The Lord, in the scriptures, comes down hard on those who put other men on pedestals—as if somehow they are more than human—worthy not just of respect as with all men, but of adulation and kowtowing. Says he to these benighted souls, “Let no man glory in man, but rather let him glory in God, who shall subdue all enemies under his feet” (Doctrine & Covenants 76:61).
Says Isaiah of those who make others their “oaks” or idols, “You will be ashamed of the oaks you cherished and blush for the parks you were fond of; you shall become like an oak whose leaves wither, and as a garden that has no water. The mighty shall be as refuse, and their works a spark; both shall burn up alike, and there shall be none to extinguish.” (Isaiah 1:29–31)
In the day when God “makes all glorying in excellence a profanity and the world’s celebrities an utter execration” (Isaiah 23:9), people may finally realize “that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed” (Moses 1:10). Will they then not glorify God and say, “O Jehovah, you bring about our peace; even all that we have accomplished you have done for us” (Isaiah 26:12)?
If men “are agents unto themselves,” why do they hang on others’ coattails and say they are “of Paul, and of Apollos, and of Cephas . . . some of one and some of another”—whoever it may be in our day—though in truth they “received not the gospel, neither the testimony of Jesus, neither the prophets, neither the everlasting covenant” (Doctrine & Covenants 58:28; 76:99–101)?
In other words, persons who idolize others are in a state of blindness pertaining to things of the gospel. They haven’t comprehended what “agents unto themselves” means, or what worshiping God with all your heart, mind, might, and strength entails. Instead, they are hangers-on in a group ethos, parties to an elitist social aberration that serves as a substitute for the gospel.
After the cleansing, when God’s justice has been meted out, then “shall Jehovah of Hosts be as a crown of beauty and wreath of glory to the remnant of his people: a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, a source of strength to those who repulse the attack at the gates” (Isaiah 28:5–6); “Then will you rejoice in Jehovah and glory in the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 41:16).