Question: How are Church members protected against error by leaders?

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Question: How are Church members protected against error by leaders?

The Church's system of councils provides protection against the fallibility of a single man or leader

President Joseph Fielding Smith explained:

An individual may fall by the wayside, or have views, or give counsel which falls short of what the Lord intends. But the voice of the First Presidency and the united voice of those others who hold with them the keys of the kingdom shall always guide the Saints and the world in those paths where the Lord wants them to be.[1]

Dallin H. Oaks explained how the Lord allows all His children to grow through struggling with problems:

Revelations from God . . . are not constant. We believe in continuing revelation, not continuous revelation. We are often left to work out problems without the dictation or specific direction of the Spirit. That is part of the experience we must have in mortality. Fortunately, we are never out of our Savior's sight, and if our judgment leads us to actions beyond the limits of what is permissible and if we are listening, . . . the Lord will restrain us by the promptings of his Spirit.[2]

The Lord will not help his children avoid all stumbling and error; He will protect them from permanent harm to His work, as Boyd K. Packer taught:

Even with the best of intentions, [Church government] does not always work the way it should. Human nature may express itself on occasion, but not to the permanent injury of the work.[3]


  1. Joseph Fielding Smith, "Eternal Keys and the Right to Preside," Ensign (July 1972), 88.
  2. Dallin H. Oaks, "Teaching and Learning by the Spirit," Ensign (March 1997), 14.
  3. Boyd K. Packer, "I Say unto You, Be One," in BYU Devotional and Fireside Speeches, 1990–1991 (Provo, Utah: University Publications, 1991), 84.