One of the distinguishing marks of the LDS Church is the teaching that members must follow and obey their prophets. This subject matter is one of the reasons I left Mormonism. I began questioning the prophets of Mormonism in 1978 when the Church changed its mind on the race issue. Not being able to question the reasons why, or even ask in-depth questions in Seminary, got me into a fair amount of trouble.
The Way it Works
According to the Church, teachings of their current living prophet outweighs past prophets which means there are no absolutes in Mormonism. If a new revelation contradicts previous ones members are under obligation to disregard the older revelation. They’re also admonished to forget what past teachings they’ve sworn allegiance to and ‘not question’ why God would allow problems like this to arise. Bruce McConkie, ‘All are Alike Unto God’.
While this particular remark was referring to the revelation of 1978 when they repealed the ban on blacks, be assured they’re still using this technique today. In recent years they’ve taught the teachings of Brigham Young’s ‘Adam-God Theory’ are to be disregarded as well.
From birth, or the first day of conversion, Mormons are taught the only safe path in life is the one that ‘follows the prophet’. The Church has reinforced this doctrine from Joseph Smith’s day to even the latest General Conference held in October 2014. See Melissa’s article on Carol McConkie’s speech for example.
The grave consequences of such teachings can be and usually are catastrophic. Members have essentially placed their very souls into the hands of men instead of God. When you’re following an organization whose theological track record shows their allegiance is focused on societal whims rather than God, the end results can only mean one thing. Disaster.
The latest General Conference (10/2014) seemed to reinforce this doctrine time and again in the numerous talks they delivered, thus our attention to this subject matter today. Now while we simply don’t have the time, nor the space to list every quote be assured there are countless times that church leaders have emphasized this mandate.
All this is perplexing to me. Historically speaking Americans have their own track record of questioning the ‘powers that be’ and even Joe Smith, founder of Mormonism, gained popularity based on this precept. You’ll find times where LDS leaders have warned members to think for themselves and in the same breath warned against dissent. How it is the Mormon people have fallen into a pliable group of unquestioning people is a wonder indeed.
If you’re looking for a specific quote, they’re listed by the person who said it with names in alphabetical order.
As always, we ask the following info is used in a loving manner to witness to the Mormon people and to pray for them. We don’t publish these things to humiliate or bash the Mormon people. Rather, these things are here to inform both Mormons and Christians alike and we pray that Mormons will see the Church’s doctrines for what they are. Lies. God never demanded that we obey blindly. Acts 17:11 tells us the Bereans compared the NT doctrine with scripture to deem its authenticity and worthiness.
With Love in Christ;
1 Cor 1:18
Follow and Be Blessed, Reject Them and Suffer
14 Fundamentals in Following the Prophet, BYU Speech given on February 26. 1980 also in Liahona, June 1981; “The prophet is not limited to men’s reasoning. There will be times when you will have to choose between the revelations of God and the reasoning of men…
The prophet and the presidency—the living prophet and the First Presidency—follow them and be blessed—reject them and suffer.
I testify that these fourteen fundamentals in following the living prophet are true. If we want to know how well we stand with the Lord then let us ask ourselves how well we stand with His mortal captain…the living Prophet—President of the Church ….” – Ezra Taft Benson
Be Unafraid to Dissent
Sunstone Magazine, April 2002, p 80; “We are grateful in the Church and in this great university that the freedom, dignity and integrity of the individual is basic in Church doctrine as well as in democracy. Here we are free to think and express our opinions. Fear will not stifle thought, as is the case in some areas which have not yet emerged from the dark ages. God himself refuses to trammel man’s free agency even though its exercise sometimes teaches painful lessons. Both creative science and revealed religion find their fullest and truest expression in the climate of freedom.
I hope that you will develop the questing spirit. Be unafraid of new ideas for they are the stepping stones of progress. You will of course respect the opinions of others but be unafraid to dissent – if you are informed.
Now I have mentioned freedom to express your thoughts, but I caution you that your thoughts and expressions must meet competition in the market place of thought, and in that competition truth will emerge triumphant. Only error needs to fear freedom of expression. Seek truth in all fields, and in that search you will need at least three virtues; courage, zest, and modesty. The ancients put that thought in the form of a prayer. They said, ‘From the cowardice that shrinks from new truth, from the laziness that is content with half truth, from the arrogance that thinks it has all truth – O God of truth deliver us’.” – Hugh B. Brown, Speech at BYU, March 29, 1958
Info retrieved from www.lds-mormon.com 11/4/2014
Walter Brown, Brent L. Top, Larry E. Dahl
No One Else Can Speak for God
Follow the Living Prophets, p 40; “Here we must have in mind-must know-that only the President of the Church, the Presiding High Priest, is sustained as Prophet, Seer, and Revelator for the Church, and he alone has the right to receive revelations for the Church… He alone may declare the mind and will of God to his people. No officer of any other church in the world has this high right and lofty prerogative. So when any other person, irrespective of who he is, undertakes to do any of these things, you may know he is not “moved upon by the Holy Ghost”…” – Walter D. Bowen, Brent L. Top, Larry E. Dahl
Bow to Counsel of God/Leaders
Gospel Truth, p 273; “Blessings result from obedience to counsel. Now, the day has come when we, as a people, will have to listen to the voice of the servants of God, to the instructions of the Almighty through his servants and obey them as implicitly as though God was in our midst…
When the counsel of God comes through his servants to us, we should bow to that no matter how much it may come in contact with our preconceived ideas; submit to it as though God spoke it, and feel such a reverence towards it as though we believed that the servant of God had the inspiration of the Almighty resting upon him. . . .” – George Q. Cannon
Obedience to the Prophets Mandatory
General Conference, October 2010; “The Lord promised us that if we believe in the holy prophets, we should have eternal life (see D&C 20:26). In the sixth article of faith, we declare that we believe in prophets. To believe means to have faith and confidence in them and to follow and do what the prophets ask us to do.”
Leadership not Accountable to Members
Ensign, July 1972, “We are Called of God”; “…The Twelve are accountable to the prophet, and not the Church, for the course they pursue…If we are to take that same principle and apply it at the ward level, we can see that the bishop, who is considered the father of his ward and who leads his ward with judiciousness and love and patience and kindness, is nonetheless not answerable to the members of his ward, but instead is answerable to the Lord and to those priesthood leaders who preside over him. The bishop is answerable for the members of his ward but not necessarily answerable to the members of his ward.
The Church of Jesus Christ, then, is organized from the top down.” – Loren C. Dunn, First Council of the Seventy
Prophets are Wonderful
Faith of a Scientist, p 23; “A prophet is wonderful because he sometimes speaks for the Lord. This occurs on certain occasions when the Lord wills it. On other occasions, he speaks for himself, and one of the wonderful doctrines of the Church is that we don’t believe in the infallibility of any mortal.” – Apostle Henry Eyring
Hear the Prophet and Obey
Ensign, “Hear the Prophet’s Voice and Obey,” May 1995, p 15; “I give my testimony that the prophets of this day have the qualities of the prophets of old and the other prophets of this dispensation. Each of these prophets has humbly and prayerfully sought to know and follow God’s will in his personal ministry. We declare with soberness, and yet with the authority of God in us vested, we have a prophet today. The President of the Church, as a prophet, is God’s representative on earth and is appointed to lead His church. Christ is the head of his Church today, just as he was in ancient times. The Lord has said that this is ‘the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased’ (D&C 1:30).” – Apostle Robert D. Hales
Salvation by Following the Prophets
Journal of Discourses 4:3; “My feelings are for you to learn to follow our leader, our Prophet, our President. He will be our President in eternity, and Joseph is his President and will counsel him, and you need not trouble yourselves, but do as you are told and you will obtain salvation and go into the celestial glory…You have got to be organized and disciplined by the Priesthood, and you have got to stick to that organization, for you cannot be saved with a celestial glory unless you are saved by this Priesthood.” – Heber C. Kimball, Salt Lake City, June 29, 1856
Do What Prophets Say; Even When Wrong it’s None of Your Business
Journal of Discourses 6:32; “…WAKE UP! WAKE UP, YE ELDERS OF ISRAEL, AND LIVE TO GOD and none else; and learn to do as you are told, both old and young: learn to do as you are told for the future. And when you are taking a position, if you do not know that you are right, do not take it—I mean independently. But if you are told by your leader to do a thing, do it. None of your business whether it is right or wrong.” – Heber C. Kimball, Salt Lake City, November 8, 1857
Lord is Guiding This Church
The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 438; “Now, my brothers sisters, as you read of troubles in so many parts of the world, remember that the Lord knew these problems would come, and that even with these problems he has foreseen the growth of this Church and its people. Be of good cheer, for the Lord is guiding his Church.”
Denouncing Past Prophets
Church News, October 9, 1976; “Spencer W. Kimball stated: “We warn you against the dissemination of doctrines which are not according to the scriptures and which are alleged to have been taught by some of the General Authorities of past generations. Such, for instance, is the Adam-God theory. We denounce that theory and hope that everyone will be cautioned against this and other kinds of false doctrine”.”
Holy Prophets Point Out Errors
Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, Chapter 23; “The holy prophets have not only refused to follow erroneous human trends, but have pointed out these errors. No wonder the response to the prophets has not always been one of indifference. So often the prophets have been rejected because they first rejected the wrong ways of their own society.”
Criticism by ‘Spiritually Sick’ Brings Spiritual Death
Conference Report, October 1947, Second Day—Morning Meeting, p 67; “I want to bear you my testimony that the experience I have had has taught me that those who criticize the leaders of this Church are showing signs of a spiritual sickness which, unless curbed, will bring about eventually spiritual death. I want to bear my testimony as well that those who in public seek by their criticism, to belittle our leaders or bring them into disrepute, will bring upon themselves more hurt than upon those whom they seek thus to malign. I have watched over the years, and I have read of the history of many of those who fell away from this Church, and I want to bear testimony that no apostate who ever left this Church ever prospered as an influence in his community thereafter.” – Harold B. Lee
Reject Prophet and Sink Yourself to Hell
Conference Report, April 1963, General Priesthood Meeting, p 81; “…the presiding councils of the Church met secretly and tried to scheme as to how they could get rid of the Prophet Joseph’s leadership. They made the mistake of inviting Brigham Young to one of these secret meetings. He rebuked them, after he had heard the purpose of their meeting. This is part of what he said: “You cannot destroy the appointment of a prophet of God, but you can cut the thread that binds you to the prophet of God, and sink yourselves to hell.” – Harold B. Lee
Your Safety Depends on Whether You Follow the Prophet
Conference Report, October 1970, p 152–153; “You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may conflict with your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life … Your safety and ours depends upon whether or not we follow … Let’s keep our eye on the President of the Church.”
Keep Safe and Follow the Prophet
Teachings of Harold B. Lee, pg. 451; “Keep your eye on the prophet. If you can impress nothing else upon a youth, tell him if he wants to be safe in this day to keep his eyes upon the President of the high priesthood of this church, and then you set him the example by doing likewise.”
True Conversion is Conviction Prophets are Led of God
Teachings of the Living Prophets Student Manual, Truly Converted Latter-day Saints Sustain the Prophets; “Now I want to impress this upon you. Someone has said it this way, and I believe it to be absolutely true: ‘That person is not truly converted until he sees the power of God resting upon the leaders of this church, and until it goes down into his heart like fire.’ Until the members of this church have that conviction that they are being led in the right way, and they have a conviction that these men of God are men who are inspired and have been properly appointed by the hand of God, they are not truly converted.” (In Conference Report, Apr. 1972, p. 118; or Ensign, July 1972, p. 103)” – Harold B. Lee
Don’t be Ashamed of Prophets
Ensign, “A More Determined Discipleship”, February 1979, pg 70; “…not being ashamed of the of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ…In some ways, our second estate, in relationship to our first estate, is like agreeing in advance to surgery. Then the anesthetic of forgetfulness settles in upon us. Just as doctors do not de-anesthetize a patient in the midst of authorized surgery to ask him again if the surgery should be continued, so, after divine tutoring, we agreed to come here and to submit ourselves to certain experiences; it was an irrevocable decision.” – Neal A. Maxwell
No Prophets, No Salvation
The Promised Messiah, pg 33; “Where there are prophets, salvation is available; and where there are no prophets, there is no hope of salvation. It is no wonder that Lucifer hates prophets and seeks their destruction.” – Bruce McConkie
Prophets Ordained with Power to Save
General Conference, ‘Live According to the Words of the Prophets,’ October 2014; “Our Father in Heaven loves all of His children and desires that they know and understand His plan of happiness. Therefore, He calls prophets, those who have been ordained with power and authority to act in God’s name for the salvation of His children. They are messengers of righteousness, witnesses of Jesus Christ and the infinite power of His Atonement. They hold the keys of the kingdom of God on earth and authorize the performance of saving ordinances.” – Carol F. McConkie
Prophet, not Scripture is Constitution of Church
Answers: Straightforward Answers to Tough Gospel Questions, p 214; “First, good doctrine will always sustain the idea that the living prophet, not scripture or any other document, is the constitution of the Church. The Church is not governed by canon law, we have no creed to which we must pay allegiance, nor do we have a written constitution.”
Testimonies Based on Spirit, not Historical Facts
CES Symposium on the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History, 16 August 1985; “Our individual, personal testimonies are based on the witness of the Spirit, not on any combination or accumulation of historical facts. If we are so grounded, no alteration of historical facts can shake our testimonies. Our Heavenly Father gave us powers of reason, and we are expected to use them to the fullest.” – Dallin Oaks
Criticism Wrong Even If It’s True
Ensign, February 1987, “Criticism”, p 68; “It’s wrong to criticize leaders of the church, even if the criticism is true.” – Dallin H. Oaks
Criticism is ‘Evil Speaking’
‘Criticism,’ Latter‑day Saint Student Association fireside in the Salt Lake Tabernacle; “Criticism is particularly objectionable when it is directed toward Church authorities, general or local. Jude condemns those who ‘speak evil of dignities.’” (Jude 1:8.) Evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed is in a class by itself. It is one thing to depreciate a person who exercises corporate power or even government power. It is quite another thing to criticize or depreciate a person for the performance of an office to which he or she has been called of God. It does not matter that the criticism is true.” – Dallin H. Oaks, 1987
Only LDS Prophets Hold Keys
Teachings of the Living Prophets Student Manual, (2010), 14–27; “The Living Prophet Possesses All the Keys of the Priesthood…
President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles told of an experience when President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) declared that he, as the President of the Church, held the keys of the priesthood:
“In 1976 following a conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, President Spencer W. Kimball invited us to a small church to see the statues of Christ and the Twelve Apostles by Bertel Thorvaldsen…
“We were standing near the statue of Peter, whom the sculptor depicted holding keys in his hand, symbolic of the keys of the kingdom. President Kimball said, ‘We hold the real keys, as Peter did, and we use them every day.’
“Then came an experience I will never forget. President Kimball, this gentle prophet, turned to President Johan H. Benthin, of the Copenhagen Stake, and in a commanding voice said, ‘I want you to tell every prelate [religious leader] in Denmark that they do not hold the keys! I hold the keys!’” – Boyd K. Packer
Follow, Don’t be Led Astray
Ensign, November 1992; “Follow your leaders who have been duly ordained and have been publicly sustained, and you will not be led astray” – Boyd K. Packer
Saints Don’t Shut Their Eyes
Millennial Star Vol. 54, No. 12, March 21, 1892, p 191; “President Wilford Woodruff is a man of wisdom and experience, and we respect 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”.
Heed the Prophet’s Voice
Ensign, “Heed the Prophet’s Voice”, November 1994; “Today we have had the opportunity of raising our right arms to the square and sustaining Howard W. Hunter as our President. This is a historic occasion, as well as an opportunity to contemplate the blessing it is to have a prophet of God to lead us. I believe we should pause at the conclusion of this memorable session to remember what it means to sustain a President of the Church as a seer and a prophet…The Lord Almighty leads this Church, and he will never suffer you to be led astray if you are found doing your duty. You may go home and sleep as sweetly as a babe in its mother’s arms, as to any danger of your leaders leading you astray, for if they should try to do so the Lord would quickly sweep them from the earth. Your leaders are trying to live their religion as far as [they are] capable of doing so” (in Journal of Discourses, 9:289).” – Tom L. Perry
Follow the Prophets
Conference Report, “Follow the Prophets”, Oct. 1981, pp 90–91; “If we really do love God, then indeed we must and we will love and revere his anointed ones… Of his faithful servants the Lord has said: These are they who overcome by faith. Wherefore, all things are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. These are they whose names are written in heaven, where God and Christ are the judge of all. These are they whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all.” – Mark Petersen
Presidency Never Leads Saints Astray
Ensign, November 1994, p 63; “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 of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventies
No Right to Make Own Decisions
Journal of Discourses 7:374-375; “Have we not a right to make up our minds in relation to the things recorded in the word of God…We have not the right…God placed Joseph Smith at the head of this Church; God has likewise placed Brigham Young at the head of this Church…We are commanded to give heed to their words in all things, and receive their words as from the mouth of God, in all patience and faith. When we do not this, we get into darkness.” – Orson Pratt, Salt Lake City, January 29, 1860
Don’t Criticize Even When True
Conference Report, April 1947, First Day—Morning Meeting, p 24; “When we say anything bad about the leaders of the Church, whether true or false, we tend to impair their influence and their usefulness and are thus working against the Lord and his cause. When we speak well of our leaders, we tend to increase their influence and usefulness in the service of the Lord. In his absence our brother’s character when assailed, should be defended, thus doing to others as we would be done by. The Lord needs the help of all of us. Are we helping or are we hindering?” – Elder George F. Richards
Forfeiting Eternal Life for not Following Prophet
Conference Report, April 1953, Afternoon Meeting, p 125; “It is an easy thing to believe in the dead prophets, but it is a greater thing to believe in the living prophets. I will give you an illustration.
One day when President Grant was living, I sat in my office across the street following a general conference. A man came over to see me, an elderly man. He was very upset about what had been said in this conference by some of the Brethren, including myself. I could tell from his speech that he came from a foreign land. After I had quieted him enough so he would listen I said, “Why did you come to America?”
“I came here because a prophet of God told me to come.”
“Who was the prophet?” I continued.
“Do you believe Wilford Woodruff was a prophet of God?”
“Yes,” said he.
“Do you believe that his successor President Lorenzo Snow, was a prophet of God?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Do you believe that President Joseph F. Smith was a prophet of God?”
Then came the “sixty-four dollar question.” “Do you believe that Heber J. Grant is a prophet of God?”
His answer: “I think he ought to keep his mouth shut about old age assistance.” Now I tell you that a man in his position is on the way to apostasy. He is forfeiting his chances for eternal life. So is everyone who cannot follow the living prophet of God.” – Marion G. Romney
Even If Leaders are Wrong, God Will Bless You for Following Them
Conference Report, October 1960, General Priesthood Meeting, p 78; “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.” – Marion G. Romney quoting Heber J. Grant
Also listed in Ensign, July 1972, “The Covenant of the Priesthood,” pg 98.
Richard O. Scott
Success in Following the Prophet
Liahona, “Living a Life of Peace, Joy, and Purpose”, February 2014; “First, establish a set of principles by which you will guide every aspect of your life—in your home, in your Church service, in your profession, in your community.
Second, don’t make exceptions to your standards.
Third, be loyal.
Fourth, live so that the Lord can guide you to where He wants you to be and to serve.
Fifth, serve others.
Seventh, don’t complain.
Ninth, go to the temple.
Tenth, use the Savior Jesus Christ as your example for life.” – Elder Richard O. Scott
Don’t Betray the Brethren
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p 156; “O ye Twelve! and all Saints! profit by this important Key—that in all your trials, troubles, temptations, afflictions, bonds, imprisonments and death, see to it, that you do not betray heaven; that you do not betray Jesus Christ; that you do not betray the brethren; that you do not betray the revelations of God, whether in Bible, Book of Mormon, or Doctrine and Covenants, or any other that ever was or ever will be given and revealed unto man in this world or that which is to come. Yea, in all your kicking and flounderings, see to it that you do not this thing, lest innocent blood be found upon your skirts, and you go down to hell. All other sins are not to be compared to sinning against the Holy Ghost, and proving a traitor to the brethren.”
Don’t Depend Too Much on the Prophet
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p 237; “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.” – Joseph Smith
Saints not Required to Ignorantly Obey
Journal of Discourses 16:248; “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.” – Joseph F. Smith, Salt Lake City, October 7, 1873
Saints Duty-Bound to Reject False Teachings
Doctrines of Salvation 3:203; “Every man who writes is responsible, not the Church, for what he writes. If Joseph Fielding Smith writes something which is out of harmony with the revelations, then every member of the Church is duty bound to reject it. If he writes that which is in perfect harmony with the revealed word of the Lord, then it should be accepted.”
Follow the Church
Doctrines of Salvation 3:295; “FOLLOW CHURCH, NOT THE WORLD…A great many of the members of the Church evidently do not realize the importance of the blessings we receive in the temples of the Lord…We should have some sympathy for people taught in the vagaries and foolish traditions of the world, when we discover how tenaciously members of the Church cling to foolish notions in spite of all that is written.”
Church Leaders won’t Lead You Astray
Ensign, July 1972, p 88; “I think there is one thing which we should have exceedingly clear in our minds. Neither the President of the Church, nor the First Presidency, nor 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.” – Joseph Fielding Smith
When Prophet Speaks Debate is Over
Ensign, August 1979, pp 2-3; “When the Prophet speaks the debate is over… It is foolish to suppose that men can be left to their own devices and accomplish what God intended for them.” – N. Eldon Tanner
No Ordinary Blessing
General Conference, September 2011; “The words spoken at general conference should be a compass that points the way for us during the coming months.
What a marvelous privilege it is to hear God’s messages for each of us during general conference! Let us prepare well for this great blessing of divine guidance delivered by His chosen servants. For this is no ordinary blessing.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Why We Need Living Prophets
“We Need Living Prophets”; ““Because Heavenly Father loves His children, He has not left them to walk through this mortal life without direction and guidance,” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said. “That is why He pleads so earnestly with us through His prophets. Just as we want what is best for our loved ones, Heavenly Father wants what is best for us.”” – LDS.org
Following President Monson
Liahona, ‘Follow the Prophet’, April 2014; “As we follow President Monson and try to be more like him, we will inevitably succeed in being more faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.” –William Walker of the Seventy
D&C Official Declaration 1:14; “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.)”. Wilford Woodruff
Members in Danger When They Run Ahead the Path of Leaders
Journal of Discourses 5:83; “…the very moment that men in this kingdom attempt to run a head or cross the path of their leaders, no matter in what respect, the moment they do this they are in danger of being injured by the wolves.” – Wilford Woodruff, Salt Lake City, April 9, 1847
Don’t be Led by Others
Journal of Discourses 1:313; “…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”. – Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, January 20, 1853
Don’t Be Satisfied Unless Spirit Makes You So
Journal of Discourses 3:45; “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…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.” – Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, October 6, 1855
Don’t Think too Much
Journal of Discourses 3:247; “Watch yourselves and think. As I observed, on the evening of the 14th at the social Hall, ‘think brethren, think,’ but do not think so far that you cannot think back again… In the eastern country there was a man who used to go crazy, at times, and then come to his senses again. One of his neighbors asked him what made him go crazy; he replied, ‘I get to thinking, and thinking, until finally I think so far that I am not always able to think back again.’ Can you think too much for the spirit which is put in the tabernacle? You can. Let this intelligent part labor to excess, and it will eventually overcome the tabernacle, the equilibrium will be destroyed, and the whole organization deranged. Many people have deranged themselves by thinking too much.” Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, March 16, 1856
How Easy It Would Be For Leaders to Lead Astray
Journal of Discourses 4:368; “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. And when you testify in this public congregation, or in your prayer meetings, testifying of the things of God that you know and understand, you are at liberty to speak freely upon those things which you believe.” – Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, June 28, 1857
Don’t Have Too Much Confidence in Leaders
Journal of Discourses 9:150; “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 the 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, themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually.” – Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, January 12, 1862
Leaders Will Never Lead Astray
Journal of Discourses 9:289; “The Lord Almighty leads this Church, and he will never suffer you to be led astray if you are found doing your duty. You may go home and sleep as sweetly as a babe in its mother’s arms, as to any danger of your leaders leading you astray, for if they should try to do so the Lord would quickly sweep them from the earth.” – Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, February 23, 1862
Those Who Ignore Prophets Will Fall
Gospel Topics, Prophets; “As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are blessed to be led by living prophets—inspired men called to speak for the Lord…
Our greatest safety lies in strictly following the word of the Lord given through His prophets, particularly the current President of the Church. The Lord warns that those who ignore the words of the living prophets will fall (see D&C 1:14-16). He promises great blessings to those who follow the President of the Church…” – LDS.org
Prophet is Pre-eminent
Doctrines and Covenants Institute Student Manual, Section 90, The Oracles of God; “Counselors can do everything their presiding officer directs them to do, as if the president were personally acting. In this sense they are equals. However, they have no power to act independent of the president. Both Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams received their ordination from the Prophet Joseph Smith, who held the keys.Since these two men received their authority from Joseph Smith, it follows that they were not equal to him in every sense. Elder John A. Widtsoe observed that “the pre-eminence of the President of the Church was maintained. . . . The Counselors do not possess the power of the President and cannot act in Church matters without direction and consent of the President. “All this defined clearly the position and authority of the President of the Church.” ( Joseph Smith, p. 303.)”
Following and Thanking God for Prophets in Song
We Thank Thee o God for a Prophet, LDS Hymn #19;
“We thank thee, O God for a prophet
To guide us in these latter days.
We thank thee for sending the gospel
To lighten our minds with its rays.
We thank thee for every blessing
Bestowed by thy bounteous hand.
We feel it a pleasure to serve thee,
And love to obey thy command.”
Follow the prophet, follow the prophet,
Follow the prophet; don’t go astray.
Follow the prophet, follow the prophet,
Follow the prophet; he knows the way.”
This song contains 9 stanzas and the chorus of this song is repeated 10-12 times throughout. By the end of the song children have repeated the phrase ‘follow the prophet’ at least 70 times.
Prophets Words Outweigh Scripture
Conference Report, October 1897, pg. 18-19; “…when compared with the living oracles those books are nothing to me; those books do not convey the word of God direct to us now, as do the words of a Prophet or a man bearing the Holy Priesthood in our day and generation. I would rather have the living oracles than all the writing in the books.’ That was the course he pursued. When he was through, Brother Joseph said to the congregation; ‘Brother Brigham has told you the word of the Lord, and he has told you the truth.”
When Leaders Speak, Thinking is Done
Ward Teachers Message, Deseret News, Church Section p. 5, May 26, 1945, Improvement Era June 1945; “When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan–it is God’s Plan. When they point the way, there is no other which is safe. When they give directions, it should mark the end of controversy, God works in no other way. To think otherwise, without immediate repentance, may cost one his faith, may destroy his testimony, and leave him a stranger to the kingdom of God.”
None Required to Blindly Submit
Millennial Star, Vol. 14, No. 38, Saturday, November 13, 1852, pp 593-95; “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… 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.”