Take Heed to Yourselves, pp. 190-191; “Every man that teaches holds a great responsibility, and he that teaches error and leads men from the path of truth is committing one of the greatest crimes that it is possible for man to commit. If he, through his teachings, is presenting false doctrine, and leading men astray from that which is eternal truth, away from the kingdom of God, he is taking upon himself a grave responsibility for which he will have to answer at the judgment seat of God. …
No matter what you teach, if it is not of God, it is darkness. And eventually, no matter how well it may be received, it must come to an end.” – Joseph Fielding Smith
Journal of Discourses 13:1; “I will commence by saying to the Latter-day Saints and to all the inhabitants of the earth that I am responsible for the doctrine I teach; but I am not responsible for the obedience of the people to that doctrine.” – Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, April 7, 1869
John 17:17; “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
Matthew 5:19; “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
A number of things came rushing to my thoughts with Brigham’s comment.
1.Don’t be fooled by Mr. Young’s statement. He is responsible for the obedience of those who follow his teachings. If he’s proclaiming polygamy is correct, and men marry dozens of women, both men will be held accountable.
2.Brigham taught that Adam is God. If men believed that and taught it religiously to their own children, both men are held responsible.
3.Joseph Fielding Smith’s teaching contradicted Brigham’s teaching. Smith said if it’s not from God, it’s darkness… So according to Smith, Brigham’s doctrine wasn’t from God because they rejected the Adam-God theory.
4.If they had stuck to what Jesus said in John 17:17 our attention would be focused elsewhere. Instead we could be praising God for people who were faithful followers, and not the faithless frauds who’ve led people away from Him.