Leaders called by revelation who do bad things

I have read a number of stories of people who have fallen away from the Church because of the poor decisions of local leaders, blaming the Church or those who put these people in authority for the misdeeds. I have a friend who often states that leaders “must have been listening to the wrong spirit” to have called someone who has either sinned or treated them in what is perceived (at least by my friend) as in a poor manner. I have seen still others point to misuses or perceived carelessness of leaders as an example of the “intolerable” male-dominated system of leadership within the Church.

In all of these cases, the choices of an individual, with their own free agency (or ability to choose their actions), is being projected onto those who received personal revelation that a particular person should be in a particular position, or onto the Church as a whole. That these leaders choices were independent of the trust placed in them is ignored. It is assumed that those assigning the positions (or making the callings) “should have known” a problem was going to happen.

In the Church organization began by Jesus, 12 Apostles were called, in anticipation of their leading the Church when He was gone. All of them were men with their own strengths and weaknesses, their own knowledge and experience. Two (at least) failed for a time to live up to what was expected of them. Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for money. Peter betrayed his own Apostolic calling to declare that Jesus is the Christ when he denied three times that he knew or associated with Jesus. Was Jesus just not listening to God when he made these calls? The idea of predestination can also be discarded, being contrary to LDS teachings.

If Jesus can call men who have the potential for making mistakes, could we not also, even with direct inspiration from God also call men who have the potential to make great mistakes?

The plan of salvation given by God, as opposed to that given by Lucifer, is one of choice. Each one of us is capable of being worthy to return to Heavenly Father, and are also able to choose not returning. The plan of Lucifer was to remove that choice, so all would return. Hence, no matter what callings are extended, no matter what opportunities we have in this life, we all retain the possibility of doing both right and wrong. To lose trust in the personal revelation of others in who should fill what positions when they have been called of by God to do so will erode the trust in the Church as a whole, and ultimately in God.

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