Article cover image by Scot Facer Proctor.

“A very important book.” Robert L. Millet

“I LOVED this book! Timely, refreshing, encouraging.” Taylor Halverson

“Destined to be a classic. Timely, inspiring, beautifully written.” Joni Hilton

“The questions are real . . . and THE LAST SAFE PLACE contains answers.” Susan Easton Black

We live in troubled times. When have we––our families and the world––ever needed prophets more than we do now? And yet, even among members, there are many who don’t know quite what to make of living prophets.

Some Questions about Prophets

For example, you might have family members or friends who wonder:

  • Are the presiding Brethren really prophets, or do they just have that title?
  • Do they actually receive revelation, or, in the end, are they just relying on their own judgment?
  • If they ever do receive revelation, doesn’t that actually happen infrequently?
  • If they’re truly prophets, and are really guided by revelation, why do so many––including active members I know––doubt, or even reject, some of their decisions?
  • If they’re really prophets, why do they sometimes institute policies that members can’t quite compute––that don’t match their personal understanding of the gospel? What are members supposed to do in situations like that?

For those who have them, these are haunting questions. But there are more. You might know someone who is troubled by questions like these:

  • If the presiding Brethren are really prophets, why do all the smart people in particular––people I admire––typically either ignore or reject them? Would smart people do that if they were truly prophets?
  • If they’re really prophets, why do so many members actually leave the Church?
  • If they’re really prophets, why do some members tell me we just need to tolerate current leaders, since their errors will eventually be corrected by new, younger leaders?
  • If they’re really prophets, why can’t they answer all the questions about why some things are done or not done?

Or perhaps you know people who have these questions:

  • How can the Brethren be considered reliable when some of the leaders’ remarks, such as Brigham Young’s, have been disavowed?
  • What can it possibly mean to say that the Brethren “can’t lead the Church astray” when we know they have human weaknesses and that they also have agency? Doesn’t this entail that they can lead the Church astray?
  • What can it possibly mean to “follow the prophet” when prophets have so often been infirm due to illness or old age?
  • Didn’t George Albert Smith himself express doubts about the reliability of the Brethren?
  • Didn’t Hugh B. Brown actually minimize the importance of gospel orthodoxy?
  • Doesn’t D&C 21:5 itself warn us that prophets can make important mistakes and that we therefore must have “all patience and faith” in following them?
  • Doesn’t the loss of the 116 pages, too, prove that prophetic leaders can make serious mistakes?

And perhaps these questions trouble some people you know:

  • If they’re really prophets, why does it take fifteen of them to lead the Church?
  • If they’re really prophets, guided by revelation, why do they ever need to change Church policies? Especially big ones?
  • If they’re really prophets, guided by revelation, why do they ever disagree with each other?
  • If they’re really prophets, why are so many departments, committees, studies, member surveys, meetings, experiments, presentations––and so on––needed to run the Church? Why is all that necessary if they’re really guided by revelation?
  • If they’re truly “special witnesses of Christ,” why do they never say anything about it?
  • If they’re really prophets, why is it so easy for people to find problems with their decisions and poke holes in them? Why does that happen so often, and why does it seem so easy to do?
  • In the end, isn’t following the Brethren really just blind obedience? Isn’t it actually for those who simply don’t want to think for themselves?

Trusting Against All Mortal Reason

All of these questions are real, and they all revolve around the issue of trust in living prophets. To appreciate just how crucial such trust is, consider this true story. It was shared with us by a friend whose father, a devoted Latter-day Saint, served as a military commander during wartime.

On one occasion, this commander’s unit found itself isolated and under significant jeopardy from the enemy, which was located north of their position. In considering the best course to follow, this leader gathered advice from his lieutenants in command, all of whom urged immediately heading in one direction or another as long as it was not north. This leader then went to the Lord in prayer and received the inspiration that he actually should head north to escape the enemy. This was completely counterintuitive and surprising, flying in the face of everything he knew. What he did not know, however, was that (1) a journalist had actually written an article describing the circumstances and jeopardy of this unit, (2) the enemy had read this article, and (3), as a result, enemy troops had moved from their locations in the north to take up positions in the south in order to prevent these troops’ escape. This military leader knew none of this, of course, but the point is, the Lord knew it—and thus gave him the inspiration to head north. Much to the consternation of his lieutenants, that is what this leader did, allowing his unit to eventually circle around the enemy’s new positions and head south safely.

Nothing could have been more surprising to this military leader than the direction he received—and yet it was precisely the direction that ended up saving his life and the lives of his men. And it all occurred for a very simple reason:

This leader trusted the Lord––and his men trusted him.

And all of them exercised this trust against all mortal reason.

The Danger We Face

The danger this combat unit faced is highly similar to the spiritual danger we face in this fallen world. We, too, find ourselves in a world full of enemy encampments. And, just as with this unit, only the Lord knows where all these enemy encampments are hidden and thus only he can guide us around them.

Fortunately, just as with these troops, we also have leaders who are in tune with the Lord, who listen to him, and who trust him. Thus, President Russell M. Nelson could say of prophetic leaders that “they see the harrowing dangers the adversary has placed or will yet place in our path,”[i] and Elder Neal A. Maxwell could observe that prophets “are alerted to tiny trends that bode ill for mankind,” and that they are “the Lord’s early warning system” for matters that will later come to plague the people.[ii] Like this military commander, prophetic leaders can do this because they are in tune with the Lord, they listen to him, and they trust him.

The Problem

But here’s the problem. The Lord’s guidance to his leaders will sometimes direct us to go north when our own wisdom tells us that going north is the last thing we should do. That kind of disparity is guaranteed to create a challenge for many––just as it must have been a challenge for members of that combat unit.

But that unit’s experience also teaches us this: our own wisdom is untrustworthy. Unlike the Lord, we simply don’t know where all the enemy encampments are. And that lack of knowledge guarantees that we will sometimes be mystified by things the Lord directs, even though that direction is exactly what will save our lives!

The reality is, if we follow our own wisdom in such circumstances, and fail to go north, we will ultimately discover that we have walked directly into the hands of our enemy.

Helping Those We Love

So the key to the safe return of this combat unit was two-fold: its leader trusted the Lord––and its members trusted him.

Spiritually speaking, the same kind of trust is crucial for our day and for our own safe return. We have prophetic leaders who listen to the Lord and trust him, knowing that he––and only he––can guide them safely around and through all the hidden traps, perils, and enemy encampments of the last days. And this means something important for us––namely, that the only spiritually safe place for us is standing with them. Perhaps now, more than ever, it is the last safe place.

Now you probably trust living prophets already. Sadly, though, we all know and love people––family members and friends––who do not yet have such trust. They don’t think standing with prophets is such an important or safe place. In fact, they probably have the very kinds of questions about prophets that we listed earlier.

This obviously presents a challenge. Spiritual survival itself is at stake. And the desire to help with this challenge is why, as a father and daughter, we have written The Last Safe Place. It is not surprising, after all, that some of the people we love have problems with prophets; that is only natural in a fallen world. Typically, however, those problems are rooted in misconceptions. When we get past those misconceptions, people can actually find themselves open to the idea of prophets and of their role in representing the Lord––including in cases where the prophetic direction, against all mortal reason, is that we should go north.

The Last Safe Place corrects such misconceptions. It provides answers. In doing so, it identifies a few core principles that are crucial for understanding and sustaining prophets. This is why the subtitle of the book is: Seven Principles for Standing with the Prophets in Troubled Times.

When we understand these principles, and the misconceptions they correct, the shutters of our understanding are thrown open and light pours in. We find ourselves in a position to address every question that might be raised about prophets. We can help others understand that they truly can trust these servants––including on the topics that are most controversial and that trouble them the most. In short, we are in an improved position to help those we love.

Here is some information about us:

And here is a sample page from the book:

Thanks to Meridian Press, you will find this book visually beautiful. It is also packed with photos you’ve never seen before, and includes many stories and statements you’ve never heard before. We think you will be delighted.

If this book interests you, and if you think its information might help you with family members and others who don’t yet understand why they can trust living prophets (including on the most controversial topics), please click the link below.

CLICK HERE to orders yours today. The book will also be available in audiobook format very soon.

“You will love our leaders even more after reading this book.”

“This is the kind of book (at this specific time) that Latter-day Saints need to read more than once.”

“Anyone who humbly reads The Last Safe Place will find their faith magnified and their hope renewed.”

“A great recipe. An impressive work.”

“This book cuts to the heart of the issue. Insightful, fresh, and timely.”

Cover photo from Chapter 2

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[i] Russell M. Nelson, “Becoming True Millennials,” January 10, 2016, Young Adult Broadcast. https://

[ii] Neal A. Maxwell, Things as They Really Are (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 1980), 77–78.