Mormon Missionaries (MM): Do you want to know more about Christ?

Random Man on the Street (RMOTS): What makes your church different from any other Christian church?

MM: We have a living Prophet that receives revelation from God for our day

RMOTS: Wow, that is great, tell me what he has revealed to you recently..

MM: Well, lets see (long pause), he told us to stop referring to ourselves as Mormons. He shortened our meeting from 3 hours to two hours, renamed Home Teaching to Ministering, so we can just send e-mails now and don’t have to visit every month.

RMOTS: I’m in a hurry, I’ll see you guys around.

I wrote about Revelation three years ago, in which I wondered why the current Prophets don’t add to our book of revelations (Doctrine and Covenants). At the time I thought maybe they had not received anything significant enough to add. Does changing the way we Home Teach merit a new section of the D&C?

Now some of you are thinking I’m just picking some minor items (name of the church, shortening church) so that it looks bad that there are not more meaningful revelations. But it’s just not me. The Blog “Book Of Mormon Central” posted a list of items that Elder Robbins of the 70’s gave to a Stake Conference in Houston that “show that the Prophet and Apostles receive revelation from God that directly benefits our lives” [1]

For years, while he was President of the Quorum of the Twelve, Pres. Nelson emphasized improving our personal Sabbath Day observance. See his General Conference address, “The Sabbath is a Delight,” Sunday, April 5, 2015. Now in the COVID era, it is up to each of us as individuals to honor the Sabbath Day and keep it holy Exodus 20:8. 

In General Conference on Sunday, April 1, 2018, Pres. Nelson announced that home teaching and visiting teaching would be replaced by a new, holier form of serving others called “ministering.” Now in the COVID era, how many ministering brethren have helped those they serve partake of the Sacrament in their homes?

Home-centered, Church-supported worship with time in Church reduced from 3 to 2 hours was announced in General Conference by Pres. Nelson and Elder Cook on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Now in the COVID era, we know what home-centered, Church-supported really means.

On Monday, December 31, 2018, families in the Church began using a new unified curriculum entitled “Come Follow Me.” For the first time ever, Primary children, young men and young women, men, and women were all studying the same material during the week and on Sunday. Now, in the COVID era, we realize how important it is to have the entire family unified in their gospel study. 

Monday, May 6, 2019, The First Presidency announced a policy change that couples could now be married civilly and then immediately thereafter get sealed in the Temple. Now, in the COVID era, how many couples have been able to be married civilly, knowing they can be sealed eternally as soon as the Temples open up for live ordinances? 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019. Pres. Nelson announced the policy change that women could be witnesses in baptisms and sealing ordinances in the temples. Some thought the Church was simply bowing to political pressure. Now in the COVID era, how many baptisms have been done with only the immediate family present and women the only available witnesses? 

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019 Elder Gerrit W. Gong in a Face to Face explained details of the new youth activity program that took effect January 1, 2020. The program has youth setting and achieving individual goals with much less emphasis on group activities. Now in the COVID era, with not only Church, but school disrupted, we realize how important it is for young people to set and achieve individual goals.  

Book Of Mormon Central Blog

Each of the above could well be though of as revelation, but is that what the random man on the street thinks of when he hears that we have a prophet that receives revelation? Have we as a church devalued the significance of revelation, from something that started with “Thus Saith the Lord”, telling us something big (see multiple examples in the D&C) to “we are going to let women witness baptisms in the temple”. Is that the current state of revelation in the church? If so, how did we get here? Is it our (my) fault that we are not more open to seeing God’s hand in the work? I’m I too jaded? And how do we convince the RMOTS that what passes for revelation in the church today is every bit as significant as what we see in the Bible?

[1] I noticed Elder Robbins left out the revelation that kids of gay people can’t be baptized. Maybe because God changed his mind that it wasn’t included.