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IVAN - In the news there have been reports of children being abused by others members; a mission president accused of abusing a female missionary. Recently a large group of Mormon youth went on a pioneer trek and suffered dehydration because the leaders were not prepared to deal with the conditions. How many died in the original pioneer trek? unprepared, unprotected... starvation, froze to death rather than wait and travel in the summer etc. etc. does not appear inspired... and yet this trajedy is celebrated as something to be proud of (rather than embarrassed of?) Abuse at the hands of church leaders which is perpetuated rather than stopped?
Just wondering how some can justify the claim "the church is led by God" in light of things like this that happen that church leaders allowed. The leaders - not followers - are to blame.

JOEL - Sometimes the leaders are to be blamed, but they are all we have to work with right now.
What you complain about is an example of how church critics claim we believe the leaders are infallible, but that has never been taught. Not now nor in Biblical times. Similar things happened under the leadership of prophets hundreds of years ago in the Bible.

- Noah lay naked in a drunken stupor (Gen. 9:21), and yet he is described as "a just man and perfect in his generations" (Gen. 6:9).
- Moses, violently killed an an Egyptian (Ex. 2:11-14), and was pohibited by God from entering the promised land, yet he was God's choice as the redeemer of Israel.
- Jonah, who fled from God's presence (Jonah 1:3), was nevertheless the man whom God chose to deliver his message to Nineveh.
- Peter's pitiful denials of the Master (Luke 22:54-62) didn't prevent him from becoming the leader of the new church.

Your expectation of what prophets and other church leaders should be is not consistant with what the Bible says. Paul said:
"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).

We are taught to follow them, but I nor any other faithful member have ever expected them to be perfect. Since they are all we have to work with, we will follow them because there is nothing better in this world right now. And for the most part they have been right and inspired in their leadership. Do you know of some other source to God that the world can follow and know it is God's will for all people of the world?

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