We approve of our course of leniency towards the natives guilty of immoral conduct, and trust you will ever bear in mind that it is your duty and your privilege to do all you possibly can consistently to save the native people, and it is not expected that this can be done by disciplining them according to [the] same standard of morality as that by which we ourselves are governed.
There could be no objection to your ordaining native brethren to the priesthood provided they are worthy to bear this responsibility. But great care should be taken by you in a matter of this kind, because of the tendency among our Polynesian brethren to become self-sufficient and to manifest insubordination when clothed with the authority of the priesthood, and we suggest therefore that none be ordained excepting men of age and experience, known for their long years of faithfulness in the Church, and when convinced of the worthiness of such brethren from your own personal acquaintance with them, you may feel at liberty to bestow the priesthood upon them.
[First Presidency, Letter to Willard L. Smith, Tonga, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1910-1951, Privately Published, Salt Lake City, Utah 2010]
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