(AN EXTRACT OF A LETTER WRITTEN TO BISHOP PARTRIDGE, AND THE SAINTS IN GENERAL: BY J. SMITH, JR)

TIMES AND SEASONS

"TRUTH WILL PREVAIL"

Vol. 1. Whole No. 9.] NAUVOO, ILLINOIS, JULY, 1840

There are many called but few are chosen, and why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set upon the things of the world and are aspiring to the honors of men; they do not learn the lesson that the right, 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 (page 131) principles of righteousness, that they may be confered [conferred] upon us, it is true, but when we undertake to cover our sins, to gratify our pride, vain ambition, or to exercise dominion or compulsion over the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness; behold the heavens withdraw themselves, the Spirit of the Lord is grieved, then amen to the priesthood, or to the authority of that man; behold ere he is aware, he is left to kick against the prick; 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, to begin to exercise unrightous
[unrighteous], hence many are called but few are chosen. No power or influence can, or aught [ought] to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long suffering, by gentleness, by meekness and by love unfeigned; without hypocracy [hypocrisy] and without guile: reproving with sharpness when moved upon by the holy Ghost, and afterwards showing forth an increase of love towards him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy, so that he may know, that thy faithfulnees [faithfulness] is stronger than the cords of death. (page 132)

“When, therefore, leading men, ordained men, either knowingly and willfully, ignorantly and blunderingly, or themselves innocently deceived and deceiving, introduced that which subverted the design and turned aside the purpose, their right to act ceased; the ‘amen’ was spoken to their priesthood,’ and they unchurched themselves; they had spoken that which the Lord had not declared, and had spoken presumptuously, they were not to be feared."  Joseph Smith III, Church History, Vol 5. p 354

Alma 1:24 Nevertheless this did not put an end to the spreading of priestcraft through the land; for there were many who loved the vain things of the world, and they went forth preaching false doctrines, and this they did for the sake of riches and honor.

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