What is considered LDS scripture?

Some mormons are under the impression that an LDS prophets words are only considered binding or scripture if the prophet says “thus saith the lord”. There are multiple General Conference talks that tell us this is not true. To clear things up, here are some excerpts from an LDS General Conference talk, which is quoting President Ezra Taft Benson:

The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything” (Ezra Taft Benson)
“give heed unto all his words and commandments” (D&C 21:4 emphasis added)
“The prophet will never lead the Church astray” (Ezra Taft Benson)
The prophet does not have to say ‘Thus saith the Lord’ to give us scripture.” (Ezra Taft Benson)
The prophet and the presidency—the living prophet and the first presidency—follow them and be blessed; reject them and suffer.”  (Ezra Taft Benson)

You can read the full talk here if you like: http://lds.org/general-conference/2010/10/obedience-to-the-prophets?lang=eng&query=prophet+scripture

In that general conference talk he is quoting another article, which is from Ezra Taft Benson, and in that talk he even quotes from Journal of Discourses to support his statements on what scripture is, implying again that Journal of Discourses is scripture. Here is an excerpt from the original article, which was a talk, and was also reprinted in the from the June 1981 church magazine as the First Presidency Message:

Sixth: The prophet does not have to say “Thus saith the Lord” to give us scripture.

Sometimes there are those who argue about words. They might say the prophet gave us counsel but that we are not obliged to follow it unless he says it is a commandment. But the Lord says of the Prophet, “Thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you.” (D&C 21:4.)

And speaking of taking counsel from the prophet, in D&C 108:1, the Lord states:

“Verily thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Lyman: Your sins are forgiven you, because you have obeyed my voice in coming up hither this morning to receive counsel of him whom I have appointed.”

Said Brigham Young, “I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not callscripture.” (Journal of Discourses, 13:95.)

As you can see, President Benson even quotes the Journal of Discourses, showing that all the sermons Brigham sent could be considered scripture. The full article is here:
http://lds.org/liahona/1981/06/fourteen-fundamentals-in-following-the-prophet?lang=eng

Even though the LDS try to distance them selves from the Journal of Discourses, another way you can tell it’s still trusted todays is because 122 different modern LDS General Conference talks that quote directly from Journal of Discourses, here is a link that shows this on the LDS.org website, the official church website:
http://lds.org/search?query=%22journal+of+discourses%22&lang=eng&collection=general-conference

The Journal of Discourses was even endorsed by the LDS first presidency.

Brigham Young also said he had never given any counsel that was wrong:

“I am here to answer.  I shall be on hand to answer when I am called upon, for all the counsel and for all the instruction that I have given to this people.  If there is an Elder here, or any member of this Church, called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who can bring up the first idea, the first sentence that I have delivered to the people as counsel that is wrong, I really wish they would do it; but they cannot do it, for the simple reason that I have never given counsel that is wrong; this is the reason.”  (Journal of Discourses, vol. 16, p. 161).

Many mormons find them selves in a corner because of the terrible things Brigham Young said, such as  modern day mormon blood sacrifice (shedding people’s blood who commit certain sins), including killing those in interracial marriages with black people, or killing people who have left the church, but those things are still in LDS scripture today.

The mormon’s have a song which they have little children repeat, “follow the prophet! follow the prophet!” and makes no qualifications about when to follow the prophet, just “follow” him. This seems like a rather dangerous proposition, especially considering the some of the abhorrent things that mormon prophets have said.

 

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