Holding LDS prophets and apostles to a higher standard


I had a long conversation tonight (May 19, 2017) with an editor at Book of Mormon Central. He argued that since Peter denied Christ three times, we should not consider prophets like Brigham Young disqualified over false teachings like Adam-God. “Nobody is perfect.” “Everything is human.” “God corrects prophets.”

Some conversation questions:

  • Have your leaders ever confessed and repented of false teaching?
  • How bad does a prophet have to be before you would consider him disqualified?
  • You say Mormonism began with a new dispensation, succeeding the New Testament dispensation. Did it elevate or lower the standards for church leadership? Are LDS standards lower or higher than the New Testament for leadership?
  • Did Joseph Smith and Brigham Young meet the qualifications in 1 Timothy and Titus to be a teacher of sound doctrine and a man of one wife?
  • When Jesus said that we would know false prophets by their fruits, did he mean for us to limit fruit-inspection to only “official teaching”?
  • [Added] Jesus asks, “Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.” (Matthew 7:16-17) What would it look like to treat someone like a thornbush, or as full of thistles?
  • Can non-“official” false teaching conceivably disqualify a person from being a true prophet?
  • Do you hold Prophets and Apostles to a higher standard than normal LDS members? If so, then what is that standard?
  • You have excused Joseph Smith and Brigham Young over certain teachings; you say they are no longer taught, or that they are not official, or that God ended up “correcting” them. Which teachings specifically do you think were false? Were those teachings actually false teachings?

In October 2011 I had a related interview with Stephen Smoot.