I said, "What?"
My first reaction was to laugh, but I withheld. Laughter is sometimes the unconscious mind's first response when there is an incongruity. Meaning, it was not what I was expecting to hear. I was honestly expecting "taxi driver," because I have been telling a funny story about a girl who wanted to be a taxi driver when she grew up.
I said, "That's great. Do you know what a prophet does?"
"They testify of Christ. They teach righteousness."
"Oh." She seemed to be thinking and then decided that she could begin being a prophet right away.
I tried to correct her and tell her that she was a "prophetess" not a prophet, but she had a harder time with that word. (She's not yet five and doesn't understand feminine and masculine word endings.) So she still says prophet if you ask her. It's really cute, and it's 100% sincere.
I told a few friends about it, and their first response was laughter, but then, thoughtfulness. One of my neighbors, after looking up prophetess on his iPhone to see if it was in fact a real word (he is not LDS) said, "Well, they don't come around that often, so maybe she is one."
I love that he said that. (He has his own kids, too.)
While he was reading wikipedia and his wife was looking up prophetess in the dictionary, I opened my Bible Dictionary and shared a few things with them:
"The work of a Hebrew prophet was to act as God's messenger and make known God's will.... He was to be, above all, a preacher of righteousness...."
I remember studying up on this a few years ago after I had a very interesting priesthood blessing wherein, one of my oldest friends blessed me with "the spirit of prophecy." I was sure he was speaking craziness, until I read the bible dictionary and this story in Numbers 11, which is now one of my favorites.
I love Moses's response. "Enviest thou for my sake?"
24¶And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the Lord, and gathered the aseventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle.
25And the Lord came down in a acloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy belders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they cprophesied, and did not cease.
26But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.
29And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were aprophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!
The very last line of the entry in the bible dictionary for Prophet says: "In a general sense, a prophet is anyone who has a testimony of Jesus Christ by the Holy Ghost."
Even though we are the only church that believes in a living prophet who presides over the church and can receive revelation for the church, we also believe that we can all have the spirit of prophecy. We can all preach righteousness, and uplift, edify one another, declare truth, and receive inspiration from the Holy Ghost.
As for my daughter, I can attest that she is already a prophetess. At her baby blessing my father blessed her that she would find out her mission early in life. I feel humbled, but up to the challenge of helping her remember it.
Of course, she is also still an almost-five-year-old--which makes for some fun times.
At lunch last week at the Sikh Ashram, where I like to eat yummy vegetarian Indian food, a woman came and sat by us because she said she was drawn to Phoebe's light. When she asked Phoebe what she wanted to be when she grew up and heard her response, she was not at all surprised. She couldn't believe her luck. She asked Phoebe to say a prayer that she could have a baby. She had just turned 40 and was trying to decide if she should have one of the men she knew impregnate her or if she should go to a sperm bank. She really wanted to have a child.
Phoebe said, "Okay." She turned to me. "Mom, I'm going to take a walk." Phoebe took a walk around the courtyard to say her prayer and then came back. The lady asked if Phoebe would say another prayer so that she could have 2 children.
Phoebe said, "Okay. Mom, I'm going to take a walk. I'll be right back." She took another walk and came back. "Okay. It's done," she said. "But you are going to get fat."
!!Laughter. Then, "Can you say a third one that I won't get fat?"
"Don't worry. It's just baby weight," said Phoebe.
I have no idea where she get this stuff.
So the follow up of this story is that yesterday, when I went to lunch at the Ashram I saw this woman again. She told me that prophet Phoebe's prayers were answered.
"I met the man I'm going to marry and we're moving in together and I'm meeting his parents in two weeks and we're going to try to get pregnant and plan a conscious wedding." All of this spilled out of her mouth as she showed me a picture of her new man. Cute. Good DNA. And she told me what a serving, loving person he is.
This all happened in a week. Yikes. But why I am I not surprised? For her sake, I hope she's right and that he is fabulous.
Back to the weightier matter of raising little prophets and prophetesses. This is no small task. But here's the kicker. It is not so much about parenting skills as it is about getting over your stuff--your own personal stuff and your relationship stuff--so that you install as little as possible of it in your children. That way they can find and start their missions sooner.
When I say get over your stuff, I'm not talking about the sort-of-trying, thinking-about-it, small steps you may have been taking toward positive change. Small steps are good. But I'm talking quantum leaps. These are the last days. And the fact that you are here now today parenting these children means that you can quantum leap every day. If you are not already growing and transforming and healing from your past every day, then ask God how. Lay down all your old stories, including guilt about not being there already. Just move forward. Any time a woman does something to raise her own vibration, the entire family benefits. You know this to be true. When you are grouchy, the whole family follows. When you are joyful, they also trail along like little puppies.
Ask God where to look and what to do so that you can grow more each day than you ever have before. Pour your heart out to Him. Then be prepared to follow inspiration. This requires releasing attachment to what growth should look like. Ask your children to pray for you, too. Then get ready.