Question: The prophets and apostles are not teaching false teachings now, nor are they going to. The church is not going to fall away. The church does not and will not need to be set in order (other than as directed by Christ through President Nelson and the next prophet if there is another before Christ’s return). I respect people can disagree with me and interpret some verses of Isaiah differently. But they are in direct opposition to the teachings of the Lord’s anointed living prophets. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t sustain the prophets and apostles and claim they will fall away in the future while they tell us we can trust them. We are taught in the temple to give heed to their words.
Answer: “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 deliver only their own souls. 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, TPJS, 237–38).
“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. . . . 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 celestial glory, to be crowned as they anticipate. . . . I do not want men to come to me or my brethren for testimony as to the truth of this work; but let them take the Scriptures of divine truth, and there the path is pointed out to them as plainly as ever a guidebook indicated the right path to the weary traveler. There they are directed to go, not to Brothers Brigham, Heber, or Daniel, or to any apostle or elder in Israel, but to the Father in the name of Jesus, and ask for the information they need” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 1:312; 9:151; 12:96).
“Vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord. And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord; First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord” (Doctrine & Covenants 112:24–26);
“I, the Lord, have made my church in these last days like unto a judge sitting on a hill, or in a high place, to judge the nations. For it shall come to pass that the inhabitants of Zion shall judge all things pertaining to Zion. And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known. And even the bishop, who is a judge, and his counselors, if they are not faithful in their stewardships shall be condemned, and others shall be planted in their stead. For, behold, I say unto you that Zion shall flourish, and the glory of the Lord shall be upon her; And she shall be an ensign unto the people, and there shall come unto her out of every nation under heaven. And the day shall come when the nations of the earth shall tremble because of her, and shall fear because of her terrible ones. The Lord hath spoken it. Amen” (Doctrine & Covenants 64:37–43).