This chapter teaches the importance of a seer. It also refers to prophets and revelators.
According to "Guide to the Scriptures" a prophet is "A person who has been called by and speaks for God. As a messenger of God, a prophet receives commandments, prophecies, and revelations from God. His responsibility is to make known God’s will and true character to mankind and to show the meaning of his dealings with them. A prophet denounces sin and foretells its consequences. He is a preacher of righteousness. On occasion, prophets may be inspired to foretell the future for the benefit of mankind. His primary responsibility, however, is to bear witness of Christ. The President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God’s prophet on earth today. Members of the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles are sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators."
The entry for seer says, "A person authorized of God to see with spiritual eyes things which God has hidden from the world (Moses 6:35-38). He is a revelator and a prophet (Mosiah 8:13-16). In the Book of Mormon, Ammon taught that only a seer could use special interpreters, or a Urim and Thummim (Mosiah 8:13; 28:16). A seer knows the past, present, and future. Anciently, a prophet was often called a seer (1 Sam. 9:9; 2 Sam. 24:11).
"Joseph Smith is the great seer of the latter days (D&C 21:1; 135:3). In addition, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve are sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators."
A Great Benefit
For hundreds of years, the people of Earth were spiritually lost as there were no prophets, seers and revelators to teach to them the true doctrines of a loving Father in Heaven. It truly was a Dark Age on the earth.
But in the spring of 1820, the heavens were opened once again and a boy's question was emphatically answered. Once again, the time was at hand for there to be a prophet, seer and revelator on the earth. Through his faith, Joseph Smith was called to be the prophet, seer and revelator for our times. He has become "a great benefit to his fellow-beings" (Mosiah 8:18).
Without Joseph Smith or Gordon B. Hinckley or any of the other prophets, seers and revelators, we would still be spiritually blind. We are blind and our understandings are impenetrable and we are prone to wander (see Mosiah 8:20-21, “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” Hymns , no. 70).
When dark clouds of trouble hang o'er us
And threaten our peace to destroy,
There is hope smiling brightly before us,
And we know that delive'rance is nigh
("We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet," Hymns, no. 19).
How grateful I am for a living prophet. We are not left along to wander. We have a guide who will lead us in these latter-days. I cannot fully express the comfort I feel knowing that God indeed speaks to man today through his prophet, seer and revelator (please carefully read Jeffrey R. Holland, “Prophets, Seers, and Revelators,” Ensign, Nov 2004, 6 for a wonderful talk on the subject.)
My spirit never fails to become emotional at the end of General Conference when the choir and congregation sing "We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet." My mind's eye will never forget the image of President Hinckley waving a white handkerchief to the saints in Guatemala as he left the stadium. The Spirit was so strong and as he left, it felt like a part of me was being pulled away … I did not want to leave his presence.
I will never forget the day he spoke to the missionaries in Guatemala. I count that day as one of the happiest in my life. It will forever be one of a few bright and glorious memories in my life.
My heart truly is thankful for a prophet, seer and revelator.