One-Minute Answers by Stephen R. Gibson

Contents of One-Minute Answers

Did Church Leaders Have Weaknesses?

Question: How can Latter-day Saints believe the LDS Church is true in view of the weaknesses of the early Church leaders?
 LDS critics are fond of revealing examples of character weaknesses occasionally exhibited by our Church leaders. The purpose of their accusations is usually an attempt to discredit the person in order to discredit the message he proclaims. This oft-used ploy is a form of hypocritical judgment that all Christians have been commanded to avoid (Matt. 7:1-5).

As we examine the scriptures, we find that when God has a work to be done, he sometimes chooses individuals whom the world might consider the most unlikely people to perform his tasks, i.e., David the shepherd boy, Matthew the tax collector and Saul (Paul), the persecutor of Christians. The Apostle Paul observed:

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty (1 Cor. 1:26-27).
The weaknesses of God's servants are not hidden. It is by divine design that they are preserved for our benefit. For instance, God's latter-day choice of servants compares favorably with his early day selection. Those who would point to a man's weakness to discredit his message or calling have either not read the Bible or have chosen to ignore what they have read. Let he who is "without sin" be the first to condemn God's servants for being imperfect. In doing so, these critics may wish to remember that "with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged" (Matt. 7:2).

Anti-Mormon detractors would do well to recall, also, that during the past several decades numerous nationally known televangelists, preachers, priests, and other church officials from among the ranks of "orthodox Christianity" have been publicly exposed, defrocked, removed from office, and in some instances sent to jail by civil authorities. Does their unseemly behavior automatically make their churches false?

In the light of Paul's profound observation that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23) all denominations are compelled to recognize that neither their members nor their leaders are completely blameless individuals—God does his work through imperfect people.