Bruce R. McConkie, addressing religious educators, teaches he and other Church leaders cannot make Church doctrine or have power to do such on their own.

Speech / Court Transcript
Bruce R. McConkie

Bruce R. McConkie, "The Foolishness of Teaching," address to religious educators, September 18, 1981, in The Voice of My Servants, ed. Scott C. Esplin and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2010), 83, 88

BYU Religious Studies Center
Bruce R. McConkie
Reading Public

We do not create the doctrines of the gospel. People who ask questions about the gospel, a good portion of the time, are looking for an answer that sustains a view they have expressed. They want to justify a conclusion that they have reached instead of looking for the ultimate truth in the field. Once again, it does not make one snap of the fingers difference to me what the doctrines of the Church are. I cannot create a doctrine. I cannot originate a concept of eternal truth. The only thing I ought to be concerned with is learning what the Lord thinks about a doctrine. If I ask a question of someone to learn something, I ought not to be seeking for a confirmation of a view that I have expressed. I ought to be seeking knowledge and wisdom. It should not make any difference to me whether the doctrine is on the right hand or on the left. My sole interest and my sole concern would be to find out what the Lord thinks on the subject . . . I repeat: I have no power to create a doctrine. I have no power to manufacture a theory or a philosophy or choose a way in which we must go or a thing we must believe to gain eternal life in our Father’s kingdom. I am an agent, a servant, a representative, an ambassador, if you will. I have been called of God to preach what? To preach His gospel, not mine. It doesn’t matter what I think. The only commission I have is to proclaim His word. And if I proclaim His word by the power of the Spirit, then everyone involved is bound. People are bound to accept it, or if they reject it, it is at their peril . . . I do not always measure up to that by any means.

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