Dwell in the pure, peaceable, heavenly wisdom of God, that is gentle and easy to be entreated, that is full of mercy; all striving to be of one mind, heart, soul, and judgement in Christ, having his mind and spirit dwelling in you, building up one another with the love of God....
– George Fox, 1690 epistle
Their fellowship in Christ led early Friends to a vision of the kingdom of God that soon found expression in the arrangement of monthly, quarterly, and yearly meetings we have now. Their choice of the term Society gives a clear indication of their attitude towards organization. To them, the word Society meant a body held together by the spirit of Christ freshly operating through each individual, without creed, ritual, or outward sacraments. The indwelling Christ is its head, and there is no human intermediary between the individual and God.
Although each of us must ultimately follow personal leadings as to truth and duty, experience has shown that the movement of the Spirit may transcend and transform the knowledge and judgment of individuals. Each member’s spiritual discernment is sharpened by the stimulus, counsel, and judgment of all.
Friends believe that God’s presence and guidance are available to all seekers. We should listen attentively to, and reflect on, the messages and views of all members.