Elder Bruce R. McConkie
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
A symposium on the New Testament (Supplement) 1984
15-17 August 1984
Brigham Young University
Also by way
of having all things in perspective, we should be aware that there are
approved and inspired writings that are not in the standard works. These
writings also are true and should be used along with the scriptures themselves
in learning and teaching the gospel. Next to the standard works five of
the greatest documents in our literature are--
1. The "Wentworth Letter." (See History of the Church, 4:535-41.) Written by the Prophet Joseph Smith, it contains an account of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas, of the organization of the Church in this dispensation, and of the persecutions suffered by the early Latter-day Saints. The thirteen Articles of Faith are part of this letter.
2. Lectures on Faith. These lectures were prepared by and under the direction of the Prophet Joseph Smith and were taught by him and by others in the School of the Prophets. The Prophet said they embraced "the important doctrine[s] of salvation" (Preface to D&C 1835 ed.; reprint, Independence, Mo.: Herald House, 1971).
3. The Father and the Son: A Doctrinal Exposition by the First Presidency and the Twelve. (See James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. [Salt ake City: Bookcraft, 1965-75], 5:26-34; see also 5:23-25.) This exposition sets forth the tatus and relationship of the Father and the Son, shows those ways in which Christ is the Father, and through its various recitations lays to rest the false and heretical view that Adam is our Father and our God.
4. The "King Follett Sermon" and the "Sermon in the Grove." (See History of the Church, 6:302-17; 6:473-79.) These two sermons, one in thought and content, set forth the doctrine of the plurality of Gods and of becoming joint heirs with Christ. They show that man may become as his Maker and reign in celestial exaltation forever.
5. "The Origin of Man," by the First Presidency of the Church. (See Clark, Messages of the First Presidency, 4:200-206; see also 4:199.) This inspired writing sets forth the official position of the Church on the origin of man and therefore impinges on the evolutionary fantasies of biologists and their fellow travelers. As might be expected, it arouses great animosity among intellectuals whose testimonies are more ethereal than real.