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Originally posted by DragonsDemesne
reply to post by Akragon
Apologies for the slow reply; I actually saw your post yesterday but I've been trying to think of a good way to explain it. I'm not sure that it is possible to give a reason that would make sense to someone not of my faith, but I will give it a try anyway.
On one level, I suppose that I could start with the Book of Mormon. I've read it and I believe that it is what it claims it is, based both upon spiritual experiences and my own research. By extension, this would mean that Joseph Smith, as translator, was a prophet as he claimed he was, and that his successors are as well, including Thomas Monson.
However, I'm not sure that is really adequate. I believe the above statements, but they don't really explain it all. I have also heard President Monson speak many times (including once in person when he visited my hometown, though this was before he was our prophet) and, whenever I hear him speak, I just somehow know that he is a prophet. In my faith, we often say that it is the Holy Spirit that is confirming this to us when this happens, and that is how I feel about it as well.
Another aspect of it is the things that President Monson and other church leaders are actually teaching. The last time I heard President Monson speak (last fall) one of the things he spoke about was how we need to take responsibility for our own actions and make correct choices in life. Another thing he discussed was how important gratitude is in our lives, using the story of the ten lepers in the New Testament as an example. When I heard him talk about these things, they just made sense to me, and I find myself agreeing with the things that he's saying.
I suppose when it comes right down to the heart of the matter, it's just a feeling I have, deep down, and it is my personal belief that this is the Holy Spirit testifying to me that he really is a prophet. On a personal level, it makes perfect sense to me, but articulating it is next to impossible.
I'm not really sure what else to say. I don't expect to convince anyone here that Thomas Monson is a prophet of God with anything I say. I hope that what I did manage to do is convince you that I believe it.