Unity needed for blessings of priesthood

The priesthood operates in a "system of sublime order . . . held by men under a sacred duty to use its authority to accomplish God's work for the blessing of men, women and children alike," said Elder James E. Faust.

Speaking at the priesthood session Saturday evening, Elder Faust of the Council of the Twelve observed that "for these priesthood blessings to flower, there is a constant need for unity within the priesthood. We must be loyal to the leadership who have been called to preside over us and hold the keys of the priesthood."Elder Faust said those who hold the keys have the responsibility for keeping the Church cleansed from all iniquity.

"Bishops, stake presidents, mission presidents, and others who have the responsibility of keeping the Church pure must perform this labor in the spirit of love and kindness," he said. "It should not be done in a spirit of punishment, but rather of helping. However, it is no kindness to a brother or sister in transgression for their presiding officers to look the other way."

He explained, "Church discipline is not limited to sexual sins, but includes other acts such as murder, abortions, burglary, theft, fraud and other dishonesty, deliberate disobedience to the rules and regulations of the Church, advocating or practicing polygamy, apostasy, or other unchristianlike conduct, including defiance or ridicule of the Lord's anointed, contrary to the law of the Lord and the order of the Church."

He noted also that the groups of "loyal opposition" that exist in some legislative bodies of the world are not found in the Church. Rather, members are commanded to "Be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine." (D&C 38:27.)

He said that free expression is encouraged in the Church. However, the privilege should operate within limits.

"Among the activities considered apostate to the Church are when members repeatedly act in clear, open and deliberate public opposition to the Church or it leaders; or persist in teaching as Church doctrine information that is not Church doctrine after being corrected by their bishops or higher authority; or continue to follow the teachings of apostate cults (such as those that advocate plural marriage) after being corrected by their bishops or higher authority," he said, quoting the General Handbook of Instructions.

"There is a certain arrogance in thinking that any of us may be more spiritually intelligent, more learned, or more righteous that the councils called to preside over us," he said. "Those councils are more in tune with the Lord than any individual persons they preside over. . . ."

Elder Faust concluded with a caution: "In our desire to be broad-minded, to be accepted, to be liked and admired, let us not trifle with the doctrines and covenants . . . nor with the pronouncements of those who have been given the keys of the kingdom of God on earth."

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed