Willingly Degrade Himself: Should we do something that is wrong?
The following statement highlighted in red was brought up in Sunday School and stated to be true. The teacher nodded, acknolwedged it and others in the class all agreed. While I felt constrained to remain quiet I felt to post it here.
“I remember years ago when I was a bishop I had President Heber J. Grant talk to our ward. After the meeting I drove him home … Standing by me, he put his arm over my shoulder and said: ‘My boy, you always keep your eye on the President of the Church and if he ever tells you to do anything, and it is wrong, and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it.’ Then with a twinkle in his eye, he said, ‘But you don’t need to worry. The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray.’” (Conference Report, October 1960, p. 78.)
This is a common teaching in the LDS Church, as shown being taught in General Conference. Its this same original quote (not cited or referenced here) that the doctrine "the prophet will never lead you astray" was canonized into the manifesto.
Joseph was known to say the following,
“I say to all those who are disposed to set up stakes for the Almighty, You will come short of the glory of God. To become a joint heir of the heirship of the Son, one must put away all his false traditions.”8This doctrine is one of those precepts of men.
I copied the following from fairmormon.org. Its another quote by Brigham Young to illustrate this principle.
Because of...the apparent imperfections of men on whom God confers authority, the question is sometimes asked,—to what extent is obedience to those who hold the priesthood required? This is a very important question, and one which should be understood by all Saints. In attempting to answer this question, we would repeat, in short, what we have already written, that willing obedience to the laws of God, administered by the Priesthood, is indispensable to salvation; but we would further add, that a proper conservative to this power exists for the benefit of all, and none are required to tamely and blindly submit to a man because he has a portion of the Priesthood. We have heard men who hold the Priesthood remark, that they would do any thing they were told to do by those who presided over them, if they knew it was wrong: but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself, should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God, who seeks for the redemption of his fellows, would despise the idea of seeing another become his slave, who had an equal right with himself to the favour of God; he would rather see him stand by his side, a sworn enemy to wrong, so long as there was place found for it among men. Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty (!) authority, have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the Saints were told to do by their Presidents, they should do it without asking any questions.
When the Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience, as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their hearts to do wrong themselves, and wish to pave the way to accomplish that wrong; or else because they have done wrong, and wish to use the cloak of their authority to cover it with, lest it should be discovered by their superiors, who would require an atonement at their hands.The person in the class stated if we do it and its wrong we will still be blessed (other-wards be obedient no matter what). Who cares if its wrong, because God will bless you for it!. Thus we can blindly follow those who lead us and receive exaltation with no fear for our souls, because they won't lead us astray.
—"Priesthood," Millennial Star 14/38 (13 November 1852), 594–95; italics in the original. off-site
Saints of God should Despise the idea.
It is SLAVERY.
The person should "not claim a rank among intelligent beings"
nor can he.
And also in the reign of Shule there came prophets among the people, who were sent from the Lord, prophesying that the wickedness and idolatry of the people was bringing a curse upon the land, and they should be destroyed if they did not repent. (Ether 7:23)My heart continuously grieves for the precepts of men that pacify us, binding us by the chains of hell, while we exclaim all is well in Zion (2 Nephi 28:21) that will carefully bring us down to hell if we do not awake and arise to our awful situation. My eyes water my pillow by night but I must exclaim.
7 O the pain, and the anguish of my soul for the loss of the slain of my people! For I, Nephi, have seen it, and it well nigh consumeth me before the presence of the Lord; but I must cry unto my God: Thy ways are just. (2 Nephi 26:7)