Like many of you, I have a best friend. His name is Trevor and if I ever make it to heaven, he’s going to be largely to blame. Trevor and I really enjoy apologetics ( A theological science which has for its purpose the explanation and defence of the Christian religion. ). A lot of people view it as an exercise in pride. Argumentation is viewed as a bad thing nowadays. I don’t see it that way. I see it as an exercise in catechisis. Anyways, we like apologetics, so when a pair of Mormon missionaries found him during a jog and asked if they could come over to talk about the New NEW Testament, he was all over it. We spent the next few Fridays talking to these elders (who were a few years younger than us). I could write pages and pages about that experience. I’ll spare you. One thing Trevor and I couldn’t wrap our heads around was the Mormon doctrine on prophecy. They described the time after Christ as a continuation of the time before Christ. For them, nothing changed. The people of G-d receive a revelation, screw up again, and have to be sent a prophet to fix things. To them, that’s who Joseph Smith was. For Christians (Mormons are not Christians and usually do not claim to be), prophecy ended with the death of the last apostle. To say that we still need prophets after Christ is to say that Christ’s life, death, and resurrection didn’t do much. More problematic, it says that scripture’s account of who Christ was seems to be wrong.
During Advent I always spend time thinking about John the Baptist. We read about him quite a bit in the liturgy during this time of the year. He is described in tradition as the final prophet of the Old Testament, or the Old Covenant. The opening lines of the Gospel of Saint John (different John) tells us why.
In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with G-d
and the Word was G-d
He was in the beginning with G-d.
All things came to be through him
and without him nothing came to be…
and the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only Son,
Full of grace and truth.
– John 1:1-3; 14
Prophecy is that which reveals to us something about what is to come. With regards to our faith, prophecy reveals to us something about G-d that we do not know yet. Before Christ, that’s what the people of G-d needed. Once the word was made flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, The Word was spoken. In the person of Christ, The Lord speaks every word he has ever said, every word he ever needed to say, and every word he ever wanted to say to his people. After Christ, things changed. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says it this way:
“In many and various ways G-d spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son.” Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Father’s one, perfect and unsurpassable Word. In him he has said everything; there will be no other word than this one.
“The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and definitive Covenant, will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
If Jesus is The Word of G-d (he is) and if he is truly present in the Eucharist (he is), then the church has no need for prophecy anymore. In the Eucharist, we have the entirety of G-d’s revelation to us; we have Him. In the Eucharist, he whispers to his church everything she ever needed to hear. When we receive him in Holy Communion, we receive everything G-d ever wanted for us. The idea that another prophet was needed after him is irreconcilable with who scripture claims Christ to be. It necessitates opposition to who the Christian G-d has revealed himself to be.
Rey and Trevor: 1
Mormon Elders: 0