“The Journal of Discourses deservedly ranks as one of the standard works of the Church.”
George Q. Cannon, Journal of Discourses – Volume 8 (Liverpool, England: Self-Published, 1861), preface.
Compare this with the words of later apologists:
“The Journal of Discourses is not an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is a compilation of sermons and other materials from the early years of the Church, which were transcribed and then published. It included some doctrinal instruction but also practical teaching, some of which is speculative in nature and some of which is only of historical interest …
“Questions have been raised about the accuracy of some transcriptions. Modern technology and processes were not available for verifying the accuracy of transcriptions, and some significant mistakes have been documented. The Journal of Discourses includes interesting and insightful teachings by early Church leaders; however, by itself it is not an authoritative source of Church doctrine.”
“The Journal of Discourses” Gospel Topics Essay (Salt Lake City, UT: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2023 on-line edition).