980): 48 and Ensign (December 2001).
 Boyd K. Packer, “A Tribute to the Rank and File of the Church,” Ensign (May 1980): 86.
 Truman G. Madsen, The Presidents of the Church: Insights into Their Lives and Teachings (SLC: Deseret Book, 2004), 184-186.
 Joseph Fielding Smith, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith (SLC: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2013), 49.
 Cited in Gregory A. Prince and Wm. Robert Wright, David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism (SLC: University of Utah Press, 2005), 38. Note that there is an account of a dream-vision where David O. McKay beheld the Christ from a distance, but that was apparently not counted by him on this occasion.
 Smith, Teachings, 49-50.
 Don Lattin, “Interview with President Gordon B. Hinckley,” SF Gate, 13 April 1997. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/SUNDAY-INTERVIEW-Musings-of-the-Main-Mormon-2846138.php#page-1
 B. H. Roberts, CR, April 1905, 43-44.
 Spencer W. Kimball, “Revelation: The Word of the Lord to His Prophets,” CR, April 1977.
 Jan Shipps, “Mormonism After the Death of Joseph Smith,” in Makers of Christian Theology in America, Mark G. Toulouse and James O. Duke (ed.) (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1997), 373.
 Church History in the Fulness of Times Student Manual (SLC: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2003), https://www.lds.org/manual/church-history-in-the-fulness-of-times-student-manual/chapter-fourteen-the-apostasy-in-kirtland-1836-38?lang=eng.
 Wilford Woodruff, April 22, 1860, JD 8:265
 “The Restoration is an ongoing process; we are living in it right now. It includes “all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal,” and the “many great and important things” that “He will yet reveal.” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Are You Sleeping through the Restoration?” CR, April 2014, https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/are-you-sleeping-through-the-restoration?lang=eng.)