This quote from the Prophet Joseph has application here. He said:
"I will give you one of the Keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom. It is an eternal principle that has existed with God from all eternity: That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is in the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives."
PS Great minds think alike NGL!
I was reading a talk given by John Taylor back in 1895. He references the days of Joseph and gives very pointed warnings to those who get caught up in fault finding the Lords anointed servants called to guide his church and kingdom in these latter days. I recommend it for all here to read.
I want to make it clear that I have no personal axe to grind against this author nor do I know him from Adam. I am simply addressing his comments from the book in question as to their appropriateness particularly in the way He refers to our living prophets as proud and lacking vision. That to me is completely inappropriate and unnecessary and shows me that he is not in tune with the Spirit by doing so. Please read Pres. Taylors talk.
Finding Fault of the Leaders
A General Conference Address
Elder John W. Taylor of the Twelve
It gives me great pleasure to have the privilege of meeting with the Latter-day Saints, in this conference. I need not say to you that I have been highly delighted with the sound instruction that we have received this morning and the testimonies that have been borne by Elders A. H. Cannon and M. W. Merrill. These brethren have been portraying to this congregation the great necessity for the people being employed. I imagine that some people also need their minds employed.
I delight, my brethren and sisters, to belong to an association that worships God, and where all things are done by common consent. I delight to be numbered among that people where every man can speak his own views without feeling under any restrictions. I delight in being associated with an organization where there is a perfect law of liberty extended unto the members thereof. Paul the Apostle said he was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it was the power of God unto salvation unto all those who believed, and a perfect law of liberty--that is, perfect liberty to do what was right.
While sitting on my seat I have been going over a little of the early history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In speaking of these things I have to depend entirely upon what I have read and what I have heard others say; but as near as I can understand Joseph Smith came to establish the Church of Christ upon the earth in this the dispensation of the fulness of times. He was not a graduate of college. He was not a man who prepared himself to be the leader of this great dispensation. He was an ordinary man, laboring with his father in the fields. But the Lord had mercy upon the young man, and undoubtedly he had been ordained before the foundations of the earth were laid to come forth in this dispensation to be the medium through which the Lord should reveal His mind and will unto the children of men.
But there is one thing I have noticed; from the very time that the Prophet Joseph went out to pray in secret in the woodlands in the State of New York, the power of Satan has been manifest. That power attacked the young man to such an extent that it seemed like it would destroy him; but our Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ, condescending to answer the prayers of the young Prophet, came down and visited him, and the power of Satan was at once banished.
Now, is it not strange that the devil could not allow this young man to be alone while he poured out his soul unto God? It may seem strange to some, but I must confess that I have got to that condition of mind where it does not look strange to me. We find that the Prophet of the Lord, in going to keep his appointments with the angel Moroni, was interrupted and waylaid by ruffians who desired to destroy his life. We find that the ministers of the various denominations in the region in which he lived were aroused with bitter animosity against him, and from that time forth it was one continual stream of oppression and opposition, until the day he laid down his life for the testimony of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I think the Prophet was arrested some forty-nine times and honorably acquitted of the charges that were made against him.
While traveling in the Southern States, I visited the home of Colonel Charles Zachary a resident of Henry County, Georgia. He had attended a meeting that was held by Elder Mathias F. Cowley and myself, and invited us to his home after the meeting. He was a man of prominence and experience, his hair was as white as snow. He said to me that there was something strange and remarkable about the Mormon people. He remembered well of hearing many years ago of a young prophet called Joseph Smith, that professed to receive revelations from the Lord, in the State of New York. He also remembered hearing of him going to Ohio, and from there to some of the western states. He said he had been reading the newspaper for about forty years, and had read a great many articles about the Latter-day Saints, but had never read anything good about them.
But, he said, what has impressed me very strongly is the fact that you people have grown and multiplied, and finally you are taking a part in the politics of the nation. He remarked that he thought he could see something in the destiny of the Mormons that had a greater power with it than the power of man. Well, I felt complimented to belong to the organization to which this gentleman referred.
After the Prophet had left the State of New York he was busy all the time, and the opposition against him became great and powerful. You all know the history of the persecution of the Saints in Missouri and in Illinois. The persecution began to have its effects upon some of the Latter-day Saints. As in the parable of the Savior, some of the seed had fallen upon stony ground, and when persecution came they turned away sorrowing; it was found that the seed had not taken good root. This can be seen in the early history of the Church.
There was one man who held the position of counselor to the Prophet Joseph Smith; he was a great orator, and he became so enthused with the power of his oratory that he thought he could carry the kingdom of God before him, and he told the Prophet that he thought he could get along without him. The Prophet said, "You try it, Sidney." He did try it, and he withered up and became almost unknown, and lost his Priesthood, his gift, his power, as do all those who have turned their faces away from this people and opposed the presiding authority thereof from that day to this; but the kingdom of God has not been shaken, but has gone steadily forward and onward until it has arrived at a condition when there will be present during this conference representatives of from fifteen to twenty nations, who will hold up their hands to support Wilford Woodruff as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator to this Church. Many of the Saints found fault with the Prophet Joseph. Some of the presiding authorities found fault with him; and at one time things had reached such a climax that there were only two of the Twelve Apostles, then present, who stood firm and faithful to the Prophet Joseph. Satan is a man of great intelligence, having dwelt with God the Eternal Father; and he knew that Joseph Smith was, in embryo, one of the greatest prophets that ever came forth among the children of men. Therefore, he sought by seizing hold of and over-powering him to blot out the possibility of the Church of God being organized in this the dispensation of the fulness of times. But this is another instance which shows that the wisdom of the Lord is greater than the cunning of the devil. The Lord came to the Prophet's aid when he knelt in the woodlands in secret prayer, who was assailed by Satan, and he had strength given to him according to his day and he was released from the power of the evil one. What I want to bring before your minds is this: Here were men who had testified that God the Eternal Father had given them a testimony, who had testified that Jesus Christ was the Son of the true and living God, and that Joseph Smith had been raised up as a prophet, and they turned their faces away from the servant of God in the hour of tribulation. These are they, my brethren and sisters, that the Savior likened unto the seed that fell upon stony ground and it did not grow. They stood firm for a little season, but when persecution came they found fault with the Prophet and spoke evil of the work of God.
Now, I can see that same spirit just as plainly to-day working among the Latter-day Saints as it worked in the State of Missouri in early times. I can see in the background one or two apostates, publishing a document to which they do not sign their names, crouching down behind the grass like an assassin who is going to leap upon the passer-by and stab him in the back. I can see that same spirit of apostasy lurking underneath the surface, attacking the present presiding authorities of the Church. I refer, as an instance, to the correspondence to the New York Times that has appeared in its recent issues, attacking President Cannon in a very shameful manner, and inferring that the presiding authorities of this Church are deceiving this people, and plundering them.
Bless your soul, this is only another inspiration of Satan, who prompted the persecutions in the State of Missouri until the people were worked up till they were willing to put the Prophet Joseph Smith to death. I am not speaking now of the people of the world; but there were Latter-day Saints, so-called, who willingly gave their consent to these things. And we have got men and women in our midst to-day who willingly gave their consent to these falsehoods that are published abroad about those whom God has placed to preside over us. I want to tell you that no man, after having held up his right hand consenting to support certain men as the presiding authorities of this Church, can fight those men without breaking his covenants, and transgressing the commandments of the Almighty.
Whether in a church or in a business capacity, where you make covenants to do certain things, if you do not do them you are covenant-breakers. Those who are free and clean from this may rejoice and be exceeding glad. I tell you the tongue of man was given unto him to confess the truth. The testimony of Jesus Christ is given unto this people that we may testify of Him. The presiding authorities of this Church are given unto this people that they may guide and direct us by the revelations of Almighty God. It is a day of prophets, or it is a day of nothing. Therefore, set your houses in order, and do not be finding fault with the presiding authorities of this Church.
I hear of men saying that President Woodruff is an aged man, and Presidents Cannon and Smith have their own way about things. President Woodruff is eighty-eight years of age. How many men are here in this congregation that are eighty-eight years old? Christ gave to Peter the authority to bind on earth and it should be bound in heaven, to loose on earth and it should be loosed in heaven. Peter called unto his assistance James and John that they might counsel with him.
What is the object of having a counselor? Is it that he shall sit down and be like a piece of wood? No! The place of the counselors in the presidency of this Church is to stand and hold up the arms of the Prophet until the sun goes down, if necessary, and Israel prevails. A counselor is supposed to counsel. He is supposed to have an opinion of his own. He is supposed to be filled with the power and inspiration of Almighty God; when old age overtakes the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, his counselors are there to stand by and strengthen him, and to give counsel by virtue of the authority vested in them.
I want to say that I rejoice exceedingly when there is so much fault found with the presiding authorities of this Church, because I know that the spirit of their calling is with them. I know that the enemies of Zion would like to see the watchmen step down from the towers of Zion, and leave the gates unguarded and the people at the mercy of a drove of ravenous wolves. But thanks be to the Lord our God that we have men of long experience, and men who have been tried and proven in the Church of god, to stand in that great and important position.
We are one, brethren and sisters; one in the testimony of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, one in a desire to build up the Church and to see the Latter-day Saints exalted to that great and honorable position which God testified they should occupy in the last days. We are not restricted in our opinions. I want to say, for the benefit of the Latter-day Saints and all the world, that I have belonged to the quorum of the Twelve Apostles for a number of years, have had the great privilege of meeting with the First Presidency often, and have always had the privilege of speaking my mind plainly and candidly, without any restriction; and it has been the same with the other brethren.
But I want to say this: when a question is decided, it is decided unanimously; and if I, being young, have made a fool of myself by differing continually with men of wisdom, and they show me wherein I am wrong, it is not to be supposed that I shall remain a fool forever, and not unite with my brethren. No, it is my duty always to acknowledge the truth. We delight that we are one. I delight to see the Presidency of this Church stand firm and steadfast and as one man, even as God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are one--not one in person, but one in faith, one in authority, one in principle, and one in testimony. I feel with all my heart to say to the Latter-day Saints, let us not become tainted with the spirit of fault-finding. Let us remember that the Holy Ghost guides us in the way of all truth; and if we all have that Spirit we all see alike. I want to tell you this; when you see the Presidency of the Church divided, and the Apostles divided, and the people divided in the things of God, then you will hear the glad shouts of our enemies, for they will rejoice exceedingly. Satan, the father of lies, and the instigator of all the persecutions against this people from the sixth day of April 1830, until the present day, is just as full as ever of life, energy, and determination to carry out his mission against the principles of truth and righteousness. Brethren and sisters, if any of you have found fault with the Bishop of your ward, or with the president of your stake, or with the presiding authorities of the Church, go home and repent of your sins, and put your households in order. When your children ask you for bread, do not give them a scorpion in the way of slandering the presiding authorities of the Church; for I tell you the seed that you sow in the hearts of your children will be hard to uproot.
I bear testimony unto you that no man speaking by the Spirit of the Lord will ever criticize the authorities of the Priesthood which God has placed over him, after he has had the privilege of lifting up his hand either to support or not support that man. Let us be one, and not desire always to have our own way, and be determined to have it. For that reason the devil to-day is in opposition to the principles of truth and righteousness. He was determined to have his own way, and all those who were determined to have their own way went with him, to the number of about one-third of the hosts of heaven.
Let us feel to say, "Our Father who art in heaven, thy will be done." That is the spirit the Latter-day Saints should enjoy. May the Lord bless you, my brethren and sisters. And should there be any strangers present, I say unto them, God has revealed unto this people the principles of truth and righteousness; and if you will repent of your sins, and go down into the waters of baptism, you shall receive the testimony of the Holy Ghost, and you shall know for yourselves that what I say is true. God bless you all and the honest in heart in all the world, and help us to be worthy of eternal life, is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
You are a true nothing Mark.