An online poster on a religion forum criticized the LDS teaching that Jesus Christ would never allow the LDS Prophet to lead the LDS Church astray. This LDS teaching leads to the LDS exhortation to "Follow the Prophet". This online poster suggested that the assurance that the LDS Prophet would never lead us astray was akin to Satan in the pre-moral existance falsely promising us that if we followed his plan vs. the plan of God, that not one soul of us would be lost.
So, what about Satan's vs. the LDS assurance? Are they the same? Is giving an assurance wrong? Where was the deception in Satan's plan?
First, we need to understand that the LDS doctrine does not teach that the LDS prophet is inerrant. The LDS prophet is a man and imperfect but can and does speak the will and word of Jesus Christ. Every individual must still depend on prayer, scripture study, and our personal relationship with Christ and the power of the Holy Ghost.
So, what is the difference berween Satan's and the LDS plan? Satan never said he would never lead his followers astray. Instead, Satan taught that not one soul would be lost. Satan taught that all we have to do is choose him one time and then there would no more agency and no more choices-- that matter. We would all make it back to heaven automatically.
Agency is not having the choice between ice cream flavors. Agency is having a choice between sin and righteousness. Better said, in our present situation, Agency is having a choice for righteousness. We only have that choice to choose right, because we have rules from God. Without rules, there is no law and without law there is no sin or righteousness, no penalty and no reward.
LDS leaders teach that if we continually choose to follow their council that we will not be led astray. But we would always have the option with each decision to follow or not. With the plan of Christ, we continually have to exercize our agency. In Christ's plan we are continually given rules, commandments and directions and choices that matter. If there were no rules or law, there would be no sin or no punishment, and no reward.(2 Nephi 2)
The Satan (no agency) system is the Korihor (no rules, social darwinism) system. There is no agency because there are no rules. Korihor taught, "whatever a man did was no crime" and "every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength;"
The problem with the Satan system is not the assurance, although Satan gave a false assurance (if there are no rules, then there is no sin, and no penalty). The consequence is also that with no rules. there is no reward, and no exaltation. What Satan wanted was to use fear to rob us of our exaltation and steal the honor of God only for himself. God, on the other hand, desires to share His glory and exalt all His children.
Agency is the ability to choose the right. Choosing wrong is our default (opposite in the garden of Eden). We can't choose right without rules. Rules give us a choice. Without rules we would just follow our appetites all the time. Following appetites makes us an animal. On the other hand, keeping rules make us human. Keeping God's rules makes us divine. Human are above animals because of our self-restaint. My stomach wants this, but I choose that. Rules safeguard our freedom. Without God's rules the powerful would be left unrestrained to deceive and enslave the weak without penalty and man would act without a hope of reward and exaltation.
No Agency = No Rules = No Sin = No Punishment = No Righteousness = No Reward = No Exaltation = No God. (2 Nephi 2:13)
Again, Satan made the promise that all would return to heaven with no reward by having no rules, denying agency. Christ promises that we will return with a reward if we follow His rules revealed through His prophets.