B. H. Roberts teaches that not everything a leader of the Church teaches or prints is inspired or free from error.

B. H. Roberts

B. H. Roberts, Defense of the Faith and the Saints, 2 vols (Provo: Utah, Maasai Publishing, 2002), 2:554–555

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B. H. Roberts
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"But the Seer, the Great First Cause, the article in the Millennial Star, of Oct. 15, and Nov. 1, 1850 * * * * contain doctrine which we cannot sanction and which we have felt to disown, so that the Saints who now live, and who may live hereafter, may not be misled by our silence, or be left to misinterpret it. Where these objectionable works or harts of works are bound in volumes, or otherwise, they should be cut out and destroyed."

And yet these gentlemen, our reviewers, who, of course, we must believe, since they are ministers of the gospel, and hence they are ministers of the truth and believe in fair dealing, make ten long quotations from a repudiated work, and one quotation only from a work that is accepted as standard in the Church, viz., the Doctrine and Covenants! For a long time the Church has announced over and over again that her standard works in which the word of God is to be found, and for which alone she stands, are the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price. All else is commentary, and of a secondary character as to its authority, containing much that is good, much that illustrates the doctrines of the Church, and yet liable to have error in it for which the Church does not stand.

"Well," says one, "do you propose to repudiate the works of men holding your priesthood, and who are supposed to speak and act under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit? Do you not destroy the effectiveness of your Church ministry when you take this attitude?" Not at all. We merely make what is a proper distinction. It would be a glorious thing for a man to so live that his life would touch the very life and Spirit of God, so that his spirit would blend with God's Spirit, under which circumstances there would he no error in his life or in his utterances at all. That is a splendid thing to contemplate, but when you take into account human weaknesses, imperfection, prejudice, passion, bias, it is too much to hope for human nature that man will constantly thus walk linked with God. And so we make this distinction between a man speaking sometimes under the influence of prejudice and pre-conceived notions, and the utterances of a man who, in behalf of the Church of God, and having the requisite authority, and holding the requisite position, may, upon occasion, lay aside all prejudice, all pre-conception, and stand ready and anxious to receive the divine impression of God's Spirit that shall plead, "Father, thy will and thy word be made known now to thy people through the channel thou hast appointed." There is a wide difference between men coming with the word of God thus obtained, and their ordinary speech every day and on all kinds of occasions.

In thus insisting that only the word of God, spoken by inspiration, shall live and be binding upon the Church, we are but following the illustrious example of the ancient Church of Christ. You do not have today all the Christian documents of the first Christian centuries. These books that you have bound up, and that you call the word of God, Holy Bible, were sifted out by a consensus of opinion in the churches running through several hundred years. They endured the test of time. But the great bulk of that which was uttered and written, even by apostles and prominent servants of God in the primitive Christian Church, the Church rejected, and out of the mass of chaff preserved these Scriptures—the New Testament. The Christian world up to this time is not quite decided as to all that should be accepted and all that should be rejected. You Protestant gentlemen repudiate several books called Apocrypha which the Catholic church accepts as of equal authority with the rest of the books of the Old and New Testament. And so I say in this procedure of ours, in refusing to accept only that which time and the inspiration of God shall demonstrate to be absolutely true, we are but following the example of the ancient Church of Christ.

Citations in Mormonr Qnas
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