I have, quite candidly, paid absolutely no direct attention to Mr. Jonathan Neville’s writings, public speeches, and blog. But perhaps I should have been paying attention. The more I hear about them, the more concerned I become. Really. Genuinely concerned:
“I will give you one of the Keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom. It is an eternal principle, that has existed with God from all eternity: That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is in the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives.” (History of the Church, 3:385; from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on 2 July 1839, in Montrose, Iowa; reported by Wilford Woodruff and Willard Richards.)
While serving as a counselor to President Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball reported:
“I will give you a key which Brother Joseph Smith used to give in Nauvoo. He said that the very step of apostasy commenced with losing confidence in the leaders of this church and kingdom, and that whenever you discerned that spirit you might know that it would lead the possessor of it on the road to apostasy.” (Heber C. Kimball, Deseret News [2 April 1856], 26; spelling and capitalization modernized.)
In 1840, although most of the Saints had gathered to Nauvoo, Illinois, by then, a small, organized group of Church members continued to live in Kirtland, Ohio. Responding to news that a Church member in Kirtland was trying to destroy the Saints’ confidence in the First Presidency and other authorities of the Church, Joseph Smith wrote to a Church leader there:
“In order to conduct the affairs of the Kingdom in righteousness, it is all important that the most perfect harmony, kind feeling, good understanding, and confidence should exist in the hearts of all the brethren; and that true charity, love one towards another, should characterize all their proceedings. If there are any uncharitable feelings, any lack of confidence, then pride, arrogance and envy will soon be manifested; confusion must inevitably prevail, and the authorities of the Church set at naught.” (History of the Church, 4:165–66; from a July 1840 letter from Joseph Smith to Oliver Granger, written from Nauvoo, Illinois.)
These quotations, with their introductory material, were taken from Chapter 27 (“Beware the Bitter Fruits of Apostasy”) of the Church’s official priesthood and Relief Society manual on the teachings of Joseph Smith.