'Ark-steadiers' exceed call

After David was anointed king, one of his first acts was to have the sacred ark of the covenant taken to Jerusalem. Two men, Uzza and Ahio, drove the oxen pulling the new cart.

As the cart crossed the threshing floor of Chidon, one of the oxen stumbled and Uzza, in zeal that exceeded obedience, "put forth his hand to hold the ark." (2 Sam. 6:6.)In doing so Uzza displeased the Lord and was struck dead. This harsh reminder against excess zeal and disobedience has lingered unforgotten through the centuries. In 1832, the Lord revealed through Joseph Smith, ". . . that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of the God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightening." (D&C 85:8.)

In both the case of Uzza and in the latter-day scripture, the Lord emphasizes that just because someone has been appointed, that appointment does not give a man the license to exceed his authority.

President John Taylor commented on those who would use their own wisdom to alter the course of the Lord or His inspired servants:

"Do not think you are wise and that you can manage and manipulate the priesthood, for you cannot do it. God must manage, regulate, dictate, and stand at the head, and every man in his place. The ark of God does not need steadying, especially by incompetent men without revelation and without knowledge of the kingdom of God and its laws. It is a great work that we are engaged in, and it is for us to prepare ourselves for the labor before us, and to acknowledge God, His authority, His law and His priesthood in all things.

". . . Do not be too anxious to be too smart, to manage, and manipulate, and to put things right; but pray for those that God has placed in the different offices of this church that they may be enabled to perform their several duties. The Lord will sustain His servants and give them His Holy Spirit and the light of revelation, if they seek Him in the way that He has appointed, and He will lead them and lead you in the right path. This is the order of the kingdom of God. . . ." (John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, pp. 166-67.)

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