[George Q. Cannon]
In afternoon Bro. Jos. F. Smith addressed the [Stake] conference. His subject was the priesthood. He advanced ideas which were new to me, that is, for an Elder in Israel to preach. He conveyed the idea that it was by virtue of the High Priesthood that an apostle acted and not by virtue of the apostleship; that the office of an apostle was an appendage and that a man acted in that as he did as a Bishop (if not a literal descendant of Aaron) by virtue of being a High Priest. He also advanced curious, & as I think, unsound ideas about the offices of deacon and Elder and their relationship to the Aaronic and Melchisedec priesthoods. He conveyed the idea also that a revelation or doctrine, to be binding, should be submitted to the various quorums of the priesthood, an idea not <so> incorrect of itself as the manner and spirit in which it was put forth. He dwelt in his positive and emphatic style upon the idea that no one man had the right to enforce his doctrines upon the Church without the sanction and concurrence of the priesthood and people. If he did not have President Brigham Young in his mind, he was unfortunate in his selection of words and in his manner of presenting his thoughts; for I could not help thinking that he had him in his mind. My brother Angus also gathered obtained the same impression. Pres. Taylor followed and in a very mild, inoffensive manner corrected and explained some of his ideas. At the Council afterwards Bro. Erastus Snow expressed his regret to Bro. Jos. F. that he had not heard his discourse, that he had been kept from meeting &c. To which Bro. Jos. F. said something in reply to the effect that he had preached nothing new. Up to this point I had not intended to say anything; but to leave the matter with the older Members of the quorum to notice or not as they saw fit. I could, however, not let this pass, and I remarked that his doctrine was new on many points to me. Bro. W. Woodruff also said that it was new to him. This opened the subject. It was discussed with tolerable freedom, the most of the brethren differing from him – Bro's. Woodruff, Hyde, Pratt, Richards, Young and myself. ... It is the purpose apparently of Bro's. O. Pratt and Jos. F. Smith to get from the quorum some expression of opinion upon points of doctrine which Pres. Young while he lived expressed himself plainly upon and considered he had settled. There may be others of the apostles who feel the same way. I know that all <of them> do not subscribe to the doctrine taught by our late President respecting the authority of the Seventies and that they (to use a military phrase) ranked the High Priests. Bro. O. Pratt has differed with Pres. Young upon other points, he claiming that he had the revelations given to the Prophet Joseph to sustain him in the views he entertained as opposed to those of Pres. B. Young. For myself I think the discussion of these things inopportune. If persisted in among us, such discussion may be fraught with evil. I earnestly beseech the Lord to guide us aright in these matters and to save us from division. I know it is our privilege to obtain and enjoy revelation, and for one I desire to be filled with it.
[Source: The Journal of George Q. Cannon, Church Historian's Press, https://churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon]