No authority except virtue

No authority, except virtue

D&C Section 121 is a greater and more far reaching statement on authority than many know.  It reveals essentially, what any person already intrinsically knows -- there is no authority, except virtue.  It agrees with the Thomas Jefferson's statement on Natural Aristocracy.  No man is required to follow another.  The righteous will seek virtue at the hands of those on whom they discern have value to offer.

Part of the greatness of the beginning of America, was the abandonment of Gentile forms of church government and the great Democratization of Christianity wherein men realized they had access to God himself and were accountable to none but Him.

Nephi's great thesis on the Fulness of the Gospel relates how men are cursed for relying on other men, but they must rely on God alone.  Other men may assist only as they are influenced directly by God himself, otherwise they have no authority, despite what office they may hold.

America started the democratization of worship.
The Book of Mormon affirms it.
D&C 121 affirms the democratization of authority.

Truly God is no respecter of persons.

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"We ignore the Lord's own words of inspiration which direct us that: 'No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall gready enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile' (D&C 121: 41-42.) We have rewritten this to say, in effect: 'all power and influence is exclusively maintained solely by virtue of priestly presiding office. Nothing else, however loving, gentle, inspired or stirring from any other source can be accepted.'"

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Priesthood is Bottom Up

Priesthood not to be administered like the Gentiles, your chief shall be your servant

"And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:24-28)

Priesthood invalidated when we exercise it like the Gentiles

"...when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man. No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile..." (D&C 121:37, 40-42)

Common consent

"For all things must be done in order, and by common consent in the church, by the prayer of faith." (D&C 28:13) "And there shall not any part of it be used, or taken out of the treasury, only by the voice and common consent of the order." (D&C 104:71)

Example of Joseph Smith and stipend

Once Joseph asked the church leaders if the church wanted to support Joseph and others with a stipend, or if they wanted them to go to work.  The leaders took a vote and decided to create a stipend for certain leaders.  When the general membership heard about it, they rejected it and the stipend was revoked.

Women and children rule the Church

Because women have children and have the greater influence over them, they make up the majority of the church and the majority in the family. If they do not sustain because their leaders use any unrighteous influence, the man can do nothing no matter his position. This is pleasing to the Lord that no one can exercise authority over another, those that follow are drawn by love and because they hear the voice and see the works of the Good Shepherd.

 

Notes

The woman, by default, forms the majority by virtue of the children which she has by right.  So her word is her children's word — she speaks for the children so the woman is the majority.

You take the example of Joseph Smith when the church leadership voted to have him in the other leaders of the church receive a allowance for living and then when the church found out about it they vehemanently rejected it and said absolutely will we do this and Joseph excepted that you sit and listen to say whatever the church decide is what I will what I will do that

Suppose it was something more important like we have had examples of church history where John Taylor said that if parents vote for public school and think that they're going to make it the celestial kingdom that they have another think coming, but the but the people in church by majority vote decided to have public schools anyway and so just as Joseph Smith continue to love the church until bore with him even in that minor decision that didn't, I don't think affect their eternal salvation so the leaders of the leaders bore with the Saints and did all for them today could you can save them to the farthest extent possible when when they implemented semminary and institute.

The principle that Nephi taught by example was when he received a revelation from the Lord to lead anyone who would believe in his words out of the land. And that happened at least twice during the his reign and it happened again, I believe, during the Mosiah's reign the first was I am where they gather the righteous few and let them out from the majority into the wilderness, so the majority had what they wanted but the righteous few were also able to keep the commandments of God.

The idea is the same with the family where a woman forms the majority in the man leads and she is to follow as he follows Christ. Let's say a man did have revelation from God telling directed him to do something in a certain way and he taught his wife and children him that what God said but the wife rejected it. It's the duty of the men to follow the wife because she forms the majority. And a man is not abandon his wife and children because of that but with a love and tenderness and will seek to love and guide them and to save them to the greatest extent that they are willing to be saved and the captain would go down with the ship as it were.

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