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They cannot control themselves in the least, but James, Peter, or somebody else must control them. Such teachings have now and then been heard; but I call your attention to the fact . That right is resident in the Church of Christ; and the Church don’t (sic) have to wait till God kills off unworthy servants before a wrong can be the President of the Church, himself, may not always be ‘moved upon by the Holy Ghost,’ when he addresses the people.

They never can become Gods, nor be crowned as rulers with glory, immortality, and eternal lives. This has happened about matters of doctrine (usually of highly speculative character) where subsequent Presidents of the Church and the people themselves have felt that in declaring the doctrine, the announcer was not ‘moved upon by the Holy Ghost.’ How shall the Church know when these adventurous expeditions of the Brethren into these highly speculative principles and doctrines meet the requirements of the statutes that the announcers thereof have been ‘moved upon by the Holy Ghost’?

That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.

That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

In attempting to answer this question, we would repeat, in short, what we have already written, that willing obedience to the laws of God, administered by the Priesthood, is indispensable to salvation; but we would further add, that a proper conservative to this power exists for the benefit of all, and none are required to tamely and blindly submit to a man because he has a portion of the Priesthood.

We have heard men who hold the Priesthood remark, that they would do any thing they were told to do by those who presided over them, [even] if they knew it was wrong: but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself, should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty (!

And this is what I wish to urge upon you—live so that you can discern between the truth and error, between light and darkness, between the things of God and those not of God, for by the revelations of the Lord, and these alone, can you and I understand the things of God… Now those men, or those women, who know no more about the power of God, and the influences of the Holy Spirit, than to be led entirely by another person, suspending their own understanding, and rinning their faith upon another’s sleeve, will never be capable of entering into the celestial glory, to be crowned as they anticipate; they will never be capable owf becoming Gods.

Those finite vessels include you and me, so be patient and kind and forgiving.

Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.

We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion. No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding. But to return to my question to the Saints, “How are you going to know about the will and commands of heaven?

Any religion or institution which involves authority of leaders must have “a proper conservative to this power” (see first quote referenced below) in order to avoid extreme notions of authoritarianism, dogmatism, or fundamentalism.

And in Christian religion, given “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans ) we can fully expect that the moment God grants any authority to us, that is the moment God accepts that there will be imperfect exercise of that authority.

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