Fallibility or Infallibility of Men Appointed as Church Leaders

82  And inasmuch as a President of the High Priesthood shall transgress, he shall be had in remembrance before the common council of the church, who shall be assisted by twelve counselors of the High Priesthood;

83  And their decision upon his head shall be an end of controversy concerning him.

84  Thus, none shall be exempted from the justice and the laws of God, that all things may be done in order and in solemnity before him, according to truth and righteousness.

91 And again, the duty of the President of the office of the High Priesthood is to preside over the whole church, and to be like unto Moses—  (D&C 107:82-84, 91)

And in case that any decision of these quorums [First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve, The Seventy] is made in unrighteousness, it may be brought before a general assembly of the several quorums, which constitute the spiritual authorities of the church; otherwise there can be no appeal from their decision.  (D&C 107:32)

And all they who receive the oracles of God, let them beware how they hold them lest they are accounted as a light thing, and are brought under condemnation thereby, and stumble and fall when the storms descend, and the winds blow, and the rains descend, and beat upon their house.  (D&C 90:5)

At the afternoon meeting appointed by Brigham Young and his fellow apostles, the quorums of the priesthood were grouped about the stand in the order of a general assembly of priesthood; that is, the quorums of the Melchizedek priesthood were grouped together as high priests, seventies, elders; and the quorums of the Aaronic priesthood as priests, teachers, deacons. Questions to be settled by vote on such occasions are presented to each of these quorums of priesthood separately; and this general assembly of the quorums constitute the highest spiritual authority of the church. Such a general assembly of the quorums may even pass upon the decisions of the three great presiding councils of the Melchizedek priesthood, the first presidency, the quorum of the apostles, and the first quorum of the seventy, if the decision of these councils are made in unrighteousness(B. H. Roberts, CHC 2:416)

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 is 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. 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. (President George Q. Cannon, Millennial Star, 53:674-74)

Perhaps it may make some of you stumble, were I to ask you a question—Does a man’s being a Prophet in this Church prove that he shall be the President of it? I answer, no! A man may be a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and it may have nothing to do with his being the President of the Church. Suffice it to say, that Joseph was the President of the Church, as long as he lived, the people chose to have it so. He always filled that responsible station, by the voice of the people. Can you find any revelation appointing him the President of the Church? The keys of the Priesthood were committed to Joseph, to build up the Kingdom of God on the earth, and were not to be taken from him in time or in eternity; but when he was called to preside over the Church, it was by the voice of the people; though he held the keys of the Priesthood, independent of their voice.  (Brigham Young, April 6, 1853, JD 1:133)

Conflicting Statements From More Recent Times:

I sat in this tabernacle some years ago as President Joseph Fielding Smith stood at this pulpit. It was the general priesthood meeting of April 1972, the last general conference before President Smith passed away. He said: “There is one thing which we should have exceedingly clear in our minds. Neither the President of the Church, nor the First Presidency, or the united voice of the First Presidency and the Twelve will ever lead the Saints astray or send forth counsel to the world that is contrary to the mind and will of the lord(L. Aldin Porter, Ensign, November 1994, p. 63)