Growing up in the LDS (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) church I became very familiar with the concept of prophets. They were people who literally talked with God face to face and then in turn gave God’s words to us the members. It was really quite obvious and simple. However as with most overly simple models this concept breaks down quite quickly upon analysis.
I want to be clear though, God uses prophets without question. The scriptures are very clear about that concept. The question though today is what is a prophet and how does God use them for his purposes? In the LDS church, youth sing a song which repeatedly says, “Follow the prophet; don’t go astray“. The meaning is quite clear that if the youth were to follow the LDS prophet, then they would enjoy spiritual safety. However, is it really as simple as this? Do we just have to follow our leaders exactly and everything will be okay?
The 1st issue with this concept is prophets in the scriptures are not always the best examples. In 2 Kings 2:23-24, Elisha has 42 children killed because they made fun of his bald head. In Numbers we read about how Balaam couldn’t curse Israel as Balak wanted him to do so. However, Rev 2:14 states that Balaam instead told Balak that he could weaken Israel by enticing them sexually and having them eat unclean food. In Exodus 2:11-12, Moses intentionally murdered a man and even went so far as to make sure no one was around when he did it. This is all to show that prophets are people, and they make mistakes. Sometimes very, very large mistakes. Many will say we shouldn’t listen to prophets at all because they are still men. However this is one side of the extreme and the scriptures make it clear that God uses men to accomplish his purposes.
In modern Mormonism however we ignore these examples of real people doing sometimes really dumb things. Instead highlighting the prophets as extraordinary people who are divinely inspired and elevated in all they do. This makes it very easy to apply this model to our day and say that our leaders are also these extraordinary people who we just have to follow for our spiritual safety.
Today this is even taken to an extreme and is in fact the opposite side of the spectrum from the idea that prophets are fallible so we shouldn’t listen to them. Today we are told to not even think if the prophet says something that may be questionable. “When the prophet speaks the debate is over.” or “I promise. If you will listen to the living prophet and the apostles and follow our counsel, you will not go astray.” This sentiment is baffling considering a prophet’s mission is to deliver the words of God, not to be a light in an of himself. In addition, prophets are not perfect so what happens when they make a mistake?
We should try and agree with, defend, and live out the words and actions of all leaders of the Church (past and present as well as general and local) as much as humanly possible.https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org
To further illustrate this point, I was in a Stake Conference meeting where a General Authority was visiting. Everyone was excited to listen to him and his inspired guidance for us. I don’t remember everything he said however I will never forget that the majority of his talk consisted of how we should follow our leaders because they were successful business executives, lawyers, or doctors. Our leaders knew the way because they were more educated or more successful than us. He even went through every one of the top leaders individually and listed all their major accomplishments one by one to focus on how amazing each one of them were. I was confused then and am still confused now because those shouldn’t be qualifications for a prophet of God.
On the opposite spectrum of this, I couldn’t possibly see someone rise to a position of leadership in the LDS church that had a sinful past. In the scriptures, Alma the Younger is openly against the church and then has a miraculous experience that teaches him of the truth. He repents, becomes a great prophet, and focuses his zealous energies in the correct direction. This is very similar to Saul who becomes Paul in the New Testament. Paul was an amazing person who would do anything for Christ. In the LDS church, openly discussing sins or weaknesses is very uncommon which encourages lying and hiding things however this is a side discussion for another time. Through the atonement of Christ, we can become clean from the most heinous of pasts. This should be celebrated not shunned.
A true prophet of God is a spokesman for God and nothing more. They certainly can be examples to us, and many are, however that is not a requirement. In addition, God can choose whoever he wants and in whatever quantity he wants to deliver his message. In modern Mormonism we have the idea that there can only be a single prophet who issues a single message at a time. However, this is not how God works. If my religious leader gave me a message, they said was from God, and the person who collects my trash did the same, I would treat them equally and find out for myself the truth. A few months ago a random person literally came up to me in a grocery store parking lot and gave me a message they said was from God. The message was timely and accurate. I received it with gladness and thanked them. God is without a doubt a worker of miracles.
If I am honest then I think I would rather hear messages from God that came from the person who collects my trash. I think they would be less likely to have an ulterior motive or hidden agenda. Today LDS leaders are almost without exception successful professionals or business leaders. This is not an issue of itself however scriptures like D&C 35:13, D&C 1:19, or D&C 124:1 show that God uses the weak and humble to do his will.
Wherefore, I call upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised, to thresh the nations by the power of my Spirit;D&C 35:13
Bring Forth the Word of God
One consistent role of a prophet is to bring forth the word of God. There are numerous examples of prophets like this throughout the scriptures however in our day Joseph Smith would be the most recent. He brought forth many revelations in the voice of God dictating them in a single setting. He didn’t need to rework or reword them. He spoke and a scribe wrote the revelation down. This is the word of God to his children through a prophet. Today we are greatly blessed to heed these revelations and to study them. Sadly, today we also no longer have these verbatim revelations from God and instead have general policy statements that go through a team of lawyers before being published.
Today many people claim to have revelations from God and no doubt most of them are sincere. However, sincerity is not a very valid test. The words must also be from God for them to be revelations from God. Jeremiah 23:21-22 and 2 Nephi 19:16 are prime examples of this where prophets are delivering messages to Israel, as if from God, however they were not sent by God to do so. Detecting these false revelations is sometimes difficult however God is always consistent in his words. Times and circumstances change however God doesn’t.
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 23:21-22
For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.2 Nephi 19:16
In receiving the word of God it is also important to keep in mind the nature of God and that he is a god of truth and honesty. He can not change according to Hebrews 13:8 and his revelations can’t change either. This means if a revelation contradicts a previous revelation then it can’t be from God. Matthew 12:25 states, a “house divided against itself shall not stand”.
It is quite interesting to note that in D&C 35:23, Sidney Rigdon was given a specific charge from God to prove the words of Joseph using the “holy prophets”. This would of course mean that the ancient prophets would correspond with the words of Joseph Smith. It doesn’t say what would happen if they didn’t agree however a later quote from Joseph Smith makes it clear.
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 imposter.Times & Seasons, April 1, 1844
In more modern times this sentiment has continued. Prophets cannot change the doctrine of Christ and anyone who claims to do so is not of God. In 1 Cor 14:33, it states that “God is not the author of confusion”. I am not sure what would be more confusing than supposed contradictory statements from God. Joseph Fielding Smith wrote the following:
Should a man speak or write and what he says is in conflict with the standards which are accepted, with the revelations the Lord has given, then we may reject what he has said, no matter who he is.Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, p 187
Prophets Test Loyalty to God
Another very important but commonly ignored role of prophets is to test the loyalty of God’s people. Throughout scriptures there have been multiple cases where a prophet was given a message to share that was specifically designed to see how a person or group would react. Would they continue with what they already knew to be God’s will, or would they follow the new direction? This of course would be impossible if everything that a prophet said was supposed to be taken directly as if God said it himself. Modern Mormonism believes that a prophet is incapable of leading anyone, and the church as a whole, astray. This of course is also impossible or at least grossly inaccurate if a prophet’s role is to test God’s people.
A wonderful example of this principle is in Jeremiah 35. The Rechabites took a vow, through their father Jehonadab, to live outside of cities and to never drink wine. Jeremiah was asked by God to test their loyalty to this vow. God asked Jeremiah to call them to meet with him. He did so and offered them wine to drink which they refused citing their vow. As a consequence of their faithfulness to God, and not Jeremiah, God specifically blessed them so that a Rechabite would always be in God’s service. This example is so plain and informative, yet it will never be taught in any LDS sacrament meeting or class.
Another wonderful however less positive example is 1 Kings 13. In this case a young prophet was asked to deliver a message to Jeroboam the king at the time. The young prophet delivered the message however was specifically told to neither eat nor drink (v. 8). The young prophet delivers the message and continues back home. On his way home he encounters an older prophet who was visited by an angel and told specifically to ask the young prophet to eat and drink, “that I may prove him” (v. 18). It is important to notice that the JST of v 18 specifically was changed to “and he lied not unto him”. This drastically changes the meaning of the interaction and shows it was of God. Sadly, the young prophet trusted in the older prophet and not God. He accepted the invitation and ate a meal with the older prophet. During the meal the older prophet received a revelation that the young prophet would be killed because of his disobedience (v 22). The old prophet was told of the death and was quite sorrowful.
It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the LORD; therefore the LORD hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake unto me.1 Kings 13:26
Modern Mormonism today teaches quite the opposite. Today we are taught to follow the prophet exactly and even if the prophet is wrong then we will be blessed for our obedience. This never made sense to me because God is allowing someone to do something they know is wrong simply because they don’t want to tell their leaders it is wrong. This is not how God works and is against the amazing examples of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in Daniel 3. It is also against the example of Daniel himself in Daniel 6. Wouldn’t it have been easier to just go along with what those people were told?
Supposedly President Grant said the following to President Romney who was a child at the time.
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. But you don’t need to worry. The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray.President Grant as related by President Romney (Oct 1960 General Conference)
That statement flies against numerous examples in scriptures including the young prophet in 1 Kings 13 who was savagely killed by the lion. The young prophet failed his test and trusted in man. As a consequence, he was no longer worthy of being a prophet of God. The sentiment of the statement is also found nowhere in the scriptures. I would welcome anyone to show a single scripture that backs up that statement.
This unquestioning loyalty is obviously unscriptural however it defeats the plan of God itself. If the only goal was to return to God, then Satan’s plan was perfect for that. However, the goal was for us to learn to choose the good over the evil and become like God. We can’t do that if we are expected to obey a man exactly. There is literally no choice in the matter according to modern LDS members.
God specifically warned us about those who would do miracles in his name and then alter the teachings of God to suit their purposes. We are to avoid their teachings as it is a test of our loyalty to God.
If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, “Let us go after other gods,” which thou hast not known, and “let us serve them;” thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.Deuteronomy 13:1-3
Lastly, it is important to also keep in mind that God does not take kindly to those who inquire of God and still hold on to “idols in his heart”. If we inquire of God, then he expects us to follow his guidance and use it to better ourselves and others. In this situation God says in Ezekiel 14:4, he will “answer him that cometh, according to the multitude of his idols”. This is a sobering thought actually. If we inquire of God, then God may respond with the answer that we want however it is only because God knew we wouldn’t accept any other response. This is evident in our day when Joseph Smith inquired of God about the 116-page manuscript which Martin Harris wanted to borrow. God told Joseph repeatedly that it was a bad idea however Joseph was under pressure and wouldn’t relent. Eventually God allowed it to Joseph’s detriment.
This is also evident in the Book of Mormon where Jacob is describing the Jews of his time. He mentioned that God gave them things which they couldn’t understand because they wanted it more than the simplicity of the Gospel.
Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they cannot understand, because they desired it. And because they desired it God hath done it, that they may stumble.Jacob 4:14
Prophets Can Be Wrong
The scriptures are an amazing glimpse into the lives of people 1000s of years ago. We can see their struggles and their triumphs. We can see the prophets and the tireless work in getting the people to repent and turn to God. However, the scriptures themselves are almost always written after the fact and by the prophet themselves. Thus, we have a very limited insight into the full picture of what was happening and the numerous things that happened that were not recorded for whatever reason. For instance, the first book of Nephi in the Book of Mormon was written by Nephi himself and chronicles his life and his struggles. It never paints Nephi in a negative light and always portrays him as a spiritual hero. I think he was in fact a special person however does that mean he never had bad days or that he never reacted to his brothers in a very unchristlike way? Nephi was a human, so it seems likely he had bad days and very bad days. In addition, he wrote in 2 Nephi 5:28-30 that the record itself was written approximately 30 years after the events. Therefore, it is highly likely not everything is exactly as it occurred.
In modern times we can also see that prophets can have bad days and can even be wrong about things. During the exuberant Nauvoo period Joseph Smith remarked in a 1842 Relief Society meeting,
I now deliver it as a prophecy that before ten years shall roll round, the queens of the earth shall come and pay their respects to this Society— they shall come with their millions and shall contribute of their abundance for the relief of the poor.Joseph Smith
This is a very happy and positive statement however just two years later Joseph would be dead, and the church would be planning its move westward out of the United States. It most certainly didn’t happen in any form at all. In fact, Brigham Young even told the women in 1845 to not meet together anymore. A statement like this however doesn’t invalidate everything Joseph did. It does mean though that not everything should be taken literally, and prophets can get carried away in their excitement and fail to ask God what his plans are.
14 Fundamentals in Following the Prophet
In 1980 Ezra Taft Benson gave a talk titled, “14 Fundamentals in Following the Prophet” at BYU. I loved this talk as a child, because it said quite clearly that you do as your told, quickly and exactly, and you have nothing to worry about. It made everything straight forward and simple. After learning more though I came to the realization that this talk misses the concept of a prophet of God sometimes in large degrees. I do however want to mention that Ezra Taft Benson was amazing for his time and spoke against the encroaching tide of communism. He was quite revolutionary, as a church leader, for his stances on these issues. That however doesn’t mean he can change how God operates with his children.
1. The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything.
This is wrong and confusing. “In everything” means what exactly? There is a lot of truth that has not come from a prophet but has come from observation and experimentation scientifically or mathematically. In addition to this there are numerous times in the scriptures where multiple prophets are active concurrently.
For example, Samuel the Lamanite was needed for some reason even though there was the active and righteous prophet Nephi. The people even went to Nephi to get baptized instead of seeking out Samuel the Lamanite after he left. Biblically though several prophets were active together at the same time in the same general location. For instance, Isaiah was active with Hosea. Haggai was active with Zechariah. Ezekiel was active with Daniel. Nahum was even active with Zephaniah and Habakkuk. Jeremiah was active with Joel and Lehi who was told to leave Israel. It is very likely there was numerous other unnamed prophets as well.
In his talk, President Benson referenced D&C 132:7 as justification to say that only a single person can hold the authority at a single time. If this were true, then either the early Christian church in the middle east had the authority or the converted people in the Americas had it, but not both. They both operated right after the resurrection of Christ for similar amounts of time. This is strange and highly limiting to an infinite being. We are literally putting a box around God and saying he can’t escape these bounds. If this limitation was true, then I would expect it to be referenced in other places then the dubious section 132.
2. The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works.
This concept is strange considering the great modern prophet, Joseph Smith, was among the saints however the members were told to teach from the scriptures. If Joseph was more valuable then the scriptures, then why not just talk about quotes from him? Why was Sidney Rigdon asked, in D&C 35:22, to prove Joseph’s words if his words were greater than the “holy prophets” themselves? We are told in 1 Nephi 8 to hold onto the iron rod, which is the word of God, in order to get to the tree of life. We are not told to hold on to the words or actions of a leader who “knows the way” to the tree of life.
In order to back this concept up President Benson referenced a statement from Wilford Woodruff that was first introduced more than 50 years after it supposedly happened. We also have no other sources for this information other than Wilford Woodruff. In addition, it violates the principles of God as has been shown previously. Living prophets are amazing and can give us the words of God, however saying they are more vital than the standard works is wrong and misleading. Both are needed and one is not better than the other.
3. The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet.
This is also confusing. A dead prophet is dead and so is strictly not valuable for anything. If he means the words of the dead prophet, then this is the same as #2. However, if he means, access to revelation, then of course someone who receives revelation is more valuable than someone who is dead and can’t receive revelation. As has been shown more than once though, the living or dead prophet has to be consistent with the previous revelations of God. This is an immutable truth and is consistent with the very nature of God. If they are in agreement, which has to be the case, then neither is more important or valuable.
4. The prophet will never lead the church astray.
As was shown previously, sometimes prophets do lead people astray as a test of loyalty. This is documented in scripture and is consistent with the nature of God. The idea that a person becomes perfect after receiving a calling or that God will kill them for their errors once they receive a calling is inconsistent with the nature of God. God does not remove agency just because someone accepts a certain church calling.
In order to bolster this point, President Benson uses the statement from Wilford Woodruff where he says he can’t lead the church astray. The first thing to note is he says, “I say to Israel”, and makes no reference to it being a statement from God. The other thing to note is there is no indication that the statement is actually from God and a lot of indications, from scriptures, which say that no one is immune from folly. Numerous people were “led astray” by well-intentioned people in the scriptures. I am not sure why we would consider ourselves immune today. It is interesting to note that on December 20th 1888, which was 6 months before he said the statement about not being able to lead the church astray, he said, “The Lord will never give a revelation to abandon plural marriage”. Well, plural marriage was abandoned so the two statements are not consistent. Either God is not consistent or everything Wilford Woodruff says is not from God and some things are his opinion.
A good example of a President of the LDS church having personal opinions is Brigham Young who taught that black people were inferior to white people and that Adam was our God. Both of these things we disavow today as false doctrine however that doesn’t change the fact that they were actually taught by Brigham Young for many years. Based on the logic in the talk then either Brigham Young was wrong, or we are wrong, however neither can be wrong supposedly so that is internally inconsistent. I think it is just more likely that people are not inferior because of their parent’s skin color, Brigham Young was a product of his time, and Presidents of the LDS church have personal opinions.
Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.Brigham Young March 8, 1863
5. The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time.
This is strictly true. A prophet can speak on any subject at any time for any reason so long as he is acting under the direction of God. However as has been shown previously, just because the prophet says something doesn’t make it the word of God. It is interesting to note though that not a single high-level leader of the LDS church is a “middle class” person. They are all high-level business executives, doctors, or lawyers all very highly educated. During his life Jesus chose fisherman and other simple people, even societal outcasts, to lead his church instead of the elite of his day. What would the LDS church look like if “normal” people administered it?
6. The prophet does not have to say “Thus Saith the Lord,” to give us scripture.
Technically if it doesn’t come from God then it is not scripture. If it is not scripture, then why should a prophet be saying it in the first place? Again, not everything spoken by the prophet is scripture. In the modern LDS church, the leaders claim that the general conference addresses are scriptures for our day. Without a doubt there are many good things to learn from the addresses. However, to flatly say they are scripture is wrong and misrepresents what scriptures actually are.
A good example of this is in 2015 when children of LGBTQ couples were denied baptism. President Nelson referred to that as the “mind of the Lord and will of the Lord, each of us during that sacred moment felt a spiritual confirmation”. However, after enormous public backlash the “revelation” was downgraded to a policy in 2019 and rescinded completely. The LDS church issued a statement which read, “the changes reflect the continuing revelation that has been a part of the modern Church since the Restoration”. The statement continues, “These policy changes come after an extended period of counseling … after fervent, united prayer to understand the will of the Lord”. If it was the mind of God, then it most definitely was not a policy that can be changed based on public opinion. President Nelson said, “Thus in 2015, the policy was made to assist children and their parents in this circumstance, namely that children being raised by LGBT parents would not automatically be eligible for baptism at age 8.” Why were children of LGBT couples restricted and not other opposing groups such as Satanists? Wouldn’t restricting the baptism of children whose parents are in offensive groups also eliminate friction in the home?
“A Prophet is not always a Prophet” only when he is acting as such.Joseph Smith Journal, 8 February 1843
7. The prophet tells us what we need to know, not always what we want to know.
This is true. However, it should read a prophet should tell us what we need to know. In the scriptures there are prophets who get caught up in the enticements of the world. Instead of speaking the word of God they speak flattery and pleasing words.
Balaam, as mentioned earlier, is a good example of a prophet who tells someone what they want to hear because he wants the fleeting things of this world. Ezekiel 14 though mentions that God or his prophets will tell us what we want to hear if we come to God with “idols in [our] heart”. Jacob 4:14, also mentions that sometimes God gives us what we want to know, to our detriment, when we have rejected the plainer parts of the Gospel.
But behold, the Jews were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they cannot understand, because they desired it. And because they desired it God hath done it, that they may stumble.Jacob 4:14
8. The prophet is not limited by men’s reasoning.
This is totally true. The reasoning of God is beyond all of men’s understanding. True statements of God can cross all intellectual boundaries. These statements will be eternally true and will be consistent with other revelations which has been shown previously.
9. The prophet can receive revelation on any matter, temporal or spiritual.
This of course is also true. God can reveal truth through his prophets on any subject at any time. The phrase, “the prophet” though, is not consistent with scripture.
Would God that all the LORD’s people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his Spirit upon them.Numbers 11:29
10. The prophet may advise on civic matters.
This is similar to the previous statement and is also true. We cannot limit God and God knows what is best for us. However, this doesn’t mean that the LDS church is free to engage in civic matters that it deems important. These decisions must come from God and be directed by God.
11. The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich.
I am not sure if this is strictly true however proud people in general have difficulty in seeing things from a different perspective. In order to join with Christ, you do have to humble yourself and become like him in word and deed which is an antithesis of being proud.
When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish. But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.2 Nephi 9:28-29
12. The prophet will not necessarily be popular with the world or the worldly.
True prophets should not be popular with the world unless the world is following the principles of righteous. Babylon is not compatible with the teachings of God and so any prophet, if he is speaking the words of God, will not be popular with the world. Jeremiah is a good example of a prophet who was quite unpopular in his day. He preached about the impending judgement of God and called the people to repentance. His message was not well received, and he was accosted, slandered, and even imprisoned for these teachings.
In more modern times Joseph Smith is another good example of someone who spoke the words of God and was unpopular with the world because of it. Joseph Smith was also accosted, slandered, and imprisoned. In addition, he was betrayed by his closest associates. Today the leaders of the LDS church enjoy unprecedented amounts of money and power. They are free to go and do virtually whatever they want. They can speak on any subject, at any time, at any location almost without restriction. It is worrying that it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell Babylon apart from the LDS church.
13. The prophet and his counselors make up the First Presidency—the highest quorum in the Church.
This is factually true and is so by scripture. It is however not a scriptural concept that the apostles “move up” into the 1st presidency. They are to be separate quorums where the First Presidency has the presiding authority in the church. During Joseph’s life God called the members of the first presidency directly and not a single apostle “moved up” into the presiding quorum. This never happened once.
D&C 102:11 though says that a single member of the First Presidency has the authority to preside in the absence of the other members. This would mean that Sidney Rigdon, who was the 1st councilor at the time, had the authority to preside over the church. According to God he could have reconstituted the 1st presidency and we would have had a drastically different church than the one we have today.
And in case of the absence of one or both of those who are appointed to assist him [president of the church], he has power to preside over the council without an assistant; and in case he himself is absent, the other presidents have power to preside in his stead, both or either of them.D&C 102:11
14. The prophet and the presidency—the living prophet and the First Presidency—follow them and be blessed—reject them and suffer.
This honestly sounds really ominous and foreboding. It seems like its purpose is to scare members in compliance. I agree that if we reject the council of God then we are left to our own devices. However, as has been shown previously, not everything from the prophet is of God and sometimes God wants us to not follow the prophet as is in the case of 1 Kings 13 and Jeremiah 35. In addition to this Sidney was to, in D&C 35:23, prove the words of Joseph against the holy prophets. Why prove anything if it is always correct? Asserting otherwise is unscriptural. No single person is without blemish except Christ. Therefore, following anyone except Christ is bound to lead to error.
Christ during his ministry told people not to follow his apostles, but to follow God. After his death the apostles didn’t say follow me, but instead they said to follow Christ. Today we receive mixed messages from our leaders that say we should follow them, and they will help us to Christ. The way back to Christ is already crystal clear. We must repent, be baptized, and do as he did. There is no other way. The primary song sung by millions of children, “Follow the Prophet”, should be changed to “Follow Jesus”. The prophet is no substitute for Jesus.