Those who choose to follow men, such as a bishop, a stake president, a mission president, a general authority, or a prophet, will at some time or another find themselves disappointed, wronged or offended. They put their trust in the arm of flesh. However, when trust is appropriately placed in the only being that can be trusted, Christ, then the mistakes of men are swallowed up in Christ, and no matter the offense, we can create room for the mistakes of the flesh. We must follow Christ alone!
I was recently reprimanded and accused by my bishopric of being a “dissenter” for paying tithing anonymously, following Christ alone, and supporting an anti-Christ movement. All three accusations are false accusations, and no grounds for disciplinary council, or for excommunication. I choose to get no tax credit for my tithing by reporting how much I pay in tithes and offerings. And I declare myself a full-tithe payer with a clear conscience. Nephi has counseled all to never put their trust in the arm of flesh, and if that is good enough counsel for Nephi, it is good enough counsel for me. And finally, if I follow no man, as stated previously, then why would I support a man’s movement against the Mormon church? On all counts of my bishop’s accusation, I am innocent, and being judged wrong.
Because my trust is placed in Christ alone, the mistake of those leaders is allowed, and I am not offended. I do not attend church for the bishop’s or other men’s approval. I go because I sincerely love talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even excommunication cannot revoke my desire or my ability to politely discuss the gospel of Christ in church. Trusting in Christ alone, makes room for men’s mistakes (which is inevitable), and Zion to still be built. Zion is not based upon a perfect people. Zion is made up of a people, founded on Christ alone, making room for imperfect people to be perfected by Christ.
Conclusion: There is certainly a movement happening within our family, that will prove to be a perfect testing ground for all of us to prove to heaven and earth whom we put our trust. If we avoid trusting in the flesh, and put our trust completely in Christ, it will be impossible for us to be offended by the next person’s mistakes. There will be no room for contention, among us, and we will be one! However, if we place our trust in the arm of flesh, to the degree we do so, that is the degree by which Satan will find our armors chinks. And he will exploit that all day long. Be one, and if you are not one, you are not mine!