Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Restoration of the Gospel

One of the questions in the temple recommend interview is "Do you have a testimony of the restoration of the Gospel in the latter days?" The typical interpretation that most people have of this question is "Do you believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet?" However, I think the question is much more expansive than that.

I think the restoration is a process, not an event. The Ninth Article of Faith states "We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God." Not just a few little details - many great and important things!

What might those things be? The Articles of Faith were published in 1842. Since that time, seven sections and two official declarations have been added to the Doctrine and Covenants. The two that stand out to me as "great and important things" are D&C 138 (proxy temple work) and Official Declaration 2 (expanding the priesthood without regard to race).

I'm excited to see what other things are in store. There's one I'm definitely looking forward to.
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
Joel 2:28, emphasis added
In the Bible, there are female prophets. Specifically mentioned prophets are: Miriam,1 Deborah,2 Huldah,3 Anna,4 the four daughters of Philip,5 and the wife of Isaiah.6 I think a careful reading of scriptural text would add Eve7 and Hagar8 to that list as well.

Where are our female prophets? Since I believe in the restoration of the gospel, and since I believe that God will reveal many great and important things pertaining to His kingdom, and since I believe that in the last days our daughters shall prophesy, I anxiously await the coming of female prophets.

1. Exodus 15:20, Micah 6:4
2. Judges 4:4
3. 2 Chronicles 34:22
4. Luke 2:36
5. Acts 21:8-9
6. Isaiah 8:3
7. Although there isn't anything in the account in Genesis to support this, there is some evidence in the Pearl of Great Price. See Moses 5:11. However, the best support for Eve being a prophet is in the temple ceremony. A close observation will show that she gave the first prophecy, even before Adam did.
8. See Genesis 21:17-18

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