A witness from God can be relied upon. As you read our thoughts, beliefs, and experiences, we invite you to obtain a witness for yourself. If something we say or imply does not ring true, then you should feel no obligation to accept it. Life is an individual and unique journey with God. Although we can help and encourage each other, we need to be careful not to come between God and another person.


Friday, April 13, 2012

The Lord Will Never Permit the Prophet to Lead You Astray?

I heard the Lord saying, “Where did you get this strange doctrine that I won’t allow a prophet to lead you astray? When did I declare such a thing? Where is it recorded? Wilford Woodruff said something of the matter, but that was his own opinion. When did I take away the agency of the president of my church? This is a test for him just as much as it is a test for everyone else. Have I taken any man’s agency away? Can’t you see examples throughout the scriptures where leaders of my church led people astray? David the prophet led people astray; Eli the prophet led people astray; Caiaphas the prophet led people astray; Noah the prophet led people astray. Why would you be given a different test than the rest of my children? What makes your dispensation so different than the previous dispensations? Am I not the same yesterday, today, and forever?” 

I heard the Lord calling Caiaphas a prophet instead of a high priest, and he also called Noah a prophet instead of a King. I wondered why. A point was being made. In 1955, we started calling the President of the Church the prophet. Up until that time they were just called the President of the Church. Joseph Smith was the only one referred to as the Prophet. We gave these presidents the title of prophet without expecting them to have the prophetic experience JSH 1:13-20, 1 Nephi 11-14, Mosiah 8:14-17. (That’s not fair or kind to do to any leader.) If we can call the President of the Church a prophet, then under those same rules any leader, who occupies the top position of a church that was originally set up by God, can also be called a prophet, even Caiaphas and Noah. 

The truth of the matter is that God wants all of us to be prophets. “And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!” Numbers 11:27-29 Becoming a prophet/prophetess does not give us any right to usurp the authority or position of the President of the Church.  He has the leadership responsibility for the church. 

Where do we find the doctrine that says the Lord won’t allow the President of the Church to lead people astray? I can’t find it anywhere, and I’ve looked. The closest I’ve come to finding something is Wilford Woodruff’s statement, “I say to Israel, the Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray.” [Emphasis added] (“I say to Israel” is omitted in Official Declaration 1, but you can read the original text in Deseret Evening News, October 11, 1890, p. 2). In his statement, Wilford Woodruff does not give credit to the Lord for this promise. If anyone can tell me where the Lord establishes this guarantee, I would really like to know. A lot hangs on this belief. 

There are several that oppose the position, “The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray.”

Apostle Charles W. Penrose declared: "President Wilford Woodruff is a man of wisdom and experience, and we respect and venerate him, but we do not believe his personal views or utterances are revelations from God; and when 'Thus saith the Lord', comes from him, the saints investigate it: they do not shut their eyes and take it down like a pill." Millennial Star Vol. 54 #12 p. 191
President George Q. Cannon expressed it thus: "Do not, brethren, put your trust in man though he be a Bishop, an Apostle, or a President. If you do, they will fail you at some time or place; they will do wrong or seem to, and your support be gone; but if we lean on God, He never will fail us.  When men and women depend on God alone, and trust in Him alone, their faith will not be shaken if the highest in the Church should step aside.  They could still see that He is just and true, that truth is lovely in His sight, and the pure in heart are dear to Him.

“Perhaps it is His own design that faults and weaknesses should appear in high places in order that His Saints may learn to trust in Him and not in any man or men.  Therefore, my brethren and sisters, seek after the Holy Spirit and the unfailing testimony of God and His work upon the earth." Millennial Star Vol. 53 #43 p. 674
"President Joseph Smith read the 14th chapter of Ezekiel--said the Lord had declared by the Prophet, that the people should each one stand for himself, and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish church--that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls--applied it to the present state of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--said if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall--that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds, in consequence of neglecting the duties devolving upon themselves, envious towards the innocent, while they afflict the virtuous with their shafts of envy." TPJS pp. 237-38
President Joseph F. Smith said, "We talk of obedience, but do we require any man or woman to ignorantly obey the counsels that are given? Do the First Presidency require it? No, never. What do they desire? That we may comprehend all true principles for ourselves;" Journal of Discources (JD) 16:248
Brigham Young said: "What a pity it would be, if we were led by one man to utter destruction! Are you afraid of this? I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually." JD 9:15
"How easy it would be for your leaders to lead you to destruction, unless you actually know the mind and will of the spirit yourselves. That is your privilege." JD 4:368

"And none are required to tamely and blindly submit to a man because he has a portion of the Priesthood. We have heard men who hold the Priesthood remark, that they would do anything they were told to do by those who presided over them, if they knew it was wrong; but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God who seeks for the redemption of his fellows would despise the idea of seeing another become his slave, who had an equal right with himself to the favour of God; he would rather see him stand by his side, a sworn enemy to wrong, so long as there was place found for it among men. Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty authority have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the Saints were told to do by their Presidents, they should do it without asking any questions. When Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their minds to do wrong themselves." Millennial Star, vol.14 #38, pp.593-95 

 "I do not wish any Latter-day Saint in this world, nor in heaven, to be satisfied with anything I do, unless the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, the spirit of revelation, makes them satisfied.  I wish them to know for themselves and understand for themselves, for this would strengthen the faith that is within them. Suppose that the people were heedless, that they manifested no concern with regard to the things of the kingdom of God, but threw the whole burden upon the leaders of the people, saying, 'If the brethren who take charge of matters are satisfied, we are,' this is not pleasing in the sight of the Lord." JD 3:45

"There are those among this people who are influenced, controlled, and biased in their thoughts, actions, and feelings by some other individual or family, on whom they place their dependence for spiritual and temporal instruction, and for salvation in the end.  These persons do not depend upon themselves for salvation, but upon another of their poor, weak, fellow mortals.  “I do not depend upon any inherent goodness of my own,” say they, “ introduce me into the kingdom of glory, but I depend upon you, brother Joseph, upon you, brother Brigham, upon you, brother Heber, or upon you, brother James; I believe your judgment is superior to mine, and consequently I let you judge for me; your spirit is better than mine, therefore you can do good for me; I will submit myself wholly to you, and place in you all my confidence for life and salvation; where you go I will go, and where you tarry there I will stay; expecting that you will introduce me through the gates into the heavenly Jerusalem

“.   .   . Now those men, or those women, who know no more about the power of God, and the influences of the Holy Spirit, than to be led entirely by another person, suspending their own understanding, and pinning their faith upon another's sleeve, will never be capable of entering into the celestial glory, to be crowned as they anticipate; they will never be capable of becoming Gods. They cannot rule themselves, to say nothing of ruling others, but they must be dictated to in every trifle, like a child. They cannot control themselves in the least, but James, Peter, or somebody else must control them. They never can become Gods, nor be crowned as rulers with glory, immortality, and eternal lives. They never can hold sceptres of glory, majesty, and power in the celestial kingdom. Who will? Those who are valiant and inspired with the true independence of heaven, who will go forth boldly in the service of their God, leaving others to do as they please, determined to do right, though all mankind besides should take the opposite course. Will this apply to any of you? Your own hearts can answer." JD1:312


  1. Thanks for putting these all together. Being slaves as quoted above, is basically following Lucifer's plan: trust in everything one man says and it will all be good in the end.

    The craziest part is that we and our predecessors have been warned. The leaders are trying to rewrite their own history, but it doesn't even really matter because practically everyone has no dedication to growth and learning. A simple search on google and all these warnings would appear.

    I wouldn't consider the LDS church to believe in Mormonism anymore. "We should gather all the good and true principles in the world and treasure them up, or we shall not come out true 'Mormons'." -Joseph Smith They are so adamant about being Christians, that they are becoming just like all other Christian churches.

  2. Bruce R. Mcconkie states that "Upon the President of the church the Almighty bestows the highest office and the greatest gifts that mortal man is capable of receiving. He is the earthly head of the kingdom of God, the supreme officer of the church; or in other words, the Presiding High Priest over the High Priesthood of the Church". His duty is to "preside over the whole church and to be like Moses-Behold, here is wisdom; yea, to be a seer, a revelator, a translator, and a prophet, having all the gifts of God which he bestows upon the head of the church" (D&C 107:91-92) Each and every one of us holds a responsibility to not follow by blind faith, but to first pray and gain a testimony of the living prophet. People are not forced to go astray, they choose to.

  3. I know that President Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. The Holy Ghost has testified that to me and I know it is true. I also know that he has never given us any guidance that would lead us astray as we follow it. I am thankful that the Lord has called through the correct way leaders to help us through this ever changing world where the philosophies of men are mingled with scripture. 2 Nephi 9:28-29
    I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He loves me and He loves you. I don't need any more evidence than what the Holy Ghost provides me with (Moroni 10:4-5 & Ether 12:6 & Alma 32:21). Faith and following the Savior is what will lead me to Salvation.
    I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that as we search the scriptures we will find strength. If we are searching the scriptures to find error, then we are searching for the wrong reasons. But I know that as we search the scriptures to learn the words of God we will find them.
    I know that families can be together forever. I am so thankful for this promise. I love my Savior and am grateful for His mercy and love.

  4. I've been tracking this topic, I call is Revealed Verses Human Knowledge (RVHK). It is amazing how many "Prophets" have told us the greatest gift - and responsibility - we have is to depend upon the Lord. They NEVER say, "depend upon me/us" as traditional leaders/governments do. If you look at the past 15 years of Conference talks by "the Brethren" you'll find the MOST prevalent "answer" to these "trying times" is a personal relationship with God the Father and the Spirit of personal revelation. Again, THANKS!

  5. Mere Church history proves that presidents of the Church can & have led us astray, since Joseph Smith.

    Those who refuse to learn from church history are doomed to repeat it & fall for such falsehoods by false prophets.

    The Church is in the near total 'latter day apostasy' that was foretold by ancient BoM prophets.

    Everyone in the Church is deceived to support and do evil, except a rare few.

  6. You have done us all a great service by gathering these quotes together in one place. Thank you.

    This false doctrine of infallibility of the president of the Church has been so ingrained in the membership that it is nearly impossible to have a civil conversation with some of them. They throw out all reason, logic, common sense, and even the scriptures and teachings of past leaders, and pin their testimonies on a single unverified false doctrine: that the current leaders of this Church could never lead the Church astray.

    And so the Church is led astray by that one single falsehood.

  7. Joseph Smith warned the Saints that they usually will believe in a 'false' prophet, thinking he is a true prophet. And that is just what happened to them, but he tried to warn them.

    Brigham Young preached completely opposite to what Joseph Smith did. Joseph never believed in or practiced polygamy. He constantly tried to warn the Saints not to fall for it or for anyone (like BY) who preached it and tried to get them to practice it.

    Joseph warned the Saints then & now to not be deceived by the false rumors and hearsay that he was preaching or practicing it secretly.

    But hardly no one listened to Joseph and most followed BY and supported the very whoredoms that Joseph & the BoM warned them about.

  8. Alan,

    Your statement about the 'false doctrine of infallibility' is so well stated, I was wondering if I could use that statement and quote you on other blogs?

  9. D&C 1:24-28
    24 Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.

    25 And inasmuch as they erred it might be made known;

    26 And inasmuch as they sought wisdom they might be instructed;

    27 And inasmuch as they sinned they might be chastened, that they might repent;

    28 And inasmuch as they werehumble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time.

    No one ever said that a prophet will always be perfect in all ways and in all things.

    I have personally come to understand that the phrase "a Prophet will never lead the Church astray" means that the Prophet will never lead or teach the members of the Church to sin and to not follow Christ.

    Yes, there have been many errors that have been repudiated. But that doesn't mean that the past Presidents of the Church were intentionally misleading members through "false doctrines".

    Consider these statements of past leaders of the church. (It appears that I may have found your quote.)

    “I make no claim of infallibility.”
    Spencer W. Kimball, Improvement Era, June 1970, p. 93

    “We make no claim of infallibility or perfection in the prophets, seers, and revelators.”
    James E. Faust, Ensign, November 1989, p. 11

    “The First Presidency cannot claim, individually or collectively, infallibility.”
    George Q. Cannon Gospel Truth: Discourses and Writings of President George Q. Cannon, 1957, 1:206

  10. “We respect and venerate” (the prophet), but “we do not believe that his personal views or utterances are revelations from God.”
    Elder Charles W. Penrose, Millennial Star, 54:191

    “Even the President of the Church has not always spoken under the direction of the Holy Ghost.”
    Elder J. Reuben Clark, quoted in Faithful History: Essays on Writing Mormon History, p. 82

    “…if He (God) should suffer him (Joseph Smith) to lead the people astray, it would be because they ought to be led astray…it would be because they deserved it…”
    Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 4:297-298

    “The First Presidency have of right a great influence over this people; and if we should get out of the way and lead this people to destruction, what a pity it would be! How can you know whether we lead you correctly, or not? Can you know by any other power than that of the Holy Ghost? I have uniformly exhorted the people to obtain this living witness each for themselves; then no man on earth can lead them astray.”
    Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 6:100

    “I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation…Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not.”
    Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 14:205

    “Individual members are encouraged to independently strive to receive their own spiritual confirmation of the truthfulness of Church doctrine. Moreover, the Church exhorts all people to approach the gospel not only intellectually but with the intellect and the spirit, a process in which reason and faith work together.”
    Official Church web site The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  11. “The Lord uses imperfect people…He often allows their errors to stand uncorrected. He may have a purpose in doing so, such as to teach us that religious truth comes forth “line upon line, precept upon precept” in a process of sifting and winnowing similar to the one I know so well in science.”
    Henry Eyring, Reflections of a Scientist, p. 47

    “There are exceptions to some rules. For example, we believe the commandment is not violated by killing pursuant to a lawful order in an armed conflict. But don’t ask me to give an opinion on your exception. I only teach general rules. Whether an exception applies to you is your responsibility. You must work that out individually between you and the Lord.”
    Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, June 2006, p. 16

    “I teach the people correct principles, and they govern themselves.”
    Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, 10: 57-58

    “We are all liable to error; are subject, more or less, to the errors incident to the human family. We would be pleased to get along without these errors, and many may think that a man in my standing ought to be perfect; no such thing.”
    Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 10:212

    “Sometimes traditions, customs, social practices, and personal preferences of individual Church members may, through repeated or common usage be misconstrued as Church procedures or policies. Occasionally, such traditions, customs and practices may even be regarded by some as eternal principles.”
    Elder Ronald Poelman, 1984 General Conference

    “Forget everything I have said, or what…Brigham Young…or whomsoever has said… that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world.”
    Elder Bruce R. McConkie, CES Conference, August 1978

    “We set up assumptions, based on our best knowledge, but can go no further. We should remember that when inspired writers deal with historical incidents they relate that which they have seen or that which may have been told them, unless indeed the past is opened to them by revelation.”
    Elder John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, p. 127

    “I have tried for a number of years to get the minds of the Saints prepared to receive the things of God; but we frequently see some of them, after suffering all they have for the work of God, will fly to pieces like glass as soon as anything comes that is contrary to their traditions.”
    Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 331
    "But make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters; in the months and years ahead, events will require of each member that he or she decide whether or not he or she will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions (see 1 Kings 18:21). President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had "never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional, or political life" (CR, April 1941, p. 123). This is a hard doctrine, but it is a particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ." - Neal A. Maxwell, October 10th, 1978.


Thank you for posting