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1
21 March 1892: Elder Charles W. Penrose, at the time a counselor in the
Salt Lake Stake Presidency: "At the head of this Church stands a man who
is a Prophet . . . we respect and venerate him; but we do not believe
that his personal views or utterances are revelations from God." Millennial Star 54 (21 March 1892):
2
BH Roberts - The rule in that respect is—What God has spoken, and what has been accepted by the Church as the word of God, by that, and that only, are we bound in doctrine. When in the revelations it is said concerning the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator that the Church shall “give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them—for his word ye shall receive as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith”—(Doc & Cov., Sec. 21)—it is understood, of course, that his has reference to the word of God received through revelation, and officially announced to the Church, and not to every chance word spoken.
3
A few question their faith when they find a statement made by a Church leader decades ago that seems incongruent with our doctrine. There is an important principle that governs the doctrine of the Church. The doctrine is taught by all 15 members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. It is not hidden in an obscure paragraph of one talk. True principles are taught frequently and by many. Our doctrine is not difficult to find. Elder Neal Anderson http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/10/trial-of-your-faith?lang=eng
4
At the same time it should be remembered that not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. It is commonly understood in the Church that a statement made by one leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, not meant to be official or binding for the whole Church. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “a prophet [is] a prophet only when he [is] acting as such. Elder D. Todd Christofferson http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/04/the-doctrine-of-christ?lang=eng
5
1887 B. H. Roberts, Letter written November 4, 1887, London, Millennial Star 49. 48 (November 28, 1887): 760-763; a portion of which reads: “Relative to these sermons [Journal of Discourses] I must tell you they represent the individual views of the speakers, and the Church is not responsible for their teachings. Our authorized Church works are the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. In the Church very wide latitude is given to individual belief and opinion, each man being responsible for his views and not the Church; the Church is only responsible for that which she sanctions and approves through the formal actions of her councils. So it may be that errors will be found in the sermons of men, and that in their over zeal unwise expressions will escape them, for all of which the Church is not responsible” (762)
6
Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church. (Church NewsRoom)
7
And, to be perfectly frank, there have been times when members or leaders in the Church have simply made mistakes. There may have been things said or done that were not in harmony with our values, principles, or doctrine. (Elder Uchtdorf "Come Join With Us)
8
In an interview to the Associated Press in 1988, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, also of the Quorum of the Twelve, said: “It’s not the pattern of the Lord to give reasons. We can put reasons to commandments. When we do we’re on our own. Some people put reasons to [the ban] and they turned out to be spectacularly wrong. There is a lesson in that. “The lesson I’ve drawn from that, I decided a long time ago that I had faith in the command and I had no faith in the reasons that had been suggested for it. “…I’m referring to reasons given by general authorities and reasons elaborated upon [those reasons] by others. The whole set of reasons seemed to me to be unnecessary risk taking.… “Let’s [not] make the mistake that’s been made in the past, here and in other areas, trying to put reasons to revelation. The reasons turn out to be man-made to a great extent. The revelations are what we sustain as the will of the Lord and that’s where safety lies.”
9
"Because the basic Adam-God concepts are false, the most that can be said for them is that the Lord permitted them to be preached in order to test his people. As part of working out his own salvation every man must choose between truth and error, accepting the one and rejecting the other. Unless and until he is able to do this he has not grown spiritually to the point of being an heir of salvation. Perhaps this is why Paul said to the Corinthian Saints: “I hear that there be divisions among you,” meaning that they did not all believe the same doctrines and teach the same truths. They should have been perfectly united in all things, but they were not. “For there must be also heresies among you,” Paul continued, “that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.” )1 Cor. 11:18-19.) That is, the heresies taught by and among the true saints were the means of testing them...." - Bruce R McConkie
10
"The editing process uncovered Joseph’s anomalous assumptions about the nature of revealed words. He never considered the wording infallible. God’s language stood in an indefinite relationship to the human language coming through the Prophet. The revealed preface to the Book of Commandments specified that the language of the revelations was Joseph Smith’s: “These commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.” The revelations were not God’s diction, dialect, or native language. They were couched in language suitable to Joseph’s time. The idioms, the grammar, even the tone had to be comprehensible to 1830s Americans. Recognizing the pliability of the revealed words, Joseph freely edited the revelations “by the holy Spirit,” making emendations with each new edition. He thought of his revelations as imprinted on his mind, not graven in stone. With each edition, he patched pieces together and altered the wording to clarify meaning. The words were both his and God’s." Rough Stone Rolling, Bushman. Here's the intro from the Book of Commandments (josephsmithpapers) http://josephsmithpapers.org/paperSummary/book-of-commandments-1833?dm=image-and-text&zm=zoom-inner&tm=expanded&p=9&s=undefined&sm=none
11
"There's no office in the Church that qualifies the holder to give the official interpretation of the Church. We're to read the scriptures for ourselves, as guided by the Spirit. Joseph Smith himself often disagreed with various of his brethren on different points, yet he never cracked down on them, saying they'd better change this or that, or else. He disagreed with Parley P. Pratt on a number of things, and also with Brigham Young on various things." Hugh Nibley http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/books/?bookid=103&chapid=1154
12
“[W]hile all members should respect, support, and heed the teachings of the authorities of the church, no one should accept a statement and base his or her testimony upon it, no matter who makes it, until he or she has, under mature examination, found it to be true and worthwhile; then one’s logical deductions may be confirmed by the spirit of revelation to his or her spirit, because real conversion must come from within.” President Hugh B. Brown, An Abundant Life:The Memoirs of Hugh B. Brown
13
Do Latter-day Saints believe they can become “gods”? Latter-day Saints believe that God wants us to become like Him. But this teaching is often misrepresented by those who caricature the faith. The Latter-day Saint belief is no different than the biblical teaching, which states, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:16-17). Through following Christ's teachings, Latter-day Saints believe all people can become "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4). Do Latter-day Saints believe that they will “get their own planet”? No. This idea is not taught in Latter-day Saint scripture, nor is it a doctrine of the Church. This misunderstanding stems from speculative comments unreflective of scriptural doctrine. Mormons believe that we are all sons and daughters of God and that all of us have the potential to grow during and after this life to become like our Heavenly Father (see Romans 8:16-17). The Church does not and has never purported to fully understand the specifics of Christ’s statement that “in my Father’s house are many mansions” (John 14:2). http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/mormonism-101#C14
14
"The things of God cannot be understood by the spirit of men. It is impossible to always measure and weigh all spiritual things by man’s yardstick of scales. Admittedly, our direct and positive information is limited. I have wished the Lord had given us a little more clarity in the matter. But for me, it is enough. The prophets for 133 years of the church have maintained the position of the prophet of the Restoration that the Negro could not hold the Priesthood nor have the temple ordinances which are preparatory for exaltation. I believe in the living prophets as much or almost more than the dead ones. They are here to clarify and reaffirm. I have served with and under three of them. The doctrine or policy has not varied in my memory. I know it could. I know the Lord could change his policy and release the ban and forgive the possible error, which brought about the deprivation. If the time comes, that he will do, I am sure. These smart members who would force the issue, and there are many of them, cheapen the issue and certainly bring into contempt the sacred principle of revelation and divine authority. (Spencer w. Kimball, Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, June 1963., p. 448.)
15
Interview with Apostle LeGrand Richards By Wesley P. Walters and Chris Vlachos 16th August 1978 Church Office Building (Recorded on Cassette) WALTERS: On this revelation, of the priesthood to the Negro, I've heard all kinds of stories: I've heard that Joseph Smith appeared; and then I heard another story that Spencer Kimball had, had a concern about this for some time, and simply shared it with the apostles, and they decided that this was the right time to move in that direction. Are any of those stories true, or are they all? RICHARDS: Well, the last one is pretty true, and I might tell you what provoked it in a way. Down in Brazil, there is so much Negro blood in the population there that it's hard to get leaders that don't have Negro blood in them. We just built a temple down there. It's going to be dedicated in October. All those people with Negro blood in them have been raising the money to build that temple. If we don't change, then they can't even use it. Well, Brother Kimball worried about it, and he prayed a lot about it. He asked each one of us of the Twelve if we would pray - and we did - that the Lord would give him the inspiration to know what the will of the Lord was. Then he invited each one of us in his office - individually, because you know when you are in a group, you can't always express everything that's in your heart. You're part of the group, you see - so he interviewed each one of us, personally, to see how we felt about it, and he asked us to pray about it. Then he asked each one of us to hand in all the references we had, for, or against that proposal. See, he was thinking favorably toward giving the colored people the priesthood. Then we had a meeting where we meet every week in the temple, and we discussed it as a group together, and then we prayed about it in our prayer circle, and then we held another prayer circle after the close of that meeting, and he (President Kimball) lead in the prayer; praying that the Lord would give us the inspiration that we needed to do the thing that would be pleasing to Him and for the blessing of His children. And then the next Thursday - we meet every Thursday - the Presidency came with this little document written out to make the announcement - to see how we'd feel about it - and present it in written form. Well, some of the members of the Twelve suggested a few changes in the announcement, and then in our meeting there we all voted in favor of it - the Twelve and the Presidency. One member of the Twelve, Mark Petersen, was down in South America, but Brother Benson, our President, had arranged to know where he could be reached by phone, and right while we were in that meeting in the temple, Brother Kimball talked with Brother Petersen, and read him this article, and he (Petersen) approved of it. WALTERS: What was the date? Would that have been the first of June, or something? RICHARDS: That was the first Thursday, I think, in May. [June?] At least that's about when it was. And then after we all voted in favor of it, we called another meeting for the next morning, Friday morning, at seven o'clock, of all the other General Authorities - that includes the Seventies' Quorum and the Patriarch and the Presiding Bishopric, and it was presented to them, and there were a few of the brethren that were out presiding then in the missions, and so the Twelve were appointed to interview each one of them. *** WALTERS: Now when President Kimball read this little announcement or paper, was that the same thing that was released to the press? RICHARDS: Yes. WALTERS: There wasn't a special document as a "revelation", that he had and wrote down? RICHARDS: We discussed it in our meeting. What else should we say besides that announcement? And we decided that was sufficient; that no more needed to be said. WALTERS: Was that the letter you sent out to the various wards? RICHARDS: And to the Church; and to the newspapers, yes. VLACHOS: Will that become a part of "scripture"? RICHARDS: Yes, I've already thought in my own mind of suggesting we add it to the Pearl of Great Price, just like those last two revelations that we've just added. WALTERS: Will this affect your theological thinking about the Negro as being less valiant in the previous existence? How does this relate? Have you thought that through? RICHARDS: Some time ago, the Brethren decided that we should never say that. We don't know just what the reason was. Paul said, "The Lord hath before appointed the bounds of the habitations of all men for to dwell upon the face of the earth," and so He determined that before we were born. He who knows why they were born with black skin or white and so on and so forth. We'll just have to wait and find out. WALTERS: Is there still a tendency to feel that people are born with black skin because of some previous situation, or do we consider that black skin is no sign anymore of anything inferior in any sense of the word? RICHARDS: Well, we don't want to get that as a doctrine. Think of it as you will. You know, Paul said "Now we see in part and we know in part; we see through a glass darkly. When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away, then we will see as we are seen, and know as we are known." Now the Church's attitude today is to prefer to leave it until we know. The Lord has never indicated that black skin came because of being less faithful. Now, the Indian; we know why he was changed, don't we? The Book of Mormon tells us that; and he has a dark skin, but he has a promise there that through faithfulness, that they all again become a white and delightsome people. So we haven't anything like that on the colored thing. WALTERS: Now, with this new revelation - has it brought any new insights or new ways of looking at the Book of Abraham? Because I think traditionally it is thought of the curse of Cain, coming through Canaanites and on the black-skinned people, and therefore denying the priesthood? RICHARDS: We considered that with all the "for's" and the "against's" and decided that with all of that, if they lived their lives, and did the work, that they were entitled to their blessings. WALTERS: But you haven't come up with any new understanding of the Book of Abraham? I just wondered whether there would be a shift in that direction. Is the recent revelation in harmony with what the past prophets have taught, of when the Negro would receive the priesthood? RICHARDS: Well, they have held out the thought that they would ultimately get the priesthood, but they never determined the time for it. And so when this situation that we face down there in Brazil - Brother Kimball worried a lot about it - how the people are so faithful and devoted. The president of the Relief Society of the stake is a colored woman down there in one of the stakes. If they do the work, why it seems like that the justice of the Lord would approve of giving them the blessing. Now it's all conditional upon the life that they live, isn't it? WALTERS: Well, I thank you for clarifying that for me, because you know, out in the streets out there, there must be at least five, ten different stories about the way this happened. RICHARDS: Well, I've told you exactly what happened. WALTERS: Right. Well, thank you so much. I appreciate it. RICHARDS: If you quote me you will be telling the truth. WALTERS: Ok, well fine. You don't mind if we quote you then? RICHARDS: No. WALTERS: Ok, that's great! http://lds-mormon.com/legrand_richards.shtml (this is not a 'pro-LDS' site, I can't find this interview on BYU.edu etc)
16
"President Wilford Woodruff is a man of wisdom and experience, and we respect him, but we do not believe his personal views or utterances are revelations from God; and when 'Thus saith the Lord', comes from him, the saints investigate it: they do not shut their eyes and take it down like a pill." (Millennial Star 54:191) Charles Penrose
17
I told them I was but a man, and they must not expect me to be perfect; if they expected perfection from me, I should expect it from them; but if they would bear with my infirmities and the infirmities of the brethren, I would likewise bear with their infirmities.” - Joseph Smith
18
I do not think there have been many good men on the earth since the days of Adam; but there was one good man and his name was Jesus. Many persons think a prophet must be a great deal better than anybody else.... I do not want you to think that I am very righteous, for I am not. God judges men according to the use they make of the light which He gives them. - Joseph Smith
19
With all their inspiration and greatness prophets are yet mortal men with imperfections common to mankind in general. They have their opinions and prejudices and are left to work out their problems without inspiration in many instances. (Mormon Doctrine, p. 608) - Bruce R McConkie
20
“With respect to people feeling that whatever the brethren say is gospel, this tends to undermine the proposition of freedom of speech and thought. As members of the church we are bound to sustain and support the brethren in the positions they occupy so long as their conduct entitles them to that. But we also have only to defend those doctrines of the church contained in the four standard works—the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Anything beyond that by anyone is his or her own opinion and not scripture. Although there are certain statements that whatever the brethren say becomes the word of God, this is a dangerous practice to apply to all leaders and all cases. The only way I know of by which the teachings of any person or group may become binding upon the church is if the teachings have been reviewed by all the brethren, submitted to the highest councils of the church, and then approved by the whole body of the church. “I do not doubt that the brethren have often spoken under inspiration and given new emphasis—perhaps even a new explanation or interpretation—of church doctrine, but that does not become binding upon the church unless and until it is submitted to the scrutiny of the rest of the brethren and later to the vote of the people. Again, we are only bound by the four standard works and are not required to defend what any man or woman says outside of them” (Hugh B. Brown, An Abundant Life: The Memoirs of Hugh B. Brown, ed. Edwin B. Firmage [Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1999], 123-124.
21
“The questions is sometimes asked, to what extent is obedience to those who hold the Priesthood required? This is a very important question, and one which should be understood by all Saints. In attempting to answer this question, we would repeat, in short, what we have already written, that willing obedience to the laws of God, administered by the priesthood, is indispensable to salvation; but we would further add, that a proper conservative to this power exists for the benefit of all, and none are required to tamely or blindly submit to a man because he has a portion of the Priesthood. We have heard men who hold the Priesthood remark, that they would do anything they were told to do by those who presided over them, if they knew it was wrong: but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself, should ot claima rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly” - 13 Nov 1852 Millennial Star
22
when we say anything bad about the leaders of the Church, whether true or false, we tend to impair their influence and their usefulness and are thus working
against the Lord and his cause.George Franklin Richards, Conference Report, Apr. 1947, p. 24; Address to Church Educational System teachers, Aug. 16, 1985
23
"Latter-day Saints are not asked to blindly accept everything they hear. We are encouraged to think and discover truth for ourselves. We are expected to ponder, to search, to evaluate, and thereby to come to a personal knowledge of the truth." Elder Uchtdorf http://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/ces-devotionals/2013/01/what-is-truth?lang=eng
24
"'President Wilford Woodruff is a man of wisdom and experience, and we respect him, but we do not believe his personal views or utterances are revelations from God; and when "Thus saith the Lord," comes from him, the saints investigate it: they do not shut their eyes and take it down like a pill.' ( Apostle Charles Penrose, "Millennial Star," vol. 54, p. 191)
25
if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall— that they were depending on the prophet hence were darkened in their minds from neglect of themselves— envious toward the innocent, while they afflict the virtuous with their shafts of envy. - Joseph smith
26
Now those men, or those women, who know no more about the power of God, and the influences of the Holy Spirit, than to be led entirely by another person, suspending their own understanding, and pinning their faith upon another’s sleeve, will never be capable of entering into the celestial glory, to be crowned as they anticipate; they will never be capable of becoming Gods. They cannot rule themselves, to say nothing of ruling others, but they must be dictated to in every trifle, like a child. They cannot control themselves in the least, but James, Peter, or somebody else must control them. They never can become Gods, nor be crowned as rulers with glory, immortality, and eternal lives. They never can hold sceptres of glory, majesty, and power in the celestial kingdom. - Brigham Young
27
“Standard Works Judge Teachings of all men. It makes no difference what is written or what anyone has said, if what has been said is in conflict with what the Lord has revealed, we can set it aside. My words, and the teachings of any other member of the Church, high or low, if they do not square with the revelations, we need not accept them. Let us have this matter clear. We have accepted the four standard works as the measuring yardsticks, or balances, by which we measure every man’s doctrine. You cannot accept the books written by the authorities of the Church as standards in doctrine, only in so far as they accord with the revealed word in the standard works. Every man who writes is responsible, not the Church, for what he writes. If Joseph Fielding Smith writes something which is out of harmony with the revelations, then every member of the Church is duty bound to reject it. If he writes that which is in perfect harmony with the revealed word of the Lord, then it should be accepted." – Joseph Fielding Smith
28
We talk of obedience, but do we require any man or woman to ignorantly obey the counsels that are given? Do the first Presidency require it? No, never. - Joseph F Smith
29
"It's ok to shift who is authoritative in your life to yourself. We want a standard that is infallible because it relieves us of the burden of continually exerting ourself to use discernment. The way Dostoevsky put it so beautifully was, 'We want some person to be a keeper of our conscience.' The hard lesson is that there is never a moment where you can delegate your volition to another person -- leader or lay." - Terryl Givens
30
"How easy it would be for your leaders to lead you to destruction, unless you actually know the mind and will of the spirit yourselves." (JD 4:368) - Brigham Young
31
"His initial declaration is affirmative and without hesitation: “Lord, I believe.” I would say to all who wish for more faith, remember this man! In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited. ... So be kind regarding human frailty—your own as well as that of those who serve with you in a Church led by volunteer, mortal men and women. Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we... when the infinite fulness is poured forth, it is not the oil’s fault if there is some loss because finite vessels can’t quite contain it all. Those finite vessels include you and me, so be patient and kind and forgiving .... A 14-year-old boy recently said to me a little hesitantly, “Brother Holland, I can’t say yet that I know the Church is true, but I believe it is.” I hugged that boy until his eyes bulged out. I told him with all the fervor of my soul that belief is a precious word, an even more precious act, and he need never apologize for “only believing.” ... Hope on. Journey on. Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe." Elder Holland http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/04/lord-i-believe?lang=eng
32
Part of the reason for poor judgment comes from the tendency of mankind to blur the line between belief and truth. We too often confuse belief with truth, thinking that because something makes sense or is convenient, it must be true. Conversely, we sometimes don’t believe truth or reject it — because it would require us to change or admit that we were wrong. Often, truth is rejected because it doesn’t appear to be consistent with previous experiences. When the opinions or “truths” of others contradict our own, instead of considering the possibility that there could be information that might be helpful and augment or complement what we know, we often jump to conclusions or make assumptions that the other person is misinformed, mentally challenged, or even intentionally trying to deceive.” Elder Uchtdorf http://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/ces-devotionals/2013/01/what-is-truth?lang=eng"
33
If a faith will not bear to be investigated; if its preachers and professors are afraid to have it examined, their foundation must be very weak. Journal of Discourses
DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT GEORGE A. SMITH, DELIVERED IN THE NEW TABERNACLE, SALT LAKE CITY, SUNDAY, AUGUST 13, 1871. (Reported by David W. Evans.)
http://pt.fairmormon.org/Journal_of_Discourses/14/28
34
"...we sometimes don’t believe truth or reject it—because it would require us to change or admit that we were wrong. Often, truth is rejected because it doesn’t appear to be consistent with previous experiences. When the opinions or “truths” of others contradict our own, instead of considering the possibility that there could be information that might be helpful and augment or complement what we know, we often jump to conclusions or make assumptions that the other person is misinformed, mentally challenged, or even intentionally trying to deceive. Unfortunately, this tendency can spread to all areas of our lives—from sports to family relationships and from religion to politics." Elder Uchtdorf - CES Fireside, January 2013. http://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/ces-devotionals/2013/01/what-is-truth?lang=eng
35
Should Church members simply have "blind trust" in their leaders? Answer: No Hardly, says President Lorenzo Snow: ained; yet the spirit, the motives that inspire the action can be understood, because each member of the Church has a right to have that measure of the Spirit of God that they can judge as to those who are acting in their interests or otherwise
36
“I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self security. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. ( Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1954], 135.)
37
It is axiomatic among us to know that God has given apostles and prophets "for the edifying of the body of Christ," and that their ministry is to see that "we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the slight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive." (Eph. 4:11-16.) This means, among other things, that it is my province to teach to the Church what the doctrine is. It is your province to echo what I say or to remain silent. You do not have a divine commission to correct me or any of the Brethren. The Lord does not operate that way. If I lead the Church astray, that is my responsibility, but the fact still remains that I am the one appointed with all the rest involved so to do. The appointment is not given to the faculty at Brigham Young University or to any of the members of the Church. The Lord's house is a house of order and those who hold the keys are appointed to proclaim the doctrines. (Bruce R. McConkie - Eugene England)
38
It was the imperative duty of the Church to obey the word of Joseph Smith, or the presidency, without question or inquiry, and that if there were any that would not, they should have their throats cut from ear [to] ear.Sidney Rigdon, Sidney Rigdon letter to Apostle Orson Hyde, October 21, 1844, in Nauvoo Neighbor, December 4, 1844; see also Quinn, Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, p. 94
39
When we say anything bad about the leaders of the Church, whether true or false, we tend to impair their influence and their usefulness and are thus working against the Lord and his cause.George Franklin Richards, Conference Report, Apr. 1947, p. 24; Address to Church Educational System teachers, Aug. 16, 1985
40
It's wrong to criticize leaders of the church, even if the criticism is true.Dallin H. Oaks, 'Criticism,' Latter‑day Saint Student Association fireside in the Salt Lake Tabernacle
41
"Criticism is particularly objectionable when it is directed toward Church authorities, general or local. Jude condemns those who 'speak evil of dignities.'" (Jude 1:8.) Evil speaking of the Lord's anointed is in a class by itself. It is one thing to depreciate a person who exercises corporate power or even government power. It is quite another thing to criticize or depreciate a person for the performance of an office to which he or she has been called of God. It does not matter that the criticism is true.Dallin H. Oaks, 'Criticism,' Latter‑day Saint Student Association fireside in the Salt Lake Tabernacle
42
Then the subject was brought up concerning Adam being made of the dust of the earth, and Elder Orson Pratt pursued a course of stubbornness and unbelief in what President young said that will destroy him if he does not repent and turn from his evil ways.Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Wilford Woodruff, March 11, 1856
43
I presented before the meeting the case of Orson Pratt who did not believe in some of the teachings of President Young [the Adam‑God doctrine] and thought President Young reproved him unjustly.Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Wilford Woodruff, March 24, 1858
44
Church Members will live in this wheat-and-tares situation until the Millennium. Some real tares even masquerade as wheat, including a few eager individuals who lecture the rest of us about the Church doctrines in which they no longer believe. They criticize the use of Church resources to which they no longer contribute. They condescendingly seek to counsel the Brethren whom they no longer sustain. Confrontive, except of themselves of course, they leave the Church, but they cannot leave the Church alone (Ensign, Becometh As a Child)
45
Why are a few members, who somewhat resemble the ancient Athenians, so eager to hear some new doubt or criticism? (see Acts 17:21). Just as some weak members slip across a state line to gamble, a few go out of their way to have their doubts titillated. Instead of nourishing their faith, they are gambling "offshore" with their fragile faith. To the question "Will ye also go away?" these few would reply, "Oh, no, we merely want a weekend pass to go to a casino for critics or a clubhouse for cloakholders." Such easily diverted members are not disciples but fair-weather followers. (Ensign, "Answer Me")

46
Some murmerers seem to hope to reshape the Church to their liking by virtue of their murmuring. But why would one want to belong to a church that he could remake in his own image, when it is the Lord's image that we should come to have in our countenances? (see Alma 5:19). The doctrines are His, brothers and sisters, not ours. The power is His to delegate, not ours to manipulate! (Ensign, "Murmur Not")
47
Exciting exploration is preferred [by some] to plodding implementation; speculation seems more fun than consecration, and so is trying to soften the hard doctrines instead of submitting to them. Worse still, by not obeying, these few members lack real knowing (see John 7:17). Lacking real knowing, they cannot defend their faith and may become critics instead of defenders! A few of the latter end up in the self-reinforcing and self congratulating Hyde Park corner of the Church, which they provincially mistake for the whole of the Church, as if London's real Hyde Park corner were Parliament, Whitehall, Buckingham Palace, and all of England combined! (Ensign, "Settle This in Your Hearts")
48
Some insist upon studying the Church only through the eyes of its defectors--like interviewing Judas to understand Jesus. Defectors always tell us more about themselves than about that from which they have departed. (All Hell is moved, 177.) Trying to run ahead of the leaders is, in effect, trying to preempt their role as shepherds of the flock. As with the shepherds in the Middle East, prophets are to lead the flock; they do not herd the flock, nor do they merely follow it... To run ahead is to say in effect that we, and not the prophets, know best, especially if we try to take some of the flock with us. (All these Things Shall Give Thee Experience, 105, 106.)
49
There are those who reject following the Brethren because they wish to be the leaders. This is a mortal reflection of Lucifer's bid in the premortal world. His need for ascendancy was so great that he simply would not follow. (All these Things Shall Give Thee Experience, 110.)
50
The critics of the Church, who are often those within the Church, frequently say, "Why doesn't the Church do this or that?" or "Why does the Church do this or that?" Those who desire to make the greatest demands of the Church are usually those who make the fewest demands of themselves in terms of their discipleship. (Wherefore, Ye Must Press Forward, 69.)
51
"Now, we need to do better, everybody needs to do better, I think society needs to do better, this Church probably needs to do better, maybe your church does. I think we all need to do better, to make sure that dignity comes through, to make sure that kind of communication is conveyed." " I would put the position of a woman in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints up against the dignity, worth, merit, and wonder of a woman anywhere on this planet. We just need to do better to be able to convey that. We need to be able to make sure that everybody understands that, including the women in our Church, which I don’t think we have done well enough yet." On March 19, 2012, Mormon Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland spoke to harvard students
52
“Do not, brethren, put your trust in a man though he be a bishop, an apostle, or a president. If you do, they will fail you at some time or place; they will do wrong or seem to, and your support be gone...” - Apostle George Q. Cannon, Millennial Star, v. 53, pp. 658-659, as quoted in Gospel Truth, v. 1, p. 319
53
Some may say, ‘Brethren, you who lead the Church, we have all confidence in you, we are not in the least afraid but what everything will go right under your superintendence; all the business matters will be transacted right; and if brother Brigham is satisfied with it, I am.’ I do not wish any Latter-day Saint in this world, nor in heaven, to be satisfied with anything I do, unless the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, the spirit of revelation, makes them satisfied…Suppose that the people were heedless, that they manifested no concern with regard to the things of the kingdom of God, but threw the whole burden upon the leaders of the people, saying, ‘If the brethren who take charge of matters are satisfied, we are,’ this is not pleasing in the sight of the Lord. - Brigham Young
54
"We seek for truth wherever we may find it. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “Mormonism is truth. … The first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we believe that we have a right to embrace all, and every item of truth, without limitation or … being … prohibited by the creeds or superstitious notions of men.”

Yes, we do have the fulness of the everlasting gospel, but that does not mean that we know everything. In fact, one principle of the restored gospel is our belief that God “will yet reveal many great and important things.”

... So we continually seek truth from all good books and other wholesome sources. “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” In this manner we can resist the deceit of the evil one. In this manner we learn the truth “precept upon precept; line upon line.” And we will learn that intelligence cleaves unto intelligence, and wisdom receives wisdom, and truth embraces truth."
Elder Uchtdorf

http://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/ces-devotionals/2013/01/what-is-truth?lang=eng
55
"Brothers and sisters, as good as our previous experience may be, if we stop asking questions, stop thinking, stop pondering, we can thwart the revelations of the Spirit. Remember, it was the questions young Joseph asked that opened the door for the restoration of all things. We can block the growth and knowledge our Heavenly Father intends for us. How often has the Holy Spirit tried to tell us something we needed to know but couldn’t get past the massive iron gate of what we thought we already knew?" Elder Uchtdorf https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/worldwide-leadership-training/2012/01/acting-on-the-truths-of-the-gospel-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng
56
"...we sometimes don’t believe truth or reject it—because it would require us to change or admit that we were wrong. Often, truth is rejected because it doesn’t appear to be consistent with previous experiences. When the opinions or “truths” of others contradict our own, instead of considering the possibility that there could be information that might be helpful and augment or complement what we know, we often jump to conclusions or make assumptions that the other person is misinformed, mentally challenged, or even intentionally trying to deceive. Unfortunately, this tendency can spread to all areas of our lives—from sports to family relationships and from religion to politics." Elder Uchtdorf - CES Fireside, January 2013. http://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/ces-devotionals/2013/01/what-is-truth?lang=eng
57
"So how can we find truth? I believe that our Father in Heaven is pleased with His children when they use their talents and mental faculties to earnestly discover truth. Over the centuries many wise men and women—through logic, reason, scientific inquiry, and, yes, through inspiration—have discovered truth. These discoveries have enriched mankind, improved our lives, and inspired joy, wonder, and awe." Elder Uchtdorf http://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/ces-devotionals/2013/01/what-is-truth?lang=eng
58
"Mental laziness is the vice of men, especially with reference to divine things. Men seem to think that because inspiration and revelation are factors in connection with the things of God, therefore the pain and stress of mental effort are not required; that by some means these elements act somewhat as Elijah’s ravens and feed us without effort on our part. To escape this effort, this mental stress to know the things that are, men raise all too readily the ancient bar-“Thus far shalt thou come, but no farther.” Man cannot hope to understand the things of God, they plead, or penetrate those things which he has left shrouded in mystery. “Be thou content with the simple faith that accepts without question. To believe, and accept the ordinances, and then live the moral law will doubtless bring men unto salvation; why then should man strive and trouble himself to understand? Much study is still a weariness of the flesh.” So men reason; and just now it is much in fashion to laud “the simple faith;” which is content to believe without understanding, or even without much effort to understand. And doubtless many good people regard this course as indicative of reverence-this plea in bar of effort- “thus far and no farther.”…This sort of “reverence” is easily simulated, and is of such flattering unction, and so pleasant to follow- “soul take thine ease”- that without question it is very often simulated; and falls into the same category as the simulated humility couched in “I don’t know,” which so often really means “I don’t care, and do not intend to trouble myself to find out.” Elder B.H. Roberts, The Seventy’s Course of Theology, vol. V (Salt Lake City: The Deseret News, 1912), pg. v - " (Partial reference) http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=2&sourceId=078046581c79b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=024644f8f206c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD#footnote10 http://www.withoutend.org/questioning-mormonism/#sthash.BdrV8xR1.ZgWYoDsm.dpuf BH Roberts full book that this is quoted from is here: http://www.cumorah.org/libros/english/BH%20Roberts/BH%20Roberts%20-%20Seventys_Course_in_Theology,_vol_5_-_B_H_Roberts.html#18285
59
“A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge.” ... George A. Smith, while serving in the First Presidency, reported: “Joseph Smith taught that every man and woman should seek the Lord for wisdom, that they might get knowledge from Him who is the fountain of knowledge; and the promises of the gospel, as revealed, were such as to authorize us to believe, that by taking this course we should gain the object of our pursuit." Joseph Smith http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=86d720596a845110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=da135f74db46c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD
60
"We should gather all the good and true principles in the world and treasure them up, or we shall not come out true Mormons." Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 316 http://www.lds.org/church/news/print/viewpoint-embrace-honor-and-carry-forth-truth?lang=eng
61
"...study and learn, and become acquainted with all good books, and with languages, tongues, and people." D&C 90:15 http://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/90?lang=eng
62
"How gladly would we understand every principle pertaining to science and art, and become thoroughly acquainted with every intricate operation of nature, and with all the chemical changes that are constantly going on around us! How delightful this would be, and what a boundless field of truth and power is open for us to explore! We are only just approaching the shores of the vast ocean of information that pertains to this physical world, to say nothing of that which pertains to the heavens, to angels and celestial beings, to the place of their habitation, to the manner of their life, and their progress to still higher degrees of perfection." BRIGHAM YOUNG, Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, January 26, 1862 REPORTED BY G. D. WATT http://pt.fairmormon.org/Journal_of_Discourses/9/32
63
“We should spend our time and give diligent attention to the training of members of the Church. Teachers who are filled with the spirit of the Lord and who are tried and true, should be called to act in this capacity, and those who are not so tried and proved, should not be called to instruct the members. What do we accomplish if we spend our time and means preaching in the world to make converts to the gospel, if we place instructors before the youth in the stakes and wards who destroy the faith in the hearts of the young people in the divine message intrusted to our care?” Joseph Fielding Smith http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/848219-we-should-spend-our-time-and-give-diligent-attention-to
64
“We have been blessed with much knowledge by revelation from God which, in some part, the world lacks. But there is an incomprehensibly greater part of truth which we must yet discover. Our revealed truth should leave us stricken with the knowledge of how little we really know. It should never lead to an emotional arrogance based upon a false assumption that we somehow have all the answers–that we in fact have a corner on truth, for we do not.” Hugh B. Brown, “An Eternal Quest – Freedom of the Mind,” speech given to the BYU student body on May 13, 1969 http://president.byu.edu/documents/brown.htm
65
“We should all be interested in academic research. We must go out on the research front and continue to explore the vast unknown. We should be in the forefront of learning in all fields, for revelation does not come only through the prophet of God nor only directly from heaven in visions or dreams. Revelation may come in the laboratory, out of the test tube, out of the thinking mind and the inquiring soul, out of search and research and prayer and inspiration.” President Hugh B. Brown, An Abundant Life:The Memoirs of Hugh B. Brown
66
There are altogether too many people in the world who are willing to accept as true whatever is printed in a book or delivered from a pulpit. Their faith never goes below the surface soil of authority. I plead with everyone I meet that they may drive their faith down through that soil and get hold of the solid truth, that they may be able to withstand the winds and storm of indecision and of doubt, of opposition and persecution. : Edwin B. Firmage's "An Abundant Life: The Memoirs of Hugh B. Brown" (1988)
67
If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair. C. S. Lewis
68
As a means of coming to truth, people in the Church are encouraged by their leaders to think and find out for themselves. They are encouraged to ponder, to search, to evaluate, and thereby to come to such knowledge of the truth as their own consciences, assisted by the Spirit of God, lead them to discover. - James E Faust
69
The invitation to trust the Lord does not relieve us from the responsibility to know for ourselves. This is more than an opportunity; it is an obligation—and it is one of the reasons we were sent to this earth. Latter-day Saints are not asked to blindly accept everything they hear. We are encouraged to think and discover truth for ourselves. We are expected to ponder, to search, to evaluate, and thereby to come to a personal knowledge of the truth.
70
“Based upon ancient and modern revelation, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gladly teaches and declares the Christian doctrine that all men and women are brothers and sisters, not only by blood relationship from mortal progenitors, but also as literal spirit children of an Eternal Father.

“The great religious leaders of the world such as Mohammed, Confucius, and the Reformers, as well as philosophers including Socrates, Plato, and others, received a portion of God’s light. Moral truths were given to them by God to enlighten whole nations and to bring a higher level of understanding to individuals.

“The Hebrew prophets prepared the way for the coming of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, who should provide salvation for all mankind who believe in the gospel.

“Consistent with these truths, we believe that God has given and will give to all people sufficient knowledge to help them on their way to eternal salvation, either in this life or in the life to come.

“We also declare that the gospel of Jesus Christ, restored to his Church in our day, provides the only way to a mortal life of happiness and a fullness of joy forever. For those who have not received this gospel, the opportunity will come to them in the life hereafter if not in this life.

“Our message therefore is one of special love and concern for the eternal welfare of all men and women, regardless of religious belief, race, or nationality, knowing that we are truly brothers and sisters because we are the sons and daughters of the same Eternal Father.”

https://www.lds.org/ensign/1988/01/i-have-a-question?lang=eng
(Formatted for print) https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5kkhkA63ezDakl2emRoVmZhRU0/edit

Also partially quoted by James E. Faust, “Communion with the Holy Spirit,” Ensign, Mar 2002, 2–7
http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?locale=59&sourceId=e1e08c6a47e0c010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD

"The great religious leaders of the world such as Mohammed, Confucius, and the Reformers, as well as philosophers including Socrates, Plato, and others, received a portion of God’s light. Moral truths were given to them by God to enlighten whole nations and to bring a higher level of understanding to individuals. … We believe that God has given and will give to all peoples sufficient knowledge to help them on their way to eternal salvation”
71
Joseph Smith, in History of the Church, 5:499

If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way. Do you believe in Jesus Christ and the Gospel of salvation which he revealed? So do I. Christians should cease wrangling and contending with each other, and cultivate the principles of union and friendship in their midst; and they will do it before the millennium can be ushered in and Christ takes possession of His kingdom.

Here: (Jeffrey R Holland Ensign Article: http://www.lds.org/liahona/2012/08/standing-together-for-the-cause-of-christ?lang=eng
And partly quoted here: (Teachings of the Presidents: Joseph Smith): http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=1b28b00367c45110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=da135f74db46c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD
72
Orson F. Whitney - General Conference April 1924

"Our Heavenly Father is far more merciful, infinitely more charitable than even the best of his servants. And the Everlasting Gospel is mightier in power to save than our narrow finite minds can comprehend."
http://www.lds.org/general-conference/print/1987/10/a-champion-of-youth?lang=eng
73
Gordon B. Hinkley:

“We recognize the good in all people. We recognize the good in all churches, in their efforts to improve mankind and to teach principles that lead to good, stable, productive living. To people everywhere we simply say, ‘You bring with you all the good that you have, and let us add to it. That is the principle on which we work’” (interview with Philippines Television, 30 April 1996).

http://www.lds.org/liahona/1997/06/words-of-the-living-prophet?lang=eng
74
Now, what is this truth?

It is His gospel. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life.”

If we will only have enough courage and faith to walk in His path, it will lead us to peace of heart and mind, to lasting meaning in life, to happiness in this world, and to joy in the world to come. The Savior is “not far from every one of us.” We have His promise that if we seek Him diligently, we will find Him.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, What is Truth (CES devotional, Jan 2013)

http://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/ces-devotionals/2013/01/what-is-truth?lang=eng
75
“Mormonism is truth; and every man who embraces it feels himself at liberty to embrace every truth: consequently the shackles of superstition, bigotry, ignorance, and priestcraft, fall at once from his neck; and his eyes are opened to see the truth, and truth greatly prevails over priestcraft. …

“… Mormonism is truth, in other words the doctrine of the Latter-day Saints, is truth. … The first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we believe that we have a right to embrace all, and every item of truth, without limitation or without being circumscribed or prohibited by the creeds or superstitious notions of men, or by the dominations of one another, when that truth is clearly demonstrated to our minds, and we have the highest degree of evidence of the same.”

Letter from Joseph Smith to Isaac Galland, Mar. 22, 1839, Liberty Jail, Liberty, Missouri, published in Times and Seasons, Feb. 1840, pp. 53–54
Quoted in Teachings of the Presidents: Joseph Smith
http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=86d720596a845110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=da135f74db46c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD
76
“Our heavenly Father is more liberal in His views, and boundless in His mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive..."

Joseph Smith
Quoted by Jeffrey R. Holland in General Conference Oct 2003
http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2003/10/the-grandeur-of-god?lang=eng

He in turn was quoting:
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 257, 240–41.
77
"Perhaps the Lord needs such men on the outside of His Church to help it along... They are among its auxiliaries, and can do more good for the cause where the Lord has placed them, than anywhere else. … Hence, some are drawn into the fold and receive a testimony of the truth; while others remain unconverted … the beauties and glories of the gospel being veiled temporarily from their view, for a wise purpose. The Lord will open their eyes in His own due time. God is using more than one people for the accomplishment of His great and marvelous work. The Latter-day Saints cannot do it all. It is too vast, too arduous for any one people."

Elder Orson F. Whitney of the Quorum of the Twelve

Quoted by President Ezra Taft Benson in 1972:
https://www.lds.org/ensign/1972/07/civic-standards-for-the-faithful-saints?lang=eng

And more recently here on the church interfaith page:
http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/interfaith
78
“While the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is established for the instruction of men; and it is one of God’s instrumentalities for making known the truth yet he is not limited to that institution for such purposes, neither in time nor place. God raises up wise men and prophets here and there among all the children of men, of their own tongue and nationality, speaking to them through means that they can comprehend. … All the great teachers are servants of God; among all nations and in all ages. They are inspired men, appointed to instruct God’s children according to the conditions in the midst of which he finds them.”

B.H. Roberts

http://www.lds.org/ensign/2000/08/a-latter-day-saint-perspective-on-muhammad?lang=eng
79
Latter-day Saints believe that all human beings are God’s children and that He loves all of us. He has inspired not only people of the Bible and the Book of Mormon but other people as well to carry out His purposes through all cultures and parts of the world. God inspires not only Latter-day Saints but also founders, teachers, philosophers, and reformers of other Christian and non-Christian religions. The restored gospel holds a positive relationship with other religions. Intolerance is always a sign of weakness. The Latter-day Saint perspective is that of the eleventh article of faith: “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may” (Articles of Faith 1:11).

Elder Uchtdorf
http://rsc.byu.edu/archived/global-mormonism-21st-century/20-church-cross-cultural-world
80
"I want to say to my friends that we believe in all good. If you can find a truth in heaven, earth or hell, it belongs to our doctrine. We believe it; it is ours; we claim it...
[The gospel] embraces all morality, all virtue, all light, all intelligence, all greatness, and all goodness."
Brigham Young
Teachings of the Presidents: Brigham Young (Chapter 2)
http://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-2?lang=eng
81
"One of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism is to receive truth, let it come from where it may."
Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 5:499
http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=180&sourceId=4e9182066bda7110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD
82
A report of a speech given by Joseph Smith in Washington DC:

"He said very little of rewards and punishments; but one conclusion, from what he did say, was irresistible—he contended throughout, that everything which had a beginning must have an ending; and consequently if the punishment of man commenced in the next world, it must, according to his logic and belief have an end... and he again repeated that all who would follow the precepts of the Bible, whether Mormon or not, would assuredly be saved.

There was much in his precepts, if they were followed, that would soften the asperities of man towards man, and that would tend to make him a more rational being than he is generally found to be. There was no violence, no fury, no denunciation. His religion appears to be the religion of meekness, lowliness, and mild persuasion.

The Mormon Bible, he said, was communicated to him, direct from heaven. If there was such a thing on earth, as the author of it, then he (Smith) was the author; but the idea that he wished to impress was, that he had penned it as dictated by God."

You can read the original History of the Church entry here: https://byustudies.byu.edu/hc/4/5.html

The account was partially quoted in the June 1994 Ensign:
http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=180&sourceId=d486425e0848b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD#footnote15
83
“The brethren direct me to say that the Church has never announced a definite doctrine upon this point. Some of the brethren have held the view that it was possible in the course of progression to advance from one glory to another, invoking the principle of eternal progression; others of the brethren have taken the opposite view. But as stated, the Church has never announced a definite doctrine on this point.”
-Secretary to the First Presidency in a 1952 letter; and again in 1965
84
“None would inherit this earth when it became celestial and translated into the presence of God but those who would be crowned as Gods — all others would have to inherit another kingdom — they would eventually have the privilege of proving themselves worthy and advancing to a celestial kingdom but it would be a slow process [progress?].”
-Brigham Young, in Wilford Woodruff Journal, 5 Aug 1855
85
You that are mourning about your children straying away will have your sons and your daughters. If you succeed in passing through these trials and afflictions and receive a resurrection, you will, by the power of the Priesthood, work and labor, as the Son of God has, until you get all your sons and daughters in the path of exaltation and glory. This is just as sure as that the sun rose this morning over yonder mountains. Therefore, mourn not because all your sons and daughters do not follow in the path that you have marked out to them, or give heed to your counsels. Inasmuch as we succeed in securing eternal glory, and stand as saviors, and as kings and priests to our God, we will save our posterity. When Jesus went through that terrible torture on the cross, He saw what would be accomplished by it; He saw that His brethren and sisters the sons and daughters of God would be gathered in, with but few exceptions those who committed the unpardonable sin. That sacrifice of the divine Being was effectual to destroy the powers of Satan. I believe that every man and woman who comes into this life and passes through it, that life will be a success in the end. It may not be in this life. It was not with the antedeluvians. They passed through troubles and afflictions; 2,500 years after that, when Jesus went to preach to them, the dead heard the voice of the Son of God and they lived. They found after all that it was a very good thing that they had conformed to the will of God in leaving the spiritual life and passing through this world.


Lorenzo Snow, MS 56:49-53; Collected Discourses 3:364-65.
86
“It is reasonable to believe, in the absence of direct revelation by which alone absolute knowledge of the matter could be acquired, that, in accordance with God’s plan of eternal progression, advancement from grade to grade within any kingdom, and from kingdom to kingdom, will be provided for. But if the recipients of a lower glory be enabled to advance, surely the intelligences of higher rank will not be stopped in their progress; and thus we may conclude, that degrees and grades will ever characterize the kingdoms of our God. Eternity is progressive; perfection is relative; the essential feature of God’s living purpose is its associated power of eternal increase.”

James E. Talmage, The Articles of Faith [1899 edition] pp. 420-421
87
“I am not a strict constructionalist, believing that we seal our eternal progress by what we do here. It is my belief that God will save all of His children that he can: and while, if we live unrighteously here, we shall not go to the other side in the same status, so to speak, as those who lived righteously; nevertheless, the unrighteous will have their chance, and in the eons of the eternities that are to follow, they, too, may climb to the destinies to which they who are righteous and serve God, have climbed to those eternities that are to come.”

J. Reuben Clark, Church News, 23 April 1960, p. 3
88
The question of advancement within the great divisions of glory celestial, terrestrial, and telestial; as also the question of advancement from one sphere of glory to another remains to be considered. In the revelation from which we have summarized what has been written here, in respect to the different degrees of glory, it is said that those of the terrestrial glory will be ministered unto by those of the celestial; and those of the telestial will be ministered unto by those of the terrestrial”that is, those of the higher glory minister to those of a lesser glory. I can conceive of no reason for all this administration of the higher to the lower, unless it be for the purpose of advancing our Father’s children along the lines of eternal progression. Whether or not in the great future, full of so many possibilities now hidden from us, they of the lesser glories after education and advancement within those spheres may at last emerge from them and make their way to the higher degrees of glory until at last they attain to the highest, is not revealed in the revelations of God, and any statement made on the subject must partake more or less of the nature of conjecture. But if it be granted that such a thing is possible, they who at the first entered into the celestial glory”having before them the privilege also of eternal progress”have been moving onward, so that the relative distance between them and those who have fought their way up from the lesser glories may be as great when the latter have come into the degrees of celestial glory in which the righteous at first stood, as it was at the commencement. Thus: Those whose faith and works are such only as to enable them to inherit a telestial glory, may arrive at last where those whose works in this life were such as to enable them to entrance into the celestial kingdom”they may arrive where these were, but never where they are.”
B. H. Roberts, New Witnesses for God 1:391-392.
89
"Some years ago I was in Washington, D.C., with President Harold B. Lee. Early one morning he called me to come into his hotel room. He was sitting in his robe reading Gospel Doctrine, by President Joseph F. Smith, and he said, “Listen to this!”
“Jesus had not finished his work when his body was slain, neither did he finish it after his resurrection from the dead; although he had accomplished the purpose for which he then came to the earth, he had not fulfilled all his work. And when will he? Not until he has redeemed and saved every son and daughter of our father Adam that have been or ever will be born upon this earth to the end of time, except the sons of perdition. That is his mission. We will not finish our work until we have saved ourselves, and then not until we shall have saved all depending upon us; for we are to become saviors upon Mount Zion, as well as Christ. We are called to this mission.”
“There is never a time,” the Prophet Joseph Smith taught, “when the spirit is too old to approach God. All are within the reach of pardoning mercy, who have not committed the unpardonable sin.”
Boyd K. Packer, “The Brilliant Morning of Forgiveness,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 18

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1995/10/the-brilliant-morning-of-forgiveness?lang=eng

Original JFS quote here: https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-joseph-f-smith/chapter-46?lang=eng
90
22 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly
Matthew 5
91
Maxwell, Neal A. (1988), Not My Will, But Thine, Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, p. 26, "Jacob censured the "stiffnecked" Jews for "looking beyond the mark" (Jacob 4:14). We are looking beyond the mark today, for example, if we are more interested in the physical dimensions of the cross than in what Jesus achieved thereon; or when we neglect Alma's words on faith because we are too fascinated by the light-shielding hat reportedly used by Joseph Smith during some of the translating of the Book of Mormon. To neglect substance while focusing on process is another form of unsubmissively looking beyond the mark."
92
There are those among us who are recognized as members of this Church who take a vast amount of pains to be favorably known by those around them, but whose real character, or the inwardness so to speak, of such people, is veiled or disguised. … Now this prayer that I [refer] to—“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”

Lorenzo Snow

http://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-of-presidents-of-the-church-lorenzo-snow/chapter-8-search-me-o-god-and-know-my-heart?lang=eng
93
"There is one principle I wish to urge upon the Saints in a way that it may remain with them—that is, to understand men and women as they are, and not understand them as you are."
http://en.fairmormon.org/Journal_of_Discourses/8/8
94
"The being that has comparatively no strong passion to overcome ought constantly to walk in the vale of humility, rather than boast of his righteousness over his brother... Those who have not strong passions to contend with, day by day, and year by year, should walk in the vale of humiliation; and if brethren and sisters are overtaken in fault, your hearts should be filled with kindness—with brotherly, angelic feeling—to overlook their faults as far as possible.
"

BRIGHAM YOUNG, JOD, made in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, July 22, 1860. REPORTED BY G. D. WATT.

https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-25?lang=eng
95
"What I understood as the gospel message didn’t match what we encountered so often with the people. There was a big gap in so many ways. Again, my mother’s wisdom helped. She said, “Know that you know the truth”—she wasn’t a Mormon. She was a Buddhist until she died—“and others haven’t learned it yet. So just hold fast and let the rest go.” So that’s what we did. We just held on and tried to look at the doctrines of the gospel rather than how people behaved sometimes...

...When people ask, “How is it that you are able to speak the way you do?”, I say, “I was given a blessing, that I would speak my mind.” It was really interesting, because all of our talks had to go through the First Presidency, and nothing was changed. Nothing in my talks was changed.

...I brought Buddhism with me. Buddhism teaches love for everybody. The Buddhist values are not limited just to the people in the Buddhist faith. They include the whole wide world. When you talk to the Dalai Lama, you can feel a love that he has for all humankind. He doesn’t
preach, “You must belong to my church.” He preaches, “You must become better people because of what I am telling you.” Christians, Muslims, Buddhists go to listen to him, and they become better Christians, better Muslims, and better Buddhists because of the values and morals that he teaches. He makes you think, “I can become a better Christian because of what I heard.” He is a messenger or a disciple of God, in a different way. I came to the Church having all these values. The Church didn’t teach me that."

Chieko Okazaki "There is Always a Struggle" 2005, interview
http://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V45N01_CO.pdf
96
"O man, what is good, and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"
Micah 6:6-8
97
“The line of priesthood authority was broken. But mankind was not left in total darkness or completely without revelation or inspiration. The idea that with the Crucifixion of Christ the heavens were closed and that they opened in the First Vision is not true. The Light of Christ would be everywhere present to attend the children of God; the Holy Ghost would visit seeking souls. The prayers of the righteous would not go unanswered.” Elder Boyd K. Packer
 Boyd K. Packer, “The Light of Christ,” Ensign, Apr. 2005, 11
98
“Informed Latter-day Saints do not argue that historic Christianity lost all truth or became completely corrupt. The orthodox churches may have lost the ‘fullness’ of the gospel, but they did not lose all of it nor even most of it. Many Evangelicals caricature or overstate the actual LDS view, which is that the orthodox churches are incomplete rather than corrupt. It is their postbiblical creeds that are identified in Joseph Smith’s first vision as an ‘abomination,’ but certainly not their individual members or their members’ biblical beliefs.”
Stephen E. Robinson
Craig L. Blomberg and Stephen E. Robinson, How Wide the Divide? A Mormon and an Evangelical in Conversation (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997)
http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/authority-in-the-church
99
“We have come not to take away from you the truth and virtue you possess. We have come not to find fault with you nor to criticize you. We have not come here to berate you. … Keep all the good that you have, and let us bring to you more good.” President George Albert Smith, quoted in Sharing the Gospel with Others, comp. Preston Nibley (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1948), 12-13; italics added.
http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/authority-in-the-church
100
“The inquiry is frequently made of me, 'Wherein do you differ from others in your religious views?' In reality and essence we do not differ so far in our religious views, but that we could all drink into one principle of love. One of the grand fundamental principles of ‘Mormonism’ is to receive truth, let it come from whence it may.” Joseph Smith, quoted in History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2nded. (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1949), 5:499.
http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/authority-in-the-church
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