It’s difficult to think of another religious organization that holds its leaders in higher esteem and trust. For millions of church members, the witness and ministry of prophets and apostles are living waters. They are experienced as a source of frequent inspiration in good times and a light of hope to the soul in dark times.
But when a generation that has grown up singing “Follow the Prophet” encounters church history and comes face to face with real mistakes past prophets and apostles have made, issues of trust can arise.
To address this question, we invited historian and author Patrick Mason, author of the exceptional book Planted: Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt. Mason was recently named the new Leonard J. Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture at Utah State University.
First, Patrick offers a short, deeply insightful essay titled Searching for Infallible Prophets? It’s a must-read, and it ends by challenging us to face some very probing questions.
Then, Patrick sits down with a couple of very bright millennials for a very candid conversation on the topic. You can watch that conversation here.
We also recorded a great conversation on this topic between Patrick and his good friend Spencer Fluhman, director of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute at BYU.
Finally, Tim Chaves from Faith Matters offers his really insightful perspective in this post on the subject.