Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7)

Who is this Amos? What do we make of the message of this man whose words we use as proof that a prophet is needed among the people of God? His story began as a simple shepherd from Tekoa during the time that Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam was king of Israel (Amos 1:1). When challenged by those who kept the temples, he simply stated that he was no prophet nor could he claim to be one by lineage until the Lord called him out of the fields while he tended his flock.

Then Amaziah the priest of Beth-el sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words.

For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land.

Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there:

But prophesy not again any more at Beth-el: for it is the king’s chapel, and it is the king’s court.

Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:

And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel. (Amos 8:10-15)

As one could expect, the leadership, in the form of Amaziah the priest, told him to take his message elsewhere, that it wasn’t wanted or needed among Israel. But Amos did not acknowledge his request, rather he proceeded to relay the message that the Lord had given him to deliver. It was a message of warning, not just to the people of Israel, but also to their leadership.

Why is it that we, today, are willing to use a sound byte from Amos to support our misguided characterization of the voice that is held to speak for God but ignore the context and the message he was called to deliver? What is the secret that the Lord would share with His prophet Amos? Was it one regarding how to administer the organization that was called in his name? Was it a message on how to care for the flock? Was it an epistle on the doctrines to use in the government of His church? It was none of these; the message was a call to repent directed at both the leadership and the membership. A careful reading of the message of Amos would suggest that, rather than saying that the Lord would guide and direct his church through a prophet, the message was that He would not chastise His people until He would send a warning voice among them to call them back to Him. Perhaps another more modern interpretation of the often used quote from Amos would be:

Surely the Lord God will not destroy his church until He shares His plan with His prophets and commands them to warn the people.

The secret that Amos was deliver was that the Lord knew the sins of Israel and that he, Amos, was sent to call Israel to repentance. He was called to warn them of the consequences of their idolatrous pattern of living. Here are some elements of his message:

HEAR this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,

You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. (Amos 3:1)

Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes;

That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name:

And they lay themselves down upon clothes laid to pledge by every altar, and they drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god. (Amos 2:6-8)

WOE to them that are at ease in Zion. (Amos 6:1}

Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them.

For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right. (Amos 5:11-13)

The message was for the entire house of Israel. The Lord outlined the failings of the people; they were guilty of turning away the righteous and the poor. They did not hold sacred those things which were given by God. And finally, what is it the Lord wanted them to do:

Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.

Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph. (Amos 5: 14-15)

What should we, as modern Israel, take as a learning from Amos? Should we not liken ourselves to ancient Israel and learn from their mistakes? Are we not warned, as they were, that we cannot assume all is well in Zion? Are we safe in assuming that God will not chastise us as he did to His previous chosen people?

The message of Amos 3:7 is clear to me. When correction is needed, God will call prophets and share His counsel with them. They will be called to preach repentance to those that, in their pride and arrogance, dismiss the warnings of the words of the prophets recorded in scripture. The prophets will call His people to repentance and warn them of the removal of God’s protection that will be their lot if they choose not to soften their heart.

Surely the Lord God will not leave us in the midst of ignoring His commandments without warning. When we see a prophet come among us that is not ‘called’ by the organization, that doesn’t have the required pedigree, that isn’t recognizable as a sanctioned authority, should we request that he take his message elsewhere as Amaziah did? What would Amos look like today? What would his message be? What are the consequences of ignoring his words of warning?

What think ye?

20 Responses to “Amos, Secrets, and the Calling of Prophets”

  • I am gratified and delighted that you are writing! Thank you for sharing your testimony.

  • Toby:

    It amazes me how closed the LDS faith is. We really (collectively) think we have got the world by the tail. Blessed so much but more stiff necked than all others. Things sure are hard to see when they are right in your face, yeah? Of course if you ever suggested such in a GD class everyone would look at you like a leper. We really are pathetic excuses for Gods people.

  • Adam:

    Acts 28:27
    27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

    Doctrine and Covenants 10:63
    63 And this I do that I may establish my gospel, that there may not be so much contention; yea, Satan doth stir up the hearts of the people to contention concerning the points of my doctrine; and in these things they do err, for they do wrest the scriptures and do not understand them.

    Doctrine and Covenants 136:32
    32 Let him that is ignorant learn wisdom by humbling himself and calling upon the Lord his God, that his eyes may be opened that he may see, and his ears opened that he may hear;

    2 Nephi 1:13
    13 O that ye would awake; awake from a deep sleep, yea, even from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound, which are the chains which bind the children of men, that they are carried away captive down to the eternal gulf of misery and woe.

    Moroni 10:31
    31 And awake, and arise from the dust, O Jerusalem; yea, and put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of Zion; and strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever, that thou mayest no more be confounded, that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto thee, O house of Israel, may be fulfilled.

  • sfort:

    “3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

    4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

    This Sunday conference with a talk by the head of the Strengthening the Members Committee, Russell M. Nelson, praised our prohet dear, and the next talk was testifying of Thomas S. Monson again. They are ramping up the praise of men. Is this to counter DS? There was another talk on Saturday saying the Seventy represents the prophet to the people. I am not sure that is what the early Seventy did. What of bringing the world to Christ? The prophets anciently prophesied to Governments and warned them. Joseph prophesied concerning the civil war. Do we see that today? Does Obama Tell President Monson to go prophesy somewhere else? Who will prophesy to the Church to warn them if they do not come unto Christ and receive Him that they will all be part of the impending scourge? And they shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.

  • Lynette:

    This post is very timely with what transpired today in conference with all the follow the prophet speech. It is interesting to note that the JST of Amos 3:7 uses the the word “until” he revealeth the secret unto his servants the prophets.

    I believe the lord has used a prophet to warn us already via Denver Snuffer so the “until” has been met. Consider ourselves warned just like Amos warned the Isrealite, indeed this is very sobering.

    Thanks again for the post.

  • Adam:

    Well said Spek. Perfect. It is what will happen.

  • With the tetrad (4 blood moons on main Jewish holy days) about to spring its second installment on Wednesday night, I hope Brother DS is still just a warm-up act for the real deal servant prophet with the Davidic mission. Here’s to hoping…and may the SCMC be done away soon by our 15 judges themselves so its fruit will not condemn us further. Since the tetrad is mainly a North American event, the sign seems destined to affect us (Ephraim of Joseph) more than the modern nation of Israel.

    • Spektator:

      I was up early Thursday morning to capture the blood moon as it graced the skies of Ohio. Unfortunately, as it neared the horizon, it became obscured by the morning mists. Much like the message of Amos was lost in the fog of arrogance.
      Blood Moon of October

  • JR:

    Spek,
    Perhaps people should consider the hidden “message” in the fact that the Lord is sending a prophet from outside the hierachy. Rather than seeking to put down any who make such claims, perhaps that effort would be better spent in considering very carefully whether the message and the messenger are legitimate. If so, the “message” is grave indeed. In every recorded incidence of such cases, the majority of the people who failed to heed such prophets came to an extremely bad end.
    James Russell Uhl

    • Spektator:

      Jim,
      I could only ask the question of a TBM: Is there any reason why the Lord would send a prophet among us just as He sent Amos among the Israelites? If there is, we should carefully examine our spiritual state and consider the message of that prophet.

  • sfort:

    2 Ne: 33“ 10 And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.
    11 And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, not withstanding my weakness.

    Did not DS say these same things. Does he not want us to see the face of Christ? Did he not say that his words were given to him by Christ? Did he not preach us to do good? For he testified throughout his lectures many more times than Nephi, that he received the words to say, that he declared his weekness? It is the pattern of Nephi all over again….just a thought.

  • Vaughn Hughes:

    Great article. How we love to read verses completely and wholly out of context. It is our prideful blindness as an LDS people.

    On the topic of this verse, I came across some fascinating additional context a little while ago here: http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/the-sod-of-yhwh-and-the-endowment/.

    It gives a new light and understanding to what *true* prophets are made privy to.

    • Spektator:

      Vaughn,
      Thanks for the reference to your post regarding Sôd. I did consult my Interlinear and Strong’s concordance as I prepared the above post and the scriptural use of the word helped put the correct context around the mission Amos was called to complete.

      I was also intrigued by the use of Sôdi to mean “Yahweh confides.” We are left without excuse if we are given the requisite warning and choose to ignore it.

  • I have written a number of articles on this same issue. I think a bit part of the problem is that LDS people don’t differentiate or understand the difference between priesthood and the gift of prophecy. You dont need to have the priesthood or even be a member of the church to have the gift of prophecy… it is a gift of the Spirit. The priesthoods job is to validate those who come forth claiming the gift of prophecy. But when the priesthood is either 1. corrupt or 2. too narrow minded to recognize a prophet when they hear him, they reject them and invalidate their own priesthood.

    See my articles here http://restoredisrael.org/blog/1677/the-only-true-church/

    There are links within the article to other articles which explain priesthood/prophecy relationships in detail.

    • Spektator:

      Lance,
      I appreciate the links to your articles. I do hold a somewhat different view on the priesthood; largely driven by the description found in Alma, chapter 13. The higher priesthood as described in that chapter is intended to be given to those who have shown, through their diligence, that they are worthy of the trust. Those who are given that priesthood are to use it to teach others how to achieve the same ‘spiritual fellowship.’

  • Craig:

    I served my mission in a Catholic country. We thought they were deluded because:

    1) They wouldn’t listen to anything outside their worldview
    2) They thought their rites would save them
    3) They thought just being a member of their church made them God’s people
    4) They thought the pope was infallible
    5) Their use of scripture to justify their position was selective
    6) Their traditions seemed more important than the truth

    Those poor, misguided people, we thought. Good thing we aren’t like them.

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