Question: When are the writings or sermons of Church leaders entitled to the claim of scripture?

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Question: When are the writings or sermons of Church leaders entitled to the claim of scripture?

J. Rueben Clark: "there are many doctrines, tenets as the Lord called them, that have not been officially defined and declared"

In response to the question, "When Are the Writings or Sermons of Church Leaders Entitled to the Claim of Scripture?" President J. Rueben Clark of the First Presidency said:

But there are many places where the scriptures are not too clear, and where different interpretations may be given to them; there are many doctrines, tenets as the Lord called them, that have not been officially defined and declared. It is in the consideration and discussion of these scriptures and doctrines that opportunities arise for differences of views as to meanings and extent. In view of the fundamental principle just announced as to the position of the President of the Church, other bearers of the Priesthood, those with the special spiritual endowment and those without it, should be cautious in their expressions about and interpretations of scriptures and doctrines. They must act and teach subject to the over-all power and authority of the President of the Church. It would be most unfortunate were this not always strictly observed by the bearers of this special spiritual endowment, other than the President. Sometimes in the past they have spoken "out of turn," so to speak. Furthermore, at times even those not members of the General Authorities are said to have been heard to declare their own views on various matters concerning which no official view or declaration has been made by the mouthpiece of the Lord, sometimes with an assured certainty that might deceive the uninformed and unwary.[1]

Notes

  1. J. Reuben Clark, “When Are the Writings or Sermons of Church Leaders Entitled to the Claim of Scripture,” address given to seminary and institute teachers at BYU, 7 July 1954, published in Church News (31 July 1954): 9–10; reprinted in Dialogue 12 (Summer 1979), 68–80.