Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lorenzo Young on Scriptural and Apostolic Authority

The following quotation comes from a discourse that Lorenzo Dow Young delivered on 29 August 1852 at a special conference held in the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City:
Now, brethren, the calling of an Apostle, is to build up the kingdom of God, in all the world; it is the Apostle that holds the keys of this power, and nobody else. If an Apostle magnifies his calling, he is the word of the Lord to this people all the time, or else he does not magnify his calling - either one or the other.

If he magnifies his calling, his words are the words of eternal life and salvation to those who hearken to them, just as much so as any written revelations contained in these three books. (Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants.) There is nothing contained in these three books, that is any more revelation, than the words of an Apostle that is magnifying his calling.1
Sorting out the complex web of religious/doctrinal authority within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has for a long time been a contentious issue between various parties both inside and outside of its institutional parameters. Where did Lorenzo Dow Young fall on the issue? How did Lorenzo Dow Young seem to understand the respective doctrinal authority of the Standard Works on the one hand and the General Authorities on the other hand?

1 Minutes of Conference: A Special Conference of the elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Assembled in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, August 28th, 1852, 10 o'clock, a.m., pursuant to public notice (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret News, 1852), 25.

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