Monday, October 1, 2012

Fourteen Fundamentals, Part 5

[Words in blue are from this talk.  Commentary follows in black.]

Fourth: The [president of the Church] will never lead the Church astray.

President Wilford Woodruff stated:

“I say to Israel, the Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as president of the Church to lead you astray. It is not in the program. It is not in the mind of God.” (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, pp. 212–13. emphasis mine)

President Marion G. Romney tells of this incident which happened to him:

“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, October 1960, p. 78.)

I've written about this idea before.  You can look here to begin with.  I will not rehash those same thoughts on this post.  

It is too bad the Lord did not have this system in place for his people in every other age of the world.  This could have spared a lot of folly, right?

The idea that you can't be led astray by men, that the thinking has been done and what's said by those in charge goes; the idea that the ability to discern between right and wrong, truth and error need not be exercised because of the office of the man speaking, or that if you just "stay in the boat" with all the Saints you'll end up being exalted; the idea that you should follow a man even if what he teaches is wrong, is Luciferian.  Those who teach these things are "leading the Church astray."  Those who grasp at these teachings are deceived.  Satan takes pleasure that these teachings are received so well.  

Following his talk at BYU, Ezra Taft Benson was summoned by president Spencer W. Kimball to a meeting with the general authorities to explain himself, and to "apologize" for what he said.  The twelve were "dissatisfied" with his response.  Edward Kimball said his father (who was then president of the Church) "was concerned about Elder Benson's February 1980 talk at BYU."  He continued by saying that president Kimball wanted "to protect the Church against being misunderstood as unthinking 'follow the leader' mentality" (Quinn, Extensions of Power).

Unfortunately, none of this was ever made public knowledge by the Church.  It's as though some folks didn't want these teachings to go away, despite the fact that the president of the Church and twelve were displeased with what had been taught.  For instance, who was it that decided this talk was to become the "First Presidency Message" in the June 1981 Ensign?  President Kimball was still president of the Church.  Had he changed his mind about the talk?  These days it is seemingly more and more difficult to disseminate the truth to the public when there's such a strong desire to save face.

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