While Jesus warned of false prophets in the last days one thing that has helped strengthen my testimony of the restored gospel is that those who have stood as Presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have always assured us that they will never lead us astray.
The scriptures warn that “cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh” which is why I only put my trust in the prophet.
The scriptures record the words of President Wilford Woodruff who said “The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray.” https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/od/1?lang=eng
Those who oppose the Church know that if they can successfully show that a Church President has indeed led the people astray then we, his followers, would have to conclude either that the Lord is a liar or even more preposterous still - that the leaders of His Church aren’t really speaking on His behalf.
One who attempts to confuse members in such a manner is a young man named David Twede.
If there is one thing I, as a Stake President, cannot understand it is when disaffected members feel the need to write blogs in condemnation of the Lord’s Church and its chosen and anointed leaders.
Twede not only has his own blog but is also involved in the website www.MormonThink.com which is a site dedicated to exposing historical facts about the Church that are not in harmony with the restored gospel.
Twede not only dares to suggest that the Lord has gone against His own promise in permitting those who stand as president’s of the Church to lead members astray, but he provides what on the surface, to the untrained eye, looks like good evidence.
His blog post deals with the sensitive issue of the Lord not permitting those of the Negro race to hold the priesthood until 1978. Twede quotes from a recent statement in the Mormon newsroom where it says, "It is not known precisely why, how, or when this restriction began in the Church but what is clear is that it ended decades ago...We condemn racism, including any and all past racism by individuals both inside and outside the Church." http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/race-church
Twede says, “This statement is very profound. It tacitly admits that the previous statement, that the Lord won’t allow a prophet to lead the members astray, is false.” http://mormonthinkblog2012.blogspot.com/2012/10/infallible-fail.html
As evidence he puts links to quotes from past prophets as given on MormonThink.com. Twede wrongfully assumes that if the Church today condemns racist messages from past Church President’s, then this must mean that past Church President’s led the people astray.
I will correct Brother Twede in his assumptions but let’s first start with the following quote from our past beloved Church President Joseph Fielding Smith:
"Not only was Cain called upon to suffer, but because of his wickedness he became the father of an inferior race. A curse was placed upon him and that curse has been continued through his lineage and must do so while time endures. Millions of souls have come into this world cursed with a black skin and have been denied the privilege of Priesthood and the fullness of the blessings of the Gospel. These are the descendants of Cain. Moreover, they have been made to feel their inferiority and have been separated from the rest of mankind from the beginning.... we will also hope that blessings may eventually be given to our negro brethren, for they are our brethren-children of God-not withstanding their black covering emblematical of eternal darkness.” The Way to Perfection, pages 101-102.
Here is another quote from Smith:
"There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantages. The reason is that we once had an estate before we came here, and were obedient, more or less, to the laws that were given us there. Those who were faithful in all things there received greater blessings here, and those who were not faithful received less." Doctrines of Salvation, volume 1, page 61.
The first question we must ask and that I, as a Stake President, will answer is ‘are official statements made by the Church Newsroom (and which in this case condemn past racism in the Church) actually official?’
In order to correctly answer this I will have to speak very frankly and openly with you. While the Church has no official position on the matter, I happen to know that leaders desperately want Mitt Romney to become the president of The United States of America. Since Romney is a member of the one true Church the people of America are naturally very interested in finding out exactly what he believes. So when articles are written that portray our teachings in a negative light it is important for the public relations arm of the Church to quickly smooth things over.
One must ask oneself whether the people of America would rather vote for someone who believes that black people are ‘children of God-not withstanding their black covering emblematical of eternal darkness’ or are they more likely to vote for someone who’s Church denounces “any and all past racism by individuals in the Church?” The answer is obvious.
And thus we see that as marketing specialists the job of the public relations folk is to make our religion seem more palatable to the outside observer. I personally commend them on the fine job they are doing in this regard.
But let’s keep one thing in mind. These statements on the Church Newsroom were not signed by the First Presidency nor did a Church leader get up in General Conference to read and endorse them. No. Because General Conference is for those who are already members while the Church Newsroom is for the general public. And thus as faithful members we can be assured that our past leaders did not lead us astray.
But let’s play devil’s advocate and just pretend for a minute that it was completely wrong of the 15 white men at the head of this Church to not allow blacks to hold the priesthood and that this was indeed racist, as the newsroom article suggests. If this were the case then would Brother Twede be correct in stating that the prophet has, in the past, led us astray?
Well let’s first define the true meaning of being led astray. To lead someone astray means to guide a person down a path that will not result in their eternal salvation. Would anyone’s eternal salvation have been at risk if blacks should have been allowed to hold the priesthood but were denied this right? Of course not! The black man that joined the Church through baptism and led a life of service to the Lord will not be denied eternal salvation by a loving father in heaven just because the prophet at the time mistakenly thought that their skin colour was ‘emblematical of eternal darkness’. Nor would the white man’s salvation be jeopardized by this policy. All are equal in the sight of the Lord.
And thus we see that past presidents and prophets of the Church have not led and will never be permitted to lead astray those of us who follow him. On the contrary it is people like Brother Twede who seek to lead people astray. We must keep one thing in mind, and it is that Twede is an apostate. Not many know this so I will just tell you straight out that he was on the verge of being excommunicated from the Church by loving priesthood leaders for his involvement in Mormonthink.com.
Rather than humbly and bravely facing the consequences of his actions like a man Brother Twede ran off to an ex-Mormon conference and amongst cheers and applauds sent an email to Church headquarters asking for his name to be removed from the records of the Church. This received certain media attention: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/55128570-78/church-lds-twede-mormon.html.csp
Such actions show that Twede was and is under the influence of Satan and therefore any evidence he produces to show that Church President’s have led us astray cannot be trusted and must be ignored.
Brothers and Sisters as a Stake President I can assure you that the President of the Church will never lead us astray. We can follow him with full purpose of heart knowing that even if in years to come his policies are deemed discriminatory by the public relations arm of the Church, we who have faithfully sustained and followed him will be eternally blessed.
This is my assurance that I give unto you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen