Take a stroll among any Church owned site and you are more likely to encounter a statue or picture of a Prophet or early Church event than something pertaining to Christ. The problem of leader worship is so prevalent the apostles and members have to continually try to convince people it is not true. The problem is that the actions of the Church show otherwise. Here is a partial list of observations that show the lofty place the members put their leaders.

  • The Church is currently on their 14th Teachings of the President of the Church. They spend a year fawning over one man’s life and teachings. There is a picture of the Prophet on the cover. There has NEVER been a “Teaching of Jesus Christ” Manual. Sit in a priesthood or relief society and you are more likely to hear a comment about a prophet than Christ. I know because I have sat through thousands of them. Leader worship!
  • Go into any Latter-day saint home. You are just as likely, if not more so to find a picture of the prophet than one of Christ.
  • Members are told to never criticize an apostle, even if they are wrong.
  • Some of the most beloved songs of members revolve around leader worship where the focus and adoration is on an apostle. Just to name a few-“We think thee oh God for a Prophet”, “Praise to the Man,” “Come listen to a Prophets voice,” and so on.
  • Go to Facebook and look up Mormon or LDS groups. There are official pages for each apostle. Pick one to visit. You will see hundreds of member quotes fawning over the simplest words that fall from an apostle’s lips. If anyone dares criticize them, those comments will be deleted. If that isn’t enough, members have taken it upon themselves to make unofficial groups that revolve around each of these men.They are  “Supporters” groups. There are even supporter groups for apostles that have died. “Supporters of Richard G. Scott” is an example. Let the man rest in peace! On any day, visit a pro LDS group and most of the conversation will revolve around some quote by an apostle that has nothing to do with Christ.I found one Mormon-Jesus group. Guess what? Most images and quotes were from apostles. Leader worship!
  • Visit Church headquarters and historical sites. Some things pertain to Christ, but many put the focus elsewhere.


If it just stopped there, it would be in the creepy but semi-harmless stage where members stand up when a general authority enters the room, as if he is some travelling dignitary.

The real issue is, it does not end there and moves to a level where members suspend their own thinking and mimic the thoughts, prejudices, and beliefs of the brethren. Members have been indoctrinated to subjugate their thought to the words of the Prophet. Here are three examples where this idea moves into territory where members apply semi deity status to the leaders.

1.”Any Latter-day Saint who denounces or opposes whether actively or otherwise, any plan or doctrine advocated by the prophets, seers, revelators’ of the church, is cultivating the spirit of apostacy. One cannot speak evil of the lord’s annointed… and retain the holy spirit in his heart. This sort of game is Satan’s favorite pastime, and he has practiced it to believing souls since Adam. He {Satan} wins a great victory when he can get members of the church to speak against their leaders and to do their own thinking.

When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan–it is God’s Plan. When they point the way, there is no other which is safe. When they give directions, it should mark the end of controversy, God works in no other way. To think otherwise, without immediate repentance, may cost one his faith, may destroy his testimony, and leave him a stranger to the kingdom of God.”

Ward Teachers Message, Deseret News, Church Section p. 5, May 26, 1945
Also included in the Improvement Era, June 1945 (which was the official church magazine before the Ensign)

2.”When the Prophet speaks the debate is over”.

N. Eldon Tanner, August Ensign 1979, pages 2-3

3. Dallin Oaks said this,It’s wrong to criticize leaders of the Church, even if the criticism is true.

How different this is from what Jesus did when He walked the earth. Some of His most stinging criticisms were directed at religious leaders. Here, He is talking about the scribes and pharisees in the 23rd chapter of Matthew. Many of these words could be directed at Mormon leaders.

5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

This idea of “following the Prophet” is played out in the Church on a daily basis. I have a good friend who did not believe the Church would exclude children of LGBT people. When she first heard of the exclusionary policy she was astounded, and then an interesting thing happened. Within a few days she started mimicking the words of the leaders how this was out of love and so on. She now supports the teaching because the leaders speak for God and of course there is no way they could be mistaken.

Members do this on so many fronts where they blindly get in line with what they are told by the leaders of the Church. I have had more than a few members explain how the Prophet is a mediator to Christ just as Christ is a mediator to the Father.

Do you know the surest way to get the blood boiling of a true believing member? They will allow you to discuss and criticize Jesus, but Never say anything bad about the Prophet!

Leader worship is alive and well.