Leaders make mistakes

And make no mistake about it: the Lord directs His Church through living prophets and apostles. This is the way He has always done His work.

Too many people think Church leaders and members should be perfect or nearly perfect. They forget that the Lord’s grace is sufficient to accomplish His work through mortals. Our leaders have the best intentions, but sometimes we make mistakes.

God Is at the Helm Elder M. Russell Ballard
Leaders are directed by God and make mistakes.

On one hand, we are to accept that the Lord directs his church, and on the other that the leaders make mistakes. So, which of the doctrines or policies are mistakes and not directed by the Lord? When these mistakes have eternal consequences regarding salvation, how can we say the Lord is directing it? A few mistakes: Adam-God “theory” that was spouted as doctrine for decades. Polygamy? was that a mistake or doctrine? It’s still in our scriptures and we practice plural marriage in heaven – our own President Nelson is a celestial polygamist in fact because he is sealed to multiple wives (a practice that is only afforded to men). Is the church’s stance on race a mistake? It was touted as doctrine and enforced a racist culture for more than a century! Just last year it was decided to celebrate the 40 year anniversary of the policy/doctrine change that allowed african descendants the priesthood. The list goes on and on. We like to excuse the leaders of the time for being “men of the times”, but can’t we expect a bit more of prophets, seers and revelators?

When we have a conscience that tells us differently than the leaders, we should be empowered to say they are making a mistake. But when this happens we’re not following proper channels or we’re not sustaining the leaders… We can sustain them while not sustaining their mistakes, no? Or do we just wait for them to realize their own mistakes and change the doctrine to reflect that? Oh, the joys of a gerontocracy.

We are expected to stay in line and not rock the boat. Where would the world be if no one rocked the boat? Where would we be without Dr Martin Luther King Jr? Where would we be without Gandhi? There are even privileged white men examples… Where would we be without George Washington? John Adams? Thomas Jefferson? These men rocked the boat, they committed treason! And now they are remembered as heroes and founding fathers. Did they follow the proper channel? What was that, file a complaint with the Governor and hope it reached the King and hope he cared?

Church leaders have a responsibility to be above the times. They are expected to be closer to God. They claim that they are as being “special witnesses”. We don’t expect perfection. They are allowed to be human, and humans are flawed by definition. But, they are not, nor should they be, above reproach.

Do you see their mistakes? Were they too big to reconcile? Tell us:

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