In the New Testament, we learn from the Savior, “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” Ultimately, one must evaluate what they see in a person proclaiming to be a prophet. Are they true disciples of Christ? What do their words and actions portray? What is in their heart? What is their real intent?
By Their Fruits
I imagine there are many people, not of our faith, bristling at the pronouncement we have a
living prophet that speaks for the Lord to the world today. That is an incredibly bold statement.
But, as we look at the “Prophets” the world has seen over the last decades, it is not hard to
understand. Here’s some information I gleaned from Wikipedia:
Peter George Popoff (born July 2, 1946)  is a German-born American televangelist and
debunked clairvoyant and faith healer. He was exposed in 1986 for using a concealed earpiece
to receive radio messages from his wife, who gave him the names, addresses, and ailments of
audience members during Popoff-led religious services. Popoff falsely claimed God revealed
this information to him so that Popoff could cure them through faith healing. 
James Warren Jones (May 13, 1931 – November 18, 1978) was an American cult leader,
political activist, preacher and faith healer who led the Peoples Temple, a new religious
organization which existed between 1955 and 1978. Jones and his inner circle orchestrated
a mass murder–suicide in his remote jungle commune at Jonestown, Guyana, on November 18,
1978. This killed 918 cult members.
Jimmy Lee Swaggart (/ˈswæɡərt/; born March 15, 1935) is an
American Pentecostal evangelist.Swaggart's TV ministry, which began in 1971, has a viewing
audience both in the U.S. and internationally. The weekly Jimmy Swaggart Telecast and A Study
in the Word programs are broadcast throughout the U.S. and on 78 channels in 104 other
countries, and over the Internet.  At its height in the 1980s, his telecast was transmitted to
over 3,000 stations and cable systems each week. Sexual scandals with prostitutes in the late
1980s and early 1990s led the Assemblies of God to defrock him.
James Orsen Bakker (/ˈbeɪkər/;  born January 2, 1940), better known as Jim Bakker, is an
American televangelist, entrepreneur, and convicted fraudster. Between 1974 and 1987, Bakker
hosted the television program The PTL Club with his then wife, Tammy Faye, and
developed Heritage USA, a now-defunct Christian theme park in Fort Mill, South Carolina. In the
late 1980s, Bakker resigned from the PTL ministry over a cover-up of hush money to church
secretary Jessica Hahn for an alleged rape. Subsequent revelations of accounting fraud brought
about felony charges, conviction, imprisonment, and divorce.
Creflo Augustus Dollar, Jr.,  (January 28, 1962) is an American pastor, televangelist, and the
founder of the non-denominational World Changers Church International based in College Park,
Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta.  He recently told his congregation and members they needed to
come up with $65 million to purchase him a private Lear Jet.
NOTE: Not one of these preachers refer to their church as the “Church of Jesus Christ.” So, as
we learn in the Book of Mormon, who’s church is it? (3 Nephi 27:3-12)
In the New Testament, we learn from the Savior, “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men
gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” Ultimately, one must evaluate what they see in a
person proclaiming to be a prophet. Are they true disciples of Christ? What do their words and
actions portray? What is in their heart? What is their real intent?
It is interesting to hear what the antagonists in the world have to say about The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. They certainly can disagree with the doctrine preached, but they
have a very difficult time claiming the misbehavior and serious shortcomings of our latter-day
prophets and apostles. There have been a very few who have failed at being living examples of
the gospel. Excluding those rare exceptions, are they perfect? Each of our church leaders would
readily admit, “No, absolutely, not.”
On the surface of it all, this is what I see:
Extremely talented and gifted men and women who have given up very lucrative careers
and positions to accept callings to serve in the church.
People who work harder at their callings than they ever would in their professional lives
and receive far less compensation.
Men and women who continually witness of the Savior, Jesus Christ, in all their dealings,
teachings and travels. Just read General Conference reports and see how each speaker
boldly professes the central role of the Savior in this Church.
A focus on individuals, not developing amusement parks or drooling over a stable of
Lear Jets. The growth and development of the individual is the same focus the Lord has
for each of us.
An obvious humility. It’s not about them, it’s about the ‘Work of Salvation.’
A tremendous love for our faith, family and country. They know the value of faith in our
conversion and how families are the heavenly-ordained unit of happiness. They are in
awe of the revealed organization of the Church. They love our country and know of its
destiny is bringing the world His truth.
Teachings that synch-up with the gospel of Jesus Christ. True, faith-promoting
experiences that can propel us to being better followers of the Savior.
These are all powerful indications of their divine callings. However, the real test is what these
same leaders exhort us to do. Take our questions regarding the Church and its leaders to the
Lord. We tell the Lord what we observe and how we feel. The Lord then confirms to our spirit
that these leaders are in fact His chosen servants.
As we meet with others not of our faith, we can share our witness about our present-day
leaders and tell them they can know of their veracity by learning more about the Church and
then, ask the Lord as we are directed in the scriptures. That is the real evidence and assurance
we have living prophets and apostles.