I’ve spoken about this topic many times on this blog. The idea that the Brethren and the Prophet cannot lead us astray has become a very controversial topic even among active LDS.
Elder Oaks’ daughter Jenny Oaks Baker struck a chord on Facebook a few days before Conference with this post on the subject:
I woke up this morning feeling with a deep desire to publicly declare my testimony that the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is led by a true prophet who communes with God and who will never lead us astray! I also know that the Apostles and other members of the First Presidency are also prophets, seers and revelators who are called of God and who will lead us back to Him if we follow their counsel. My heart has been so saddened as I have seen so many members of The Church doubting and publicly disagreeing with these good and righteous leaders, thinking that they themselves know better. Wearing masks at church and in the temple as President Nelson has asked us to do, is our way of looking at Moses’ staff to be healed. It really doesn’t matter if masks work or not! That is not the point! This is an obedience test! And the same goes for vaccinations! The Prophet has encouraged us all to be vaccinated unless we have a medical reason to refrain from doing so, and if we do get the vaccine, we will be blessed! It’s that simple! I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s true Church on this earth! I know it! And I feel so blessed to have the Gospel in my life as it brings my life so much peace and joy. Please don’t let your distrust of vaccinations and hatred for masks be the mists of darkness that shake your hold upon the iron rod and prevent you from partaking of the sweet fruits of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ! I know that following the Prophet in all things, will bring healing, peace and safety to us all! Facebook Post September 28, 2021 4:55 am #JennyOaksBaker
When I last checked there were 425 comments. The comments are quite interesting to read and range from completely in favor to accusations that this post is evidence that the Church is a cult.
I would simply point to the words published as said by Joseph Smith, a true prophet of God, forwarded to me by a good friend recently. This statement reflects quotes from early Church leaders, even Brigham Young, but which the likes of today are considered as grounds for apostasy by the Church.
We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark that they would do anything they were told to do by those who preside over them (even) 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 would despise the idea. 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 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.
Joseph Smith, Millennial Star, vol.14 #38, pp. 593-95
The religion restored through Joseph Smith has turned into something I think he would mourn. I don’t think the Church can continue pushing this “last doctrine” and not lose the vast majority of its members.