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AKANIMO - I was thinking that God used just one prophet in every dispensation just like we have now.But i was reading the old testament and new testament and found out that there were prophets as in this case 1 sam 22:5, 1 sam19:20 and all this while samuel was a prophet.And also found the one in new testament Acts 21:10 and Acts 11:28 of Agabus when we had the first presidency Peter,James and John with peter being the chief apostle and haing the keys? whats the distinction between those other prophets? Also i notice that while they were prophets in the book of mormon,they was also prophets in the old testament and they were running concurrently.What i am trying to say is while lehi and nephi was a prophet in the western hemisphere,there was also prophets in the eastern hemisphere.why is this so?

JOEL - Only God knows why he runs His kingdom on earth the way he does. We get whatever form of leadership that He thinks we need at any given time and place in the history of the earth. There were single prophets that were the heads of their respective dispensations, but that doesn't mean that they were the only prophets livng at each time. Sometimes, during rebellious times, the inhabitants of the earth went without the leadership of a prophet.

Joseph Smith (not President Monson) is the head prophet for our dispensation (Fulness of Times), but of course there have been many more since him that were not the heads of dispensations; which includes all the latter-day apostles as well. Peter and all the Apostles at the time of Jesus were also prophets, seers, and revelators, as were those in the Book of Mormon.

Normally there seems to be at least one head prophet that is living who receives revelation for the whole earth; either the heads of their dispensation or in our latter days the President of the Church. All prophets, seers, and revelators are equal in priesthood authority and ability to reveal the word of God. But in our latter-days there is only one who is "set apart" as president who holds all the keys necessary to receive quidance from God to govern the entire earth. This is how we tell the difference between regular prophets and the head prophet. The head prophet has all the keys, but he might delegate a portion of his power or keys, to other prophets to perform in the callings they hold (Apostle, Stake President, Bishop, etc.).

For example after Christ died the keys to lead the church were given to the Apostle Peter. He was the head apostle and prophet for the entire earth, with all the keys to lead and he and the other eleven presided over the entire earth. However, God thought it prudent to have representative prophets on the western continent to lead and guide those inhabitants, so He called twelve disciples (not Apostles) to lead in that land (Moroni 2) who were given a portion of the keys held by Peter to govern.

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