I have read with interest some posts at FPR about prophets, and what they ought to be like. It so happens that I have just started reading some Kierkegaard, and he had some interesting things to say about prophets and apostles.
David Paulsen has an excellent article that was published in BYU studies about Kierkegaard and Joseph Smith. As I related in a previous post, Mormons will like some of what Kierkegaard has to say regarding Christian apostasy. In the Book on Adler, Kierkegaard gives five characteristics that he would expect from one who had the true mantle of authority. They are:
1 – The prophet/apostle has something new (even paradoxical) to bring to the table.
2 – A prophet/apostle is called by God and sent on a mission.
3 – There would be no foundational aesthetic claims (like a poet) or any logical arguments (like a philosopher). What is delivered is revelation from one having authority.
4 – There would be a confidence in such revelation.
5 – There would be no other evidence other than his statement or testimony, and a willingness to suffer everything for the sake of the message.
These statements ring true to me as something of a test for prophetic claims, and as evidence of the reality of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ through a modern day prophet named Joseph Smith.