Bruce R. McConkie, quoting Joseph Fielding Smith, teaches that the Standard Works are the rule by which we determine if what a Church leader writes or speaks is authoritative and inspired.

Jul 1, 1980
Bruce R. McConkie

Bruce R. McConkie, "A Letter to Honest Truth Seekers,” July 1, 1980, 2

Bruce R. McConkie
Bruce R. McConkie, Joseph Fielding Smith
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3. True doctrines are in harmony with the standard works.

The Standard Works are scripture. They are binding upon us. They are the mind and will and voice of the Lord. He never has, he does not now, and he never will reveal anything which is contrary to what is in them. No person, speaking by the spirit of inspiration, will ever teach doctrine that is out of harmony with the truths God has already revealed.

These words of President Joseph Fielding Smith should guide all of us in our gospel study: "It makes no difference that is written or what anyone has said, if what has been said is in conflict with what the Lord has revealed, we can set it aside. My words and the teachings of any other member of the Church, high or low, if they do not square with the revelations, we need not accept them. Let us have this matter clear. We have accepted the four standard works as the measuring yardsticks, or balance by which we measure every man’s doctrine.

"You cannot accept the book written by the authorities of the Church as standards of doctrine, only in so far as they accord with the revealed word in the standard works.

"Every man who writes is responsible, not the Church, or what he writes. If Joseph Fielding Smith writes something which is out of harmony with the revelations, then every member of the Church is duty bound to reject it. If he writes that which is in perfect harmony with the revealed word of the Lord, then it should be accepted." (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-56], pp. 203-4; also cited in Mormon Doctrine, p. 609.)

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