Monday, November 16, 2015

Doctrine and Covenants 64

                There are those who seem to fall apart the moment a Priesthood leader makes a mistake (or even doesn’t make a mistake, but doesn’t behave the way they believe they should).  I can still remember when President Hinckley’s wife died, and the pictures of him crying at her funeral were released.  A number of people viewed those pictures and argued that this indicated that the Church was not true – after all, if he was the Prophet, he ought to believe in eternal families and therefore shouldn’t shed any tears.

                Leaving aside the absurdity of that argument, I want to focus on the underlying premise – perfect leaders.  I have learned a thing or two about imperfect leaders along the way, and I can certainly understand the frustration that they can bring.  But at no point does that generate in us a reasonable excuse to leave the Church.  After all, our scripture (including this Section) explicitly recognizes that even the prophets and apostles may be liars or hypocrites!

                I have confidence in the Brethren, of course, but even if I didn’t it wouldn’t excuse me of my obligation to follow them (because I follow Him).  We have seen Apostles excommunicated, we have seen Bishops and Stake Presidents excommunicated.  We have seen any number of horrible things done by Priesthood leaders from time to time.  But focusing on these things ignores two important facts.  First, they are (thankfully) extremely rare and the vast majority of those who the Lord calls to lead us at this time are good men responsive to His will.  Second, even if they are bringing about their own personal destruction because of their deviations from the Lord’s will, that gives us no excuse to disregard their position as servants of the Lord and leaders He has established in His Kingdom of God on Earth.

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