Area Presidency Message: We Strive to Follow Jesus Christ and His Prophet (instead of the World)


As my wife, Nuria, and I were taught the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in 1982 by missionaries, they asked me the following question: “Do you believe there are true prophets on Earth today?” I had never been asked that question before. As I started thinking of what I knew of true prophets, a scripture came to my mind. “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15).

I thought, if God warns me of false prophets, then that means that there must be true prophets. My response to the missionaries was, “Yes, there are true prophets on earth.” A warm feeling came to my heart when I said that, and I felt that it was true. The Holy Ghost was testifying in my heart that it was true. I just did not know it at the time. The smiling and loving faces of the missionaries also confirmed to me that it was the right answer. Then they asked an inspired question, “If there are true prophets on earth now, where are they?” I could not think of an answer, for I had never heard any living person call himself a prophet.

It was at that point that they taught us about Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the gospel. In Matthew 7:16 we read, “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” Along with the Restoration, the elders spoke of the Book of Mormon, as a true fruit of the Restoration.

I’ve since come to know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and a second witness, with the Holy Bible, of Jesus Christ. Nuria and I were subsequently baptized. We had fasted and prayed to confirm in our hearts that Joseph Smith indeed was a true prophet, that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the Lord’s true Church on earth, and that His desire for Nuria and me was that we be baptized.

We continued attending Church and learning the gospel from study and by faith. We gradually grew in our conversion and in a stronger faith in Jesus Christ. I knew then, and I know now, of the truths of the divine role of our Savior Jesus Christ and of His true Church on earth.

Once we heard the words of our Savior Jesus Christ through His living prophets, we acted quickly and obeyed. The Holy Ghost then confirmed to us the truthfulness of those words and of our obedience. Our good choices have led to blessings and direction in life from Jesus Christ.

On April 12, 1987, President Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994) visited Puerto Rico. This was his second visit to our island, as he already had created a stake in San Juan in December 1980. This would be our first time to be in the physical presence of a true prophet.

When he was entering the auditorium, we all got on our feet and sang “We Thank The, O God, for a Prophet” in Spanish. To my surprise, the presence of the Holy Ghost increased dramatically like I had never felt it before as President Benson walked in. I could hardly sing because tears were suddenly flowing from my eyes. I looked around and I saw that others could not sing either. I knew then, like never before, that we were in the presence of a true prophet. That greater testimony has continued to grow in me ever since.

There are true prophets on earth. Like the song that Primary children and families sing:

Follow the prophet, follow the prophet,

Follow the prophet; don’t go astray.

Follow the prophet, follow the prophet,

Follow the prophet; he knows the way.1

We will not be led astray if we always hearken to the voice of the Savior’s prophet on earth.