I’m Saved, Why Do I Need Prophets and the Book of Mormon?
Many people believe that all they need to do in order to be saved is merely to accept Jesus Christ through some verbal profession or believe that He exists in order to be saved. Jesus, however, taught something much different. In His great Sermon on the Mount he taught that, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). It is important to follow God in all aspects of our life and to keep His commandments. The Bible commands us to live by “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4), and to do so requires that we accept God’s prophets. Jesus taught his disciples:
” He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward (Matthew 10:40-41).”
We must receive God’s prophets and His other servants in order to truly accept God. This does not mean that the prophets and servants are prefect, but they are the authorized servants of God who have been given the power to perform baptisms in Jesus’ name. During the lifetime of the Prophet Joseph Smith, God declared to those who did not want to get baptized, because they believed they were already saved:
” Behold, I say unto you that all old covenants have I caused to be done away in this thing; and this is a new and an everlasting covenant, even that which was from the beginning. Wherefore, although a man should be baptized an hundred times it availeth him nothing, for you cannot enter in at the strait gate by the Law of Moses, neither by your dead works. (Doctrine and Covenants 22:1-2).”
This means that only baptism from a true servant of God who has authority, called priesthood, to baptize will count before God. Other people believe that the Bible is all sufficient or complete, so the Book of Mormon is either contradicting the scriptures or unnecessary. The Bible stands as a testimony to the fact that God has called and inspired men in the past to preach His message. If God does not change, then it can be expected that He would still call prophets and reveal more scripture just as He has in the past. Today we have problems and trials that the people of Moses’s day or Paul’s day could not have imagined. Would God abandon us and no longer give us prophets to teach His word? As long as there is one soul to save, God will send His servants, the prophets, to teach them. Today, the Mormon Church is led by such a prophet who is a successor of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Revelations given to these modern prophets are recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants, or published in one of the Church magazines such as the Ensign or the Liahona.
Salvation requires that we follow Jesus, first by accepting Him and then by obeying Him by being baptized, joining His Church and listening to His servants, the prophets. Our salvation will not be complete until we are resurrected from the grave with a perfect body and living in heaven with Christ. This salvation, or Eternal Life, comes as a gift to those who strive to follow Him and obey Him by repenting of their sins and living moral lives.