Are Prophets Perfect? My Friends of Other Faiths Think So

Some of my friends of other faiths seem to think that prophets are perfect, or rather, that Mormon prophets should be perfect. They use an impossible standard to measure the prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints against. Mormons claim that only one individual has ever been perfect on the earth and that individual was Jesus Christ. In this all Christian based faiths tend to agree:

American Catholic site calls Jesus "the perfect human".

The Oakwood United Methodist Church write on their missionary page "There is no one perfect here except the Lord Jesus Christ..."

Over at All About Jesus they describe Jesus as "the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life..."

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary had this in its original charter, "Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled the Law"

Mormon Apostles have all testified to the perfection of Jesus including Spencer W. Kimball and as written in The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Perfect has the following among its definitions:
1. conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type
2. excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement
3. entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings
4. accurate, exact, or correct in every detail

Mormons have never claimed their prophets or leaders are perfect. I suspect; however, that most Christian denominations believe that God only communicates with perfect individuals; you know, like Abraham, Moses, Peter, Paul, and Jonah. Then again, I think an examination of these prophets will reveal their flaws, defects, and shortcomings.

A Mr. Neal Maxwell writes an interesting article titled "Out of Obscurity". In it he writes "Only Jesus was perfect in all things, including love and meekness. Even the greatest of mortal prophets fall short of Christ’s high and perfect standards." Mormons don't believe prophets are perfect.

Maxwell goes on "Throughout scriptural history, we see recurring efforts to demean prophets in order to dismiss them—to label them in order to diminish them. Mostly, however, they are simply ignored by their contemporaries and by secular history." Mr. Jeff Lindsey writes an interesting article titled "Rejecting Living Apostles and Prophets: A Deceptively Easy Path to Righteousness"

To conclude, Mormons have never claimed their prophets (whether from the Bible, Book of Mormon or living) are perfect. To quote Maxwell again, "At the perfect day, we will see that we have been a part of things too wonderful for us. Part of the marvel and the wonder of God’s "marvelous work and a wonder" will be how perfect Divinity mercifully used us - imperfect humanity." Man is free and imperfect man cannot frustrate the work of God.

1 comment:

appreciable said...

Dear Fleeting_Thoughts,

This is a very good point about the dangerous practise of rejecting the servants of God because they are not perfect. I loved the message at the end from Mr. Neal Maxwell. It truly is amazing that God uses imperfect people as his servants.

With love,

-Appreciable Goodfaithpoet