(August 28, 2015)
We generally think that the ability to see forward in time would be something of greater importance than the ability to see backwards in time. After all, we can determine from many clues what happened a thousand years ago, and we know personally what happened last week, but it would be hugely useful to know what will happen in a thousand years, or perhaps even more so to know what would happen next week.
Yet notice what the language here states – a seer (one who looks backwards) is greater than a prophet (someone who looks forward), even though a seer is also a prophet. Sometimes, I think, we fetishize the dramatic (knowing the future) and lose sight of the value of the simple-appearing (knowing the past).
Think about how this plays out today. Many would like to know the future about a great number of things, but is there much of greater value eternally than knowing the past? For example, if we know the past in knowing the genuine historicity of the Book of Mormon, knowing this past information teaches us so very much about our eternal role (far more so than a single prophesy coming true).