As Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have the responsibility of gathering the elect of Israel by teaching them the fullness of the Gospel as it was restored to this dispensation by the Prophet Joseph Smith. However, we find that many Latter-day Saints are afraid to prayerfully examine this message. It is not necessarily because they fear the truth, or that they do not feel they discern truth from error; rather, it is because the leaders of the LDS Church have warned them against reading or studying anything that contradicts their leadership. To investigate is reason enough to lose a temple recommend or cause to receive some other disciplinary action. Some have even been excommunicated for continuing to examine this message and certainly excommunicated for adhering to the higher doctrines that Joseph Smith taught.
This fear of displeasing Church leaders, which usually results in “disciplinary action,” keeps many from studying God’s message and learning the truth. We, therefore, are writing this pamphlet to let all Latter-day Saints know that Church leaders are not to be “feared” as in the manner of the present-day LDS Church; rather:
Fear God, and give glory to Him. (Revelation 14:7)
There is but one rock, one faith, and one gospel to true Latter-day Saints, to those who would be numbered among the wise virgins. They are they who will “take the Holy Spirit for their guide” (D&C 45:57), obtain the power of proper priesthood keys and, when used correctly, commune with the Heavens (D&C 107:18-19) and thereby become the Elect of God (D&C 84:33-34). It is unlikely, then, that false prophets, false Christs, fallen angels, or false spirits can deceive them. However, as a general rule, Latter-day Saints, like the house of Israel of old, have been content to have their leaders talk to the Lord for them and receive the word of the Lord in their behalf without even questioning or proving to their own selves by true testimony what is from God and what is not:
And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. (Exodus 20:19)
Moses tried to get the people to sanctify themselves through personal communion with God, but they would not. They were satisfied, merely, to have a prophet rather than to become prophets themselves through personal experience. Then, as well as now, they did not want to be bothered or troubled with such matters. As a result, Israel provoked God and lost their opportunity (Alma 12:36; Hebrews 3:8, 10-11).
As with Moses’ dispensation, so it was with Jesus’, and now Joseph’s. There was a shining moment, and then the glory of heaven was traded for man-made darkness. Joseph Smith taught that the Saints wanted him to approach God about things they should find out for themselves from God, but the Saints have never fully accepted the challenge, for example:
It is a great thing to inquire at the hands of God, or to come into His presence; and we feel fearful to approach Him on subjects that are of little or no consequence, to satisfy the queries of individuals, especially about things the knowledge of which men ought to obtain in all sincerity, before God, for themselves, in humility by the prayer of faith; and more especially a teacher or a High Priest in the Church. (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 22)
Instead, they have slipped into darkness. We will now explore how such a tragedy happened.
The last dispensation began with a humble young man, Joseph Smith, who advanced in knowledge and priesthood until he concluded his mission with the power of God fully upon him; but, even with all that, he recognized that his position did not make him infallible. Many of the scriptures he received from God for this dispensation warned that man should never put his trust in the “arm of flesh”or fear men more than God or fall subject to the persuasions of men . For example:
O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm. (2 Nephi 4:34)
The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh— (D&C 1:19)
For although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do many mighty works, yet if he boasts in his own strength, and sets at naught the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will and carnal desires, he must fall and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him. Behold, you have been entrusted with these things, but how strict were your commandments; and remember also the promises which were made to you, if you did not transgress them. And behold, how oft you have transgressed the commandments and the laws of God, and have gone on in the persuasions of men. For, behold, you should not have feared man more than God. Although men set at naught the counsels of God, and despise his words–Yet you should have been faithful; and he would have extended his arm and supported you against all the fiery darts of the adversary; and he would have been with you in every time of trouble. Behold, thou art Joseph, and thou wast chosen to do the work of the Lord, but because of transgression, if thou art not aware thou wilt fall. But remember, God is merciful; therefore, repent of that which thou hast done which is contrary to the commandment which I gave you, and thou art still chosen, and art again called to the work; Except thou do this, thou shalt be delivered up and become as other men, and have no more gift. (D&C 3:5-11)
Joseph Smith learned to rely totally on God and not man. Finally he was given all the keys of this dispensation as is attested in the following:
Verily I say unto you, the keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from you, while thou art in the world, neither in the world to come; Nevertheless, through you shall the oracles (revelations) be given to another, yea, even unto the church. 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 90:3-5)
The membership of the Church was commanded:
For his word (Joseph Smith) ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith. (D&C 21:5)
Even at that Joseph once said:
. . . I told them that a prophet was a prophet only when he was acting as such. (TPJS, p. 278; HC 5:268)
Of course, the only real way to tell if a prophet is speaking as a prophet is to recognize that he is absolutely consistent with former proven prophets, the scriptures and more importantly to righteously judge him under the light of the Holy Ghost.
And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good–yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit. (D&C 11:12)
Before the end, Joseph said of himself:
I never told you I was perfect; but there is no error in the revelations which I have taught. (TPJS, p. 368; HC 6:366)
The scriptural record attests of Joseph at the end of his mortal life:
Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. . . .He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood. . . (D & C 135:3; also see the chapter, “Joseph Smith, Jr.”)
Joseph pled with the people to let personal revelation and certain standards be their guide in their decisions to follow leadership. He said:
Search the scriptures–search the revelations we publish, and ask your Heavenly Father, in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, to manifest the truth unto you, and if you do it with an eye single to His glory nothing doubting, He will answer you by the power of His Holy Spirit. You will then know for yourselves and not for another. You will not then be dependent on man for the knowledge of God; nor will there be any room for speculation. No; for when men receive their instruction from him that made them, they know how he will save them. (TPJS, 11-12)
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. (TPJS, 237-238)
Joseph Smith recognized that the law of witnesses applied here and that he, himself, was only one witness and that the Saints needed the witness or testimony of heaven about these matters for it to enlarge their understanding and to be sealed upon their souls. He believed and taught the doctrine:
. . .thatin the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. (Matthew 18:16)
. . . In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.(2 Corinthians 13:1)
And now, behold, I give unto you, and also unto my servant Joseph, the keys of this gift, which shall bring to light this ministry; and in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. (D&C 6:28)
. . . thatin the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. (D&C 128:3)
He realized that one of those witnesses should be from the divine source for it to be completely binding upon the soul and that the Saints were entitled to that divine witness as part of the law of witnesses. After all, it was Joseph who had translated:
And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. (Moroni 10:5)
We are obliged to remark that the above essential scripture does not state:
And by the word of the “General Authorities” ye may know the truth of all things.
Joseph Smith adds the following standards to the requirements for personal revelation:
. . . if anything should have been suggested by us, or any names mentioned, except by commandment, or thus saith the Lord, we do not consider it binding. (DHC. 3:295, TPJS, p. 136)
If any man writes to you, or preaches to you, doctrines contrary to the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, set him down as an impostor. (Times and Seasons 5:490)
A Key: Every principle proceeding from God is eternal and any principle which is not eternal is of the devil. (TPJS, p. 181)
Joseph’s immediate successors were also very strong leaders, but never did they require that the membership of the Church blindly follow them. They believed in the divine law of witnesses and recognized that when they spoke they were just one witness. Therefore, they always expected the people to ask God if they, as leaders, were leading them right or not. Then the people would have God’s witness to them as well as the leader’s witness, and hence the law of witnesses was fulfilled; and it was bound upon them. Never did these early leaders expect the people to be blind followers! Here is a sampling of some of their statements about this matter:
Samuel Richards, on Nov. 13, 1852 in editorializing, said the following:
We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark, that they would do anything that they were told to do by those who preside over them, if they knew it was wrong: but such obedience is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself, should not claim rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God…would despise the idea. 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, 14:393-395)
Brigham Young said:
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, “to 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 scepters 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. (JD 1:312, A discourse presented in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on February 20, 1853)
Again Brigham Young counsels:
Some may say, “Brethren, you who lead the Church, we have all confidence in you, we are not in the least afraid but what everything will go right under your superintendence; all the business matters will be transacted right; and if brother Brigham is satisfied with it, I am.” 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.
Every man and woman in this kingdom ought to be satisfied with what we do, but they never should be satisfied without asking the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, whether what we do is right.(JD 3:45, October 6, 1855)
. . . in the midst of all that we hear from this stand with regard to counsel and implicit obedience to counsel, you and I must have the testimony of Jesus within us, or it is of but little use for us to pretend to be servants of God. We must have that living witness within us. We need the light of the Holy Spirit continually, day by day, as you have been told hundreds of times. 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, June 28, 1857)
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, 9:151, January 12, 1862)
Apostle Moses Thatcher, several years later, echoed the same doctrine:
We can see now that a few who have relied upon others, who have sought the counsel of their file leaders and have depended upon that counsel when they can no longer reach those leaders, falter and fall by the wayside. I believe that God intends that every man and every woman in His Church and kingdom shall exercise the faculties which He has given them, that in the exercise of their agency He designs to exalt them in eternal glory. So long therefore as the people rely upon their leaders they are not manifesting that degree of faith, they are not in a position to think and reflect for themselves as they should.(JD, 26:328, October 8, 1885)
President George Q. Cannon said the same type of thing:
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.(Millennial Star, 53:674-74)
No man, leader or prophet is infallible! We must put our trust in the Lord and not in man or we will fail. Who do the scriptures support? The following scriptures testify:
Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. (Jeremiah 17:5)
O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm. (2 Nephi 4:34)
Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost. (2 Nephi 28:31)
The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh– (D&C 1:19)
The Bible, Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants are all consistent with what the early brethren taught. There are many more scriptural references and statements of the early brethren that teach the same thing, and it can be plainly seen that the ancients as well as the early brethren clearly understood and taught this doctrine.
Now the question must be asked, is it possible for the Church President and/or the Presiding Councils of the Church to falter and lead the people astray? What are the facts versus fiction? Let us now reason together.
We quote a famous statement made by President Wilford Woodruff:
The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. (Sixty-first Semiannual General Conference of the Church, Monday, October 6, 1890, Salt Lake City, Utah. Reported in Deseret Evening News, October 11, 1890, p. 2, D & C, 1981 ed., p. 292)
Most Latter-day Saints consider from the above that God, in some mystical way, will never allow a President of the LDS Church to fall through his attempt to “lead you astray”. Other General Authorities have made statements that profess there is no doctrine of infallibility, such as the following by James E. Faust:
We make no claim of infallibility or perfection in the prophets, seers, and revelators. (James E. Fauts, Conference Report, Oct. 1989, and Ensign, Nov. 1989, p. 11)
Yet, by the overall context of their statements, they obviously teach infallibilty, as in the following contradictory statement by James E. Faust:
. . . continuing revelation and leadership for the Church come through the President of the Church, and he will never mislead the Saints.(James E. Faust, General Conference, April 6, 1996)
On the surface, Latter-day Saints do not profess to accept or believe in the doctrine of infallibility of their leaders. However, it is undeniable that the statements by James E. Faust and President Woodruff quoted above, as understood and accepted by Latter-day Saints and put in practice and belief, amounts to the same thing as the doctrine of infallibility. There is a very apparent gap between what is said for public consumption and the beliefs and attitudes exhibited by both Church members and leaders alike. Indeed, behavior heavily outweighs what is said in an attempt to manage the LDS image.
Confusion is also foisted upon Latter-day Saints because of double-minded statements that others have made. Some such statements follow:
Marion G. Romney:
I remember years ago when I was a Bishop I had President (Heber J.) Grant talk to our ward. After the meeting I drove him home . . . Standing by me, he put his arm over my shoulder and said, “My boy, you always keep your eye on the President of the Church, and if he ever tells you to do anything, and it is wrong, and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it.” Then with a twinkle in his eye, he said, “But you don’t need to worry. The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray.” (Conference Report, Oct. 1960, p. 78)
Joseph Fielding Smith is quoted by L. Aldin Porter of the Presidency of the First Quorum of Seventies:
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.” (Ensign, Nov. 1994, p. 63)
Boyd K. Packer:
Follow your leaders who have been duly ordained and have been publicly sustained, and you will not be led astray. (General Conference, Oct. 1992; Ensign, Nov. 1992)
What is amazing is that the above statements by these contemporaries in the LDS Quorum of Twelve and First Quorum of Seventy were made publicly, and yet the James E. Faust statement is diametrically opposed in content and intent with Romney, Smith, and Packer. Perhaps there is some twisted way of rationalizing that “you will not be led astray”, “ever lead the Saints astray” or “The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray” is somehow not the same as infallibility. Any attempt to justify such is nothing more than sophism. “Sophism” is defined as:
A plausible but fallacious argument, a deceptive or fallacious argumentation. (American Heritage Dictionary)
Of course, there are those who will do anything to save the “image” or incongruities and will try to harmonize such through fancy verbal “footwork” or “sleight of hand”. These men did say what they said and if they intended something different they should have been undeceivingly explicit. Without any doubt, tt is an overwhelmingly understood thing among Mormons that the President and, perhaps, even other high leaders are considered infallible.
The rest of the problem is the balance of the Wilford Woodruff statement:
The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty. (Sixty-first Semiannual General Conference of the Church, Monday, October 6, 1890, Salt Lake City, Utah. Reported in Deseret Evening News, October 11, 1890, p. 2, D & C, 1981 ed., p. 292)
The problem with the balance of the statement is that it is just an “understood thing” among Mormons that if the President did attempt to lead the people astray, God would cut him off and bring him through the veil. Many Americans as well as members of the Church suffer from a distinct lack of comprehension when reading their own native language. President Woodruff did not say that is what God would do nor can it be justifiably said that he implied such. However, so many interpret the words “remove me out of my place” to mean an automatic termination of his life and a transfer to the spirit world. To place such an interpretation on the phrase “remove me out of my place” is to neglect the context of the phrase. The context of the phrase is the balance of the statement, “and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty.” The phrase “any other man” obviously refers to any man besides the President. Clearly, President Woodruff also meant others than the President of the Church were included, and “who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty” must necessarily be understood. The 1828 Noah Webster’s Dictionary gives us somewhat of a view of how the Prophet Joseph Smith understood and used words in his native tongue. The word “oracles” is defined in this dictionary to mean,
Among Christians, oracles, in the plural, denotes the communications, revelations or messages delivered by God to prophets. In this sense, it is rarely used in the singular; but we say, the oraclesof God, divine oracles, meaning the Scriptures. (1828 Noah Webster’s Dictionary)
Let us, therefore, use the oracles/scriptures to determine what the phrase “remove me out of my place” means from God’s perspective.
The 107th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants defines clearly how God will remove the President out of his place. Consider the following:
Of necessity there are presidents, or presiding officers growing out of, or appointed of or from among those who are ordained to the several offices in these two priesthoods. Of the Melchizedek Priesthood, three Presiding High Priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office, and upheld by the confidence, faith, and prayer of the church, form a quorum of the Presidency of the Church. (D&C 107:21-22)
But a literal descendant of Aaron has a legal right to the presidency of this priesthood, to the keys of this ministry, to act in the office of bishop independently, without counselors, except in a case where a President of the High Priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek, is tried, to sit as a judge in Israel. (D&C 107:76)
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; Andtheir decision upon his head shall be an end of controversy concerning him. 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. (D&C 107:82-84)
If there is no possibility that the President of the LDS Church could ever lead the Church astray, why does the Lord refer to putting him on trial? Latter-day Saints consider the President of the Church also the President of the High Priesthood. Therefore, if there really were no possibility of the President ever leading the Church astray, this would have been the perfect time for the Lord to say so. That he did specifically say, that if the President transgressed he would be tried, is clear proof that the Lord considers it a real possibility that that action may someday need to be taken. Obviously, the Lord in His wisdom, knowing the future, provided for the eventual potential. Earlier brethren also considered it so as is expressed by B. H. Roberts when commenting on this very same scripture:
Special Council For The Trial Of The Presidents Of The Church
The special court referred to above consists of the presiding bishop of the church and twelve high priests especially called for each occasion. This special court is called into existence for the purpose of trying presidents of the high priesthood, who are also the presidents of the church, if they, or any one of them, should be found in transgression, said council may investigate the conduct of the president, subject him to rigid examination, and if the evidence should show him to be in transgression, the court would condemn him and its action would be final, from its decision he would have no appeal.
Thus none, not even the highest, is beyond the operation of the laws and councils of the church. However great and exalted any single officer of the church may be, the church and its system of government is still greater and more exalted than he; for though the president of the church is God’s mouthpiece–God’s viceregent on earth–yet he may be tried and his conduct inquired into by this court to which I have called attention. Therefore if the time should ever come that the church should be so unfortunate as to be presided over by a man who transgressed the laws of God and became unrighteous, a means in the church system of government is provided for deposing him without destroying the church, without revolution, or even disorder.
The Nature Of Ecclesiastical Punishments
Of course the only punishment which is within the power of the church to inflict, is to disfellowship or excommunicate offenders. (B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church, Vol. 2, Ch. 62, p. 375 -377)
Inasmuch as the Lord provided for this possibility, it suggests He anticipated that it would become a reality. His anticipative, very positive, language in Section 64 follows:
For it shall come to pass that the inhabitants of Zion shall judge all things pertaining to Zion. And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known. (D&C 64:38-39)
The Lord says, “. . . it shall come to pass . . .”. The word “shall” means:
shall (shal) aux.v. Used before a verb in the infinitive to show: Something that will take place or exist in the future. . . . Something that is inevitable. (American Heritage Electronic Dictionary, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992)
The Lord foresaw future conditions when there should arise false prophets and apostles; and the above testified to by the Lord, Himself, acts as prophecy that such would occur. The Lord also tells us how we should understand such prophetic utterances:
Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled. What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled. . . (D&C 1:37-38)
Certainly, what He says, we can expect to happen. Therefore, liars and hypocrites are to be proven and false prophets and apostles made known and this to be done by “the inhabitants of Zion”. The interconnection between D&C 107:82-84 and 64:38-39 is simply that a President is tried before the “the common council of the church, who shall be assisted by twelve counselors of the High Priesthood”, and members, on the other hand, are tried before a Bishop’s court or a High Council court; all of which are “inhabitants of Zion”. The only occasion where a President has been tried in this dispensation is the case of Sidney Rigdon, a counselor in the First Presidency. As per the law of God, Rigdon was tried by the Bishop assisted by twelve High Priests with the Twelve as witnesses. All of those at the trial of Sidney Rigdon, the Bishop, the High Priests, the Twelve and all others, were inhabitants in Zion and a liar and hypocrite was proven and a false prophet made known as Sidney was cut off. Much of the transcript of the trial proceedings were even printed in volume 5 of the Times and Seasons (see pages 647-655 and 660-667) for the people who are the “inhabitants of Zion” to be made fully aware that such had happened.
The Lord concludes His thought in D&C 107:82-83 by saying:
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. (D&C 107:84)
Of course, those who attempt to escape the justice of God, by placing themselves above His law, will say that the above does not apply to them or will malign those who attempt to bring them to accountability, but Joseph had this to say about those who behave contrary to the scriptures:
If any man writes to you, or preaches to you, doctrines contrary to the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or the book of Doctrine and Covenants, set him down as an impostor. You need not write to us to know what you are to do with such men; you have the authority with you. — Try them by the principles contained in the acknowledged word of God; if they preach, or teach, or practice contrary to that, disfellowship them; cut them off from among you as useless and dangerous branches. . . (Times and Seasons, Vol.5, p. 490-491)
. . . I give unto you a commandment, that you rely upon the things which are written; (D&C 18:3)
Others have also recognized this principle:
The Holy Ghost does not contradict its own revealings. Truth is always harmonious with itself. Piety is often the cloak of error. (Joseph F. Smith, Anthon H. Lund, Charles W. Penrose, First Presidency, Messages of the First Presidency, Vol.4, p. 286)
We have now seen that God made ample provision for dealing with even an errant President of the High Priesthood. The Lord did not intend to cancel a President’s agency when he was called to his office; or for that matter, anyone else. However, he provided a plan or system to deal with the problem of a President or other officers of His Church when they faltered or fell. We, therefore, justly conclude that “the doctrine of infallibility” is rubbish fit for the garbage can. It is non-scriptural, unsupported by God and anyone attempting to justify the same is an enemy to God, an enemy to the law of agency, only babbling the vain imaginations of his own mind or the revelation of the unholy ghost.
The above requires the Saints at all levels of the Church to be vigilant and responsible. But what if they are not or haven’t been? What if they, members and leaders alike, have fallen asleep in their responsibility to be alert and watchful? What if they have fallen into blind obedience? What if they have misunderstood or misinterpreted the Lord’s requirement to be vigilant and responsible? The only safety was/is for members and priesthood leaders to recognize when a president begins to drift astray and then to act expeditiously to bring the guilty president to trial. If they do not, there are no guarantees, and the people deserve to be led astray. It is our testimony that the Latter-day Saints have, indeed, sat idly by and allowed the very thing they thought would never happen, to happen. We testify that those who have “taken the Holy Spirit for their guide” and have attempted to speak up have had their LDS leaders cast them out and call them “apostates”. The same pattern type of apathy and leadership apostasy demonstrated in previous dispensations has became apparent in this dispensation.
False prophets/apostles/presidents/leaders demand unquestioning (blind) followership from their flock. However, God does not! When leaders begin to preach to the people that there is no possibility that the people will ever be led astray by their leadership, then be assured that the doctrine of infallibility is being espoused. Joseph Fielding Smith even contradicted himself (Aldin Porter quote above) when he said the following:
. . . infallibility is a fabrication devised by the powers of darkness to act as a counterfeit for revelation. (Religious Truths Defined, p. 182)
In all ages of man, faltering leaders have devised in every twisted way possible the doctrine of infallibility to supplant revelation when it cannot be obtained from God. As a result, mortal leadership infallibility is destructive in every way and is not the evidence of a spiritual people. If such leaders were so endowed as to be really infallible, there would be no need for the members of the Church to be given the Gift of the Holy Ghost to “lead them into all truth”. It is sad to say, but true, that when leaders begin to implement the idea of infallibility in any degree and the people let them, then the Lord’s instructions given through the Prophet Joseph Smith must apply. Here is the Lord’s opinion:
. . . the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man. Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God. We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion. Hence many are called, but few are chosen. No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile– (D&C 121:36-42)
Thus we must observe that any attempt “to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness” by virtue of the doctrine of infallibility, in any form whatsoever, is a serious crime before God and punishable by loss of God’s authority, the priesthood! Having lost God’s authority, feigned priesthood authority is nothing more than priestcraft. Nephi had something to say about priestcraft:
He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare ofZion. (2 Nephi 26:29)
Obviously men who would believe in and practice such a doctrine would fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy:
The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. (Isaiah 24:5)
For further information on this subject, see the chapter“They Have Transgressed The Laws, Changed The Ordinance”. Once these kind of men begin their downfall, if they do not speedily repent, they become obsessed with the image they manage and the power they possess over the people. Is it not apparent to those who “have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide” that such has occurred? Only the blind refuse to see! If the blind do not immediately repent, their stubborn self-righteous blindness will end in their fiery removal from this earth when God’s consummate vengeance is brought upon these errant sons and daughters who have broken faith with Him through their perversely unyielding bullheadedness.
The next question is, is it possible for presiding quorums of the Church to unanimously consent to anything that might lead the Church astray? James E. Faust of the L.D.S. Church had this to say:
How can we be so sure that, as promised, the prophets, seers, and revelators will never lead this people astray? (See Joseph Fielding Smith, Ensign, July 1972, p.88.) One answer is contained in the grand principle found in the 107th section of the Doctrine and Covenants:”And every decision made by either of these quorums must be by the unanimous voice of the same. . .”. (D&C 107:27) This requirement of unanimity provides a check on bias and personal idiosyncrasies. It ensures that the best wisdom and experience is focused on an issue before the deep, unassailable impressions of revealed direction are received. It guards against the foibles of man. (Conference Report, Ensign, Nov. 1989, p. 10)
It is statements like this one that lead the flock to the impression that the ruling quorums of the Church would never make a decision in unrighteousness. However, the Lord makes no such assumption:
And in case that any decision of these quorums 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)
If the Lord did not anticipate such an event to occur, He would never have provided another safe-guard to deal with it. God does not expect His children to blindly trust in the arm of flesh regardless of what office or calling that arm of flesh may have or how many may be in that office. Earlier brethren understood these matters much better:
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, Comprehensive History of the Church, Vol. 2, Ch. 64, p. 416)
The decisions of these quorums or either of them are to be made in all righteousness, in holiness, and lowliness of heart, meekness and long-suffering, and in that event their decisions are final. But if their decisions are unrighteous they may be brought before a general assembly of the several quorums which constitute the spiritual authorities of the church–in no other way can there be an appeal from their decisions. (B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church, Vol. 2, Ch. 64, p. 421)
Once again, we see that none are exempt from error and God has given the flock the right to judge as discussed earlier in this pamphlet:
For it shall come to pass that the inhabitants of Zion shall judge all things pertaining to Zion. And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known. (D&C 64:38-39)
The logical conclusion is simply that anyone, even those of the highest quorums, can depart from the truth and should come under judgment. But what if the people, as well as the leaders, have fallen asleep? As we stated before, the above requires the Saints at all levels of the Church to be vigilant and responsible. But what if they are not or haven’t been? What if they, members and leaders alike, have fallen asleep in their responsibility to be alert and watchful? What if they have fallen into blind obedience? What if they have misunderstood or misinterpreted the Lord’s requirement to be vigilant and responsible? What if they have departed from the standard works as their guide? The only safety was/is for members and priesthood leaders to recognize when a president or quorums began to drift astray and then act expeditiously to bring the guilty to trial. If they do not then there are no guarantees and the people deserve to be led astray. It is our testimony that the Latter-day Saints have, indeed, sat idly by and allowed the very thing they thought would never happen to happen. We testify that those who have “taken the Holy Spirit for their guide” have attempted to speak up and their LDS leaders have cast them out and called them “apostates”. The same pattern type of apathy and leadership apostasy demonstrated in previous dispensations has became apparent in this dispensation. Joseph Smith gave us a much better translation from the New Testament of this problem’s solution:
And again, if thy foot offend thee, cut it off; for he that is thy standard, by whom thou walkest, if he become a transgressor, he shall be cut off. It is better for thee, to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell; into the fire that never shall be quenched. Therefore, let every man stand or fall, by himself, and not for another; or not trusting another. Seek unto my Father, and it shall be done in that very moment what ye shall ask, if ye ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive. And if thine eye which seeth for thee, him that is appointed to watch over thee to show thee light, become a transgressor and offend thee, pluck him out. (JST Mark 9:42-46)
Since piety is more often than not the cloak covering error, we must emphatically state that the pattern type of the past is replaying itself out again as is clearly defined by the prophets of previous dispensations. The following are but a few of the prophecies relating to what the former dispensations’ prophets expected to happen in the last dispensation after the restoration had begun (Remember the Prophet Nephi gives an important key in the understanding of scriptures when he said, “For I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning”–1 Nephi 19:23 — this is profound advice to us also.):
And again: Hearken, O ye house of Israel, all ye that are broken off and are driven out because of the wickedness of the pastors of my people; yea, all ye that are broken off, that are scattered abroad, who are of my people, O house of Israel. (1 Nephi 21:1)
Chapter 21 of First Nephi is Nephi’s inclusion of a very last days prophecy of Isaiah chapter 49. This is the first part of verse 1 and can only be found in the Book of Mormon and no other source.
Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day. The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.(Isaiah 9:14-16; 2 Nephi 19:14-16)
The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. (Isaiah 24:5)
The LDS Church has transgressed every law that would establish a Zion society, they are the only ones who had the ordinances to change which they have done, and, therefore, have broken the everlasting covenant, including the fulfillment of the Abrahamic promise in the last days. See the chapter “They have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance”.
Thereforehath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. (Isaiah 24:6)
The LDS Church looks more like the world every day as they manage the image by changing sacred things to be more acceptable to a broader range of people in the world–it is the mingling of the philosophies of men with scripture. However in consequence, they will feel the wrath of their Maker:
LORD, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people ; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them. (Isaiah 26:11)
Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night [night symbolically represents darkness–darkness of mind–see D&C 112:23-26], and I will destroy thy mother [the Church]. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.As they were increased [as the LDS have grown so prodigiously], so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.They eat up the sin of my people [even forgiveness for murder–ie: abortion–Gen. Handbook of Instructions, 10:3 Topic: Murder, March 1989–when the early brethren considered it to be murder], and they set their heart on their iniquity [the vain things of this world–billions of dollars of income from business operations in Babylon]. And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings.(Hosea 4:5-9)
Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards [drunk with self deception–mingling the philosophies of men with scripture] of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head [leadership of the LDS Church] of the fat valleys [ie: places plenty and “safety,” like the Wasatch Front] of them that are overcome with wine [self deception]! Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand. The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet: And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up. In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people(Isaiah 28:1-5)
This “residue” is a small righteous remnant, who for the most part have been cast out of the LDS Church by this unrighteous leadership (see 1 Nephi 21:1) will survive who have not been deceived by these faltering LDS leaders.
But they [LDS leaders] also have erred through wine [self deception], and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision [ie: 1978 priesthood change], they stumble in judgment. For all tables [Hebrew = to send–written form] are full of vomit [Hebrew = what is vomited up–half digested truth, or the mingling of the philosophies of men with scripture] and filthiness (Hebrew = filth, excrement–repugnant to God], so that there is no place clean [Hebrew = to stand, to maintain oneself, to be established, be confirmed].(Isaiah 28:7-8)
Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression [would rather have Utah statehood than keep God’s law, etc.] and perverseness, and stay thereon [see D&C 84:54-59–that condemnation has never been lifted that was placed upon them over 160 years ago]: Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant. And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters’ vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit. (Isaiah 30:8-14)
His watchmen [LDS leadership] are blind: they are all ignorant [do not understand], they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber [because they do not understand, they cannot call errant Israel to repentance and warn them of the approaching destruction that awaits them].Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough [professionals, businessmen, officials that prosper in Satan’s economic system, Babylon], and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way [enterprise, entrepreneurship], every one for his gain, from his quarter. Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine [self-deception, mixing the philosophies of men with scripture–see Isaiah 28], and we will fill ourselves with strong drink [self-deception]; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant [“all is well in Zion” syndrome–2 Nephi 28:21]. (Isaiah 56:10-12)
For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich [the LDS Church is very rich]. They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless [LDS single mothers with children languish in poverty and are forced onto government welfare roles], yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? The prophets prophesy falsely [they talk about things consistently getting better and do not warn of the impending destruction–the desolation of abomination], and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? (Jeremiah 5:26-29, 31)
And their houses shall be turned unto others, with their fields and wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD. For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 6:12-15)
Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart. Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed. And the people to whom they prophesy [The general LDS community to whom they say, “If anything is going to happen, we’ll let you know” and they never do warn of the calamities to beset the people] shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem [“Jerusalem” is prophetic metaphorical type for the seat of Latter-day Israel, such as Salt Lake City] because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them. (Jeremiah 14:14-16)
Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD [Where is the revelation that changes D&C 29:2, 7-8?]. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away [left them scattered all over the world], and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD. And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries [He has to do it Himself as part of His “strange act”.] whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them [new leadership to replace the old]: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:1-4)
For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD.
Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery [ways] in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:11-12)
I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem [metaphorical type for the seat of Latter-day Israel, or Salt Lake City]an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, [and] not out of the mouth of the LORD. They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you. Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind [see D&C 112:23-26]: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked [LDS leadership]. The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly. I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. (Jeremiah 23:14-17, 19-22)
Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD. They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word. Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith [it]; albeit I have not spoken? Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord GOD. And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD. Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace. . . (Ezekiel 13:2-10)
And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have not deceived that prophet; therefore I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. (JST Ezekiel 14:9)
And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him; That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord GOD. (Ezekiel 14:10-11)
Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thussaith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks [including the mysteries of Godliness]? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock [the LDS are languishing for lack of spiritual substance]. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves [from the prosperity generated from the tithes of the people and their income from operations in Babylon], and fed not my flock [withheld true religion from them and gave them only watered down milk–not the meat]; Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD. (Ezekiel 34:1-15)
For the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled. Search the prophecies of Isaiah. Behold, I cannot write them [we have included many as quoted above]. . . Behold, the Lord hath shown unto me great and marvelous things concerning that which must shortly come, at that day when these things shall come forth among you. Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing. And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches [every congregation or ward], yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts. For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted. O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? [The only church that could qualify is the Restored Church] Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies–because of the praise of the world? [The LDS Church does every thing possible to manage their image before the world to obtain the praise of the world.] Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not? Yea, why do ye build up your secret abominations to get gain [Billions of dollars of gross income from business operations in Satan’s economic system which is Babylon], and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, and also orphans to mourn before the Lord, and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands to cry unto the Lord from the ground, for vengeance upon your heads? Behold, the sword of vengeance hangeth over you; and the time soon cometh that he avengeth the blood of the saints upon you, for he will not suffer their cries any longer.(Mormon 8:22-23, 34-41)
These prophetic scriptures quoted over the past few pages are indicative of the vast body of prophetic literature declaring in the last days that Church leadership infallibility concepts would be espoused and would result in pollution, corruption, error and final destruction of leaders and the people who support them. Christ’s indictment of the leadership of the temporal church in His day serves as a real type for the situation Latter-day Saints find themselves in today.
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! forye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. (Matthew 23:13)
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than he was before, like unto yourselves.(JST Matthew 23:12)
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint, and anise, and cummin; and have omitted the weightier things of the law; judgment, mercy, and faith [including every law that would establish a Zion society]; these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, who strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel; who make yourselves appear unto men that ye would not commit the least sin, and yet ye yourselves, transgress the whole law [doctrines of gathering, consecration, celestial plural marriage, etc.]. Ye blind Pharisees! Cleanse first the cup and platter within, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but are within full of the bones of the dead [no spirit], and of all uncleanness [pollutions, corruptions, abominations]. Wherefore, ye are witnesses unto yourselves of your own wickedness [out of their own mouths they condemn themselves], and ye are the children of them who killed the prophets [certainly the doctrines Joseph and Hyrum gave their lives for]; And will fill up the measure then of your fathers; for ye, yourselves, kill the prophets like unto your fathers. Ye serpents, and generation of vipers! How can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes; and them ye shall kill and crucify; and of them ye shall scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city; Ye bear testimony against your fathers, when ye, yourselves, are partakers of the same wickedness. Behold your fathers did it through ignorance, but ye do not; wherefore, their sins shall be upon your heads. (JST Matthew 23:20-35)
Undoubtedly this kind of diatribe is shocking and difficult to bear. However, Nephi had this to say about such:
. . .the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center. (1 Nephi 16:2)
Just before the destruction in 3rd Nephi, which is a type for our day, we find these words:
. . .they were in a state of awful wickedness. Now they did not sin ignorantly, for they knew the will of God concerning them, for it had been taught unto them; therefore they did wilfully rebel against God. And there began to be men inspired from heaven and sent forth, standing among the people in all the land, preaching and testifying boldly of the sins and iniquities of the people, and testifying unto them concerning the redemption which the Lord would make for his people, or in other words, the resurrection of Christ; and they did testify boldly of his death and sufferings. (3 Nephi 6:17-18, 20)
Today we testify of the destruction of such wickedness and the consummate work of the Father, even the redemption of the House of Israel and Zion.
Now there were many of the people who were exceedingly angry because of those who testified of these things; and those who were angry were chiefly the chief judges [Church leaders], and they who had been high priests [who had lost their priesthood because of unrighteous dominion–see D&C 121:34-37] and lawyers; yea, all those who were lawyers were angry with those who testified of these things. . . Now there were many of those who testified of the things pertaining to Christ who testified boldly, who were taken and put to death secretly by the judges. (3 Nephi 6:21, 23)
To Latter-day Saints, excommunication is tantamount to “spiritual” death and LDS leaders do excommunicate in a “private–secret” court those who truly seek out God.
Throughout the history of our Father’s dealings with His children, who did the prophets warn? Time and time again God’s covenant people lapsed into apostasy by rejecting true principles and following after the strange Gods of their day. That was the exact status of the people of Jerusalem in Lehi’s day. When Lehi was commanded to call the people to repentance, did they recognize him as a true messenger and prophet of the Lord? Did Lehi come from the hierarchy of the church at the time?
. . .the Jews did mock him because of the things which he testified of them; for he truly testified of their wickedness and their abominations . . . (1 Nephi 1:19)
Lehi was seen as a traitor to the structure of the “church” in Jerusalem and a blasphemer because he spoke words that were in opposition to the current direction of “church leadership”. The people were blind to their standing before God, yet they assumed that “All is well in Zion, yea Zion prospereth”. Laman and Lemuel were a prime reflection of the Jerusalem mind set when they said,
And we know that the people who were in the land of Jerusalem were a righteous people; for they kept the statutes and judgments of the Lord, and all his commandments, according to the law of Moses; wherefore, we know that they are a righteous people. . . (1 Nephi 17: 22)
Apparently, the people were doing the outward performances such as attending meetings, paying tithes, etc., but their hearts were far from the Lord. This wickedness is confirmed by the fact that the city of Jerusalem was destroyed as Lehi prophesied.
Did these prophets generally warn anyone other than Israel? Who was it that Abinadi warned? Who was it that Nephi warned? Who was it that Samuel the Lamanite warned? Who did Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah warn? We also are now warning an errant Israel! When will Latter-day Saints begin to recognize that God has abandoned their hopelessly apostate church who has lost its rights to the priesthood, is setting His house in order by calling new priesthood leadership to cry repentance and warn of God’s judgments that are very soon to be poured out upon them. How many listened and heeded the warning voice anciently? How many will heed this warning given today?
In conclusion, we testify in the most solemn manner that Latter-day Saints have apostatized from the principles, doctrines and precepts that the Prophet Joseph Smith and his contemporaries gave their all for. This blind-sidedness, which has been so well prophesied, is about to cause God to call forth His wrath and vengeance on these errant sons and daughters who have broken faith with Him. God will not be mocked! One final prophecy from our own dispensation will close this pamphlet:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become corrupt before my face. Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord. And upon my house (Israel) shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord; First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me (Apostles of the LDS Church), and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house (born false witness), saith the Lord. (D&C 112:23-26)
Didn’t the Lord say He would never let the Prophet lead the Church astray?
Although the Lord desires that His Church and people remain loyal to Him, He allows them the freedom to choose not to serve Him. Recognizing that agency is an attribute of God, it is illogical to think that He would deny a Prophet his agency.
The confusion on this matter can usually be traced to a quote by Wilford Woodruff: “The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty.” (Sixty-first Semi-annual General Conference of the Church, Monday, October 6, 1890, Salt Lake City, Utah. Reported in Deseret Evening News, October 11, 1890, p. 2.)
Exactly how would the Lord remove the prophet out of his place? Many wrongly suppose that the prophet would be “struck down in an instant” if he were to err. The truth is this: he would be removed from his CALLING and POSITION. If the prophet were to teach false doctrine or exercise unrighteous dominion, the Holy Ghost would withdraw, thus withdrawing his calling as a prophet. If the Saints are well acquainted with doctrine and the Spirit of God, the prophet could be removed from his position by a vote of the body of the church:
“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; And their decision upon his head shall be an end of controversy concerning him. 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.” (LDS:D&C 107:82-84)
Is it possible for a prophet or apostle to transgress? Yes. “Of the Twelve Apostles chosen in Kirtland, and ordained under the hands of Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and myself, there have been but two but what have lifted their heel against me — namely Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball.” (May 28, 1843. DHC 5:412.) If ten out of twelve Apostles can rebel against Joseph Smith, the dispensation head, it could happen today just the same. None of those Apostles died or was “struck down” as it were, they were simply “removed out of their place”, either by apostasy or vote of the people.
We say that a true Prophet never has to reassure his followers that he “will never lead them astray.” He simply states the will of God, regardless of the consequences, and is confident that God will sustain him and his words by the Spirit.