A friend asked me once why our modern prophets don't talk about face-to-face visits with God - and he then added, "Like ancient prophets did". The following was my response to him, to the best of my recollection:
1) I think in our day, such statements (even if totally true) would cause such ridicule and scorn within the world-wide media that they would do more damage to the Church than good.
2) I think the focus in our day is much more on gaining a personal witness of things and not relying on the witness of others than it was in the beginning of the Church. I think that has to be the case as a religion (or any organization) grows and matures. The beginning of almost anything can be grand and epic and chaotic and confrontational, but for it to sustain growth and mature the "radicalness" must give way to stability and steadiness - and claims to have seen and talked with God face-to-face don't fit stability and steadiness.
3) I think such statements (even if totally true) would create an expectation among believers that would lead to intense efforts to see God literally face-to-face - and implicit ranking of righteousness of the apostles by the general membership based on who said they had seen God thusly. That's not a good situation.
4) Finally and foundationally, there are almost NO claims of seeing God, the Father, face-to-face in our canonized scriptures, and there are very few claims of seeing the pre-mortal Jehovah or the resurrected Christ (especially after the initial post-resurrection visits to groups), face-to-face either - at least that are recorded in such a way as to completely rule out visions rather than actual visitations.
Think about this:
When in the entire history of our canonized scripture do we have accounts of face-to-face interaction with God, the Father?
Adam: the beginning of mankind (but only in the Garden of Eden - pre-mortality, if you will)
Moses: the beignning of the creation of the nation of Israel (and, based on our understanding, this was Jehovah - not the Father)
Jared: the beginning of the divine settling of the promised land, if you will (again, this was Jehovah)
Jesus: the Mount of Transfiguration (implied only as a physical visit)
What other prophets in our scripture have, without question, written about seeing God face-to-face - not in a vision, but actually face-to-face? Look at the following:
Nephi and Jacob: the beginning of the Nephite civilization? (in vision)
Jesus: the beginning of Christianity? (We have no clear, unambiguous record of Jesus seeing God, the Father face-to-face in mortality.)
Paul: the beginning of the missionary focus of Christianity? (in vision)
Joseph Smith: the beginning of the Restoration? (In the case of the Father, it appears that this was in a vision, not face-to-face - thus, "The First Vision".)
Notice something? Every instance in our canon that is explicitly face-to-face is in an Old Testament time period or setting. Maybe this is one of those "as far as it is translated correctly" issues - or maybe it is that those who see God face-to-face simply don't talk about it. I don't know.
Thus, I don't think it's how God generally works, and I think if He does appear thus to someone He probably adds the "go and tell no man" command to most of the visits.
Just my opinion, obviously, but it's how I see this issue right now.
The New Day — Chapter 6
3 hours ago