Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate/Volume 2/Number 8/Editorial comment
Our readers may be surprised, perhaps, to see a piece in this number of the Advocate, upon the subject of the Elyria article, mentioned in our last. Many, no doubt, have been of opinion, that some articles have heretofore appeared in this paper censuring too severely, the conduct and course pursued by, not only the different sects, as societies, but by individuals, who profess to proclaim the system which was devised and prepared in the bosom of eternity before the foundation of the world, for the good, joy, comfort, peace and salvation of a race of beings who have far departed from their God. In looking into that system, and taking into consideration the manner in which the Lord anciently called and authorized men to preach his gospel, which these men pretend to have authority to proclaim, we feel fully justified in raising our voice, and sounding an alarm, that all who value the worth of their souls may, at least, stop and consider their way before they plunge themselves into that abyss from whence there is no escape. And considering the worth of souls, the apostacy of the Gentile church, and the cunning craftiness of men who make merchandize of that which must continue to exist, our feelings are for the moment, excited to indignation, and then we are ready to weep over their corruption.
Men are responsible for their conduct in proportion to their standing in community, and that weight of influence which they exercise over the same; and of course, when they deviate from the path of truth, if much reliance is placed upon their decision, so much the greater the injury, because others may be led astray. No one will charge us with injustice, then, if we speak severely of such men's faults and expose them to the gaze of the surrounding crowd; for we pledge our honor and veracity, that when leading men, men of influence and standing in society, will cease to vilify our character, defame our reputation, excite the indignation and contempt of our fellow men against us, thereby depriving us of the privilege of teaching them the gospel, and no longer pervert the right ways of God themselves, we will lay down our pen and close our mouth against them forever; but till such is the case, our course is onward, and we shall undeviatingly pursue it, so long as our conscience is void of offence before God.
The following was handed in by a friend who obtained it of the writer, and wished it might be inserted in the Advocate: we cheerfully comply with the request, and hope it may not be the last, if similar circumstances transpire. Editor.