Are there any quotes from LDS Church leaders which either support or inspire you?

June 27, 2014
By

“I admire men and women who have developed the questing spirit, who are unafraid of new ideas as stepping stones to progress. We should, of course, respect the opinions of others, but we should also be unafraid to dissent–if we are informed. Thoughts and expressions compete in the marketplace of thought, and in that competition truth emerges triumphant. Only error fears freedom of expression… This free exchange of ideas is not to be deplored as long as men and women remain humble and teachable. Neither fear of consequence or any kind of coercion should ever be used to secure uniformity of thought in the church. People should express their problems and opinions and be unafraid to think without fear of ill consequences. … We must preserve freedom of the mind in the church and resist all efforts to suppress it.”

— Hugh B. Brown

“I did not like the old man being called up for erring in doctrine. It looks too much like the Methodist, and not like the Latter-day Saints. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be asked out of their church. I want the liberty of thinking and believing as I please. It feels so good not to be trammeled. It does not prove that a man is not a good man because he errs in doctrine.”

— Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 5:340

“If we have the truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed.”

– President J. Reuben Clark

“…regardless of your circumstances, your personal history, or the strength of your testimony, there is room for you in this Church.”

— President Dieter Uchtdorf

“I think you’d be as aware as I am that that we have many people who are members of the church who do not have some burning conviction as to [the origins of the Book of Mormon], who have some other feeling about it that is not as committed to foundational statements and the premises of Mormonism. But we’re not going to invite somebody out of the church over that any more than we would anything else about degrees of belief or steps of hope or steps of conviction. … We would say: “This is the way I see it, and this is the faith I have; this is the foundation on which I’m going forward. If I can help you work toward that I’d be glad to, but I don’t love you less; I don’t distance you more; I don’t say you’re unacceptable to me as a person or even as a Latter-day Saint if you can’t make that step or move to the beat of that drum.” … We really don’t want to sound smug. We don’t want to seem uncompromising and insensitive.”

– Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

“Let us have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval. Courage becomes a living and an attractive virtue when it is regarded not only as a willingness to die manfully, but as the determination to live decently. A moral coward is one who is afraid to do what he thinks is right because others will disapprove or laugh. Remember that all men have their fears, but those who face their fears with dignity have courage as well.”

– Thomas S. Monson, “Courage Counts,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, 41.

“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. Brigham Young said: ‘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 [1941], 135). In this manner no one need be deceived.”

– James E. Faust, “The Truth Shall Make You Free,” Ensign, September 1998

“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?”

– Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Acting on the Truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Worldwide Leadership Training, 2/11/12

“In this Church there is an enormous amount of room—and scriptural commandment—for studying and learning, for comparing and considering, for discussion and awaiting further revelation. We all learn ‘line upon line, precept upon precept,’ with the goal being authentic religious faith informing genuine Christlike living. In this there is no place for coercion or manipulation, no place for intimidation or hypocrisy.”

– Jeffrey R. Holland, “A Prayer for the Children,” Ensign, May 2003

“Some are lost because they are different. They feel as though they don’t belong. Perhaps because they are different, they find themselves slipping away from the flock. They may look, act, think, and speak differently than those around them and that sometimes causes them to assume they don’t fit in. They conclude that they are not needed.  Tied to this misconception is the erroneous belief that all members of the Church should look, talk, and be alike. The Lord did not people the earth with a vibrant orchestra of personalities only to value the piccolos of the world. Every instrument is precious and adds to the complex beauty of the symphony. All of Heavenly Father’s children are different in some degree, yet each has his own beautiful sound that adds depth and richness to the whole. This variety of creation itself is a testament of how the Lord values all His children. He does not esteem one flesh above another, but He “inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; … all are alike unto God.”

– Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Concern for the One,” Ensign, May 2008

“Sometimes, well-meaning amplifications of divine principles—many coming from uninspired sources—complicate matters further, diluting the purity of divine truth with man-made addenda. One person’s good idea—something that may work for him or her—takes root and becomes an expectation. And gradually, eternal principles can get lost within the labyrinth of “good ideas.”  This was one of the Savior’s criticisms of the religious “experts” of His day, whom He chastised for attending to the hundreds of minor details of the law while neglecting the weightier matters…Because love is the great commandment, it ought to be at the center of all and everything we do in our own family, in our Church callings, and in our livelihood. Love is the healing balm that repairs rifts in personal and family relationships. It is the bond that unites families, communities, and nations. Love is the power that initiates friendship, tolerance, civility, and respect. It is the source that overcomes divisiveness and hate. Love is the fire that warms our lives with unparalleled joy and divine hope. Love should be our walk and our talk.”

– Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Love of God,” Ensign, November 2009

“Some members exclude from their circle of fellowship those who are different. When our actions or words discourage someone from taking full advantage of Church membership, we fail them–and the Lord. The Church is made stronger as we include every member and strengthen one another in service and love.”

– Jeffrey R. Holland, “Helping Those Who Struggle with Same-Gender Attraction,” Liahona, October 2007

“We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark that they would do anything they were told to do by those who preside over them (even) 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 not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God would despise the idea. Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty authority have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the saints were told to do by their presidents, they should do it without any questions. When the Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their hearts to do wrong themselves.”

– Joseph Smith, Millennial Star, Vol. 14, Num. 38, pp.593-595

“More thinking is required, and we should all exercise our God-given right to think and be unafraid to express our opinions, with proper respect for those to whom we talk and proper acknowledgment of our own shortcomings. We must preserve freedom of the mind in the church and resist all efforts to suppress it. The church is not so much concerned with whether the thoughts of its members are orthodox or heterodox as it is that they shall have thoughts.”

– Hugh B. Brown, “A Final Testimony,” Edward B. Firmage, The Memoirs of Hugh B. Brown: An Abundant Life, Signature Books, Salt Lake City, 1988, pg. 135-140  http://www.sciencemeetsreligion.org/lds/brown-final.php

“But while the Atonement is meant to help us all become more like Christ, it is not meant to make us all the same. Sometimes we confuse differences in personality with sin. We can even make the mistake of thinking that because someone is different from us, it must mean they are not pleasing to God. This line of thinking leads some to believe that the Church wants to create every member from a single mold—that each one should look, feel, think, and behave like every other. This would contradict the genius of God, who created every man different from his brother, every son different from his father. Even identical twins are not identical in their personalities and spiritual identities.  It also contradicts the intent and purpose of the Church of Jesus Christ, which acknowledges and protects the moral agency—with all its far-reaching consequences—of each and every one of God’s children. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are united in our testimony of the restored gospel and our commitment to keep God’s commandments. But we are diverse in our cultural, social, and political preferences.  The Church thrives when we take advantage of this diversity and encourage each other to develop and use our talents to lift and strengthen our fellow disciples.”

– Dieter F. Uchtdorf April 2013, “Four Titles”

“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.”

– Joseph Smith, Jr., Letter from Joseph Smith to Isaac Galland, Mar. 22, 1839, Liberty Jail, Liberty, Missouri, published in Times and Seasons, Feb. 1840, pp. 53–54

“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.”

– Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young. Selected by John A. Widtsoe. 1941.

14 Responses to Are there any quotes from LDS Church leaders which either support or inspire you?

  1. Trudi
    June 27, 2014 at 9:58 am

    This is priceless. Some of the best minds and hearts of the restoration, living and dead, are speaking for you and everyone else who accepts the truth that we cannot grow line up on line and precept upon precept to become like God until we explore. To think we know everything is to ignore the truth that the only human beings God can teach are, well, those who are teachable.

  2. Darlene Nicholes
    June 27, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Oh, perfect, John. Oh my, it’s all about what’s happening right now. Thanks for being you.

  3. John Peterson
    June 27, 2014 at 10:12 am

    “His whole talk was about how skeptical he had always been about the gospel. He said he had never believed it for most of his life and was very skeptical. And of course, he was made an apostle, and he was an apostle at that time. He did believe it, we assumed. He showed a side of skepticism, at least different from all the others. I don’t think the others had ever been as skeptical as he was…When he was made an apostle, a lot of people were shocked. ‘David Mckay, an Apostle?’ Because he had been quite open and honest in expressing his doubts about things.”

    – Hugh Nibley, describing a talk David O. Mckay gave regarding his own doubts.

    • June 27, 2014 at 10:27 am

      John – Source?

      • Brent Seavers
        June 27, 2014 at 1:25 pm

        I don’t know if this will help, but I found the quote online in a book called, “David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism” By Gregory A. Prince, top of pg.7. The footnoted source only says “Hugh Nibley interview” so perhaps this is content that G. Price obtained directly from H. Nibley?

  4. emig
    June 27, 2014 at 10:26 am

    “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.
    “Brigham Young said: ‘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 [1941], 135). In this manner no one need be deceived.” (James E. Faust, “The Truth Shall Make You Free,” Ensign, September 1998)

    “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?” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Acting on the Truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Worldwide Leadership Training, 2/11/12)

    “In this Church there is an enormous amount of room—and scriptural commandment—for studying and learning, for comparing and considering, for discussion and awaiting further revelation. We all learn ‘line upon line, precept upon precept,’ with the goal being authentic religious faith informing genuine Christlike living. In this there is no place for coercion or manipulation, no place for intimidation or hypocrisy.” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “A Prayer for the Children,” Ensign, May 2003)

    “Some are lost because they are different. They feel as though they don’t belong. Perhaps because they are different, they find themselves slipping away from the flock. They may look, act, think, and speak differently than those around them and that sometimes causes them to assume they don’t fit in. They conclude that they are not needed.
    “Tied to this misconception is the erroneous belief that all members of the Church should look, talk, and be alike. The Lord did not people the earth with a vibrant orchestra of personalities only to value the piccolos of the world. Every instrument is precious and adds to the complex beauty of the symphony. All of Heavenly Father’s children are different in some degree, yet each has his own beautiful sound that adds depth and richness to the whole.
    “This variety of creation itself is a testament of how the Lord values all His children. He does not esteem one flesh above another, but He “inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; … all are alike unto God.” (Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Concern for the One,” Ensign, May 2008)

    “Sometimes, well-meaning amplifications of divine principles—many coming from uninspired sources—complicate matters further, diluting the purity of divine truth with man-made addenda. One person’s good idea—something that may work for him or her—takes root and becomes an expectation. And gradually, eternal principles can get lost within the labyrinth of “good ideas.”
    “This was one of the Savior’s criticisms of the religious “experts” of His day, whom He chastised for attending to the hundreds of minor details of the law while neglecting the weightier matters…
    “Because love is the great commandment, it ought to be at the center of all and everything we do in our own family, in our Church callings, and in our livelihood. Love is the healing balm that repairs rifts in personal and family relationships. It is the bond that unites families, communities, and nations. Love is the power that initiates friendship, tolerance, civility, and respect. It is the source that overcomes divisiveness and hate. Love is the fire that warms our lives with unparalleled joy and divine hope. Love should be our walk and our talk.” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Love of God,” Ensign, November 2009)

    “Some members exclude from their circle of fellowship those who are different. When our actions or words discourage someone from taking full advantage of Church membership, we fail them–and the Lord. The Church is made stronger as we include every member and strengthen one another in service and love.” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “Helping Those Who Struggle with Same-Gender Attraction,” Liahona, October 2007)

    “We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark that they would do anything they were told to do by those who preside over them (even) 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 not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God would despise the idea. Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty authority have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the saints were told to do by their presidents, they should do it without any questions. When the Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their hearts to do wrong themselves.” (Joseph Smith, Millennial Star, Vol. 14, Num. 38, pp.593-595)

    “More thinking is required, and we should all exercise our God-given right to think and be unafraid to express our opinions, with proper respect for those to whom we talk and proper acknowledgment of our own shortcomings. We must preserve freedom of the mind in the church and resist all efforts to suppress it. The church is not so much concerned with whether the thoughts of its members are orthodox or heterodox as it is that they shall have thoughts.” (Hugh B. Brown, “A Final Testimony,” Edward B. Firmage, The Memoirs of Hugh B. Brown: An Abundant Life, Signature Books, Salt Lake City, 1988, pg. 135-140 http://www.sciencemeetsreligion.org/lds/brown-final.php)

  5. Daniel Bride
    June 27, 2014 at 11:15 am

    “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.” Joseph Smith, Jr. (Letter from Joseph Smith to Isaac Galland, Mar. 22, 1839, Liberty Jail, Liberty, Missouri, published in Times and Seasons, Feb. 1840, pp. 53–54)

    “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.” Brigham Young (Discourses of Brigham Young. Selected by John A. Widtsoe. 1941.)

  6. Rose
    June 27, 2014 at 11:18 am

    But while the Atonement is meant to help us all become more like Christ, it is not meant to make us all the same. Sometimes we confuse differences in personality with sin. We can even make the mistake of thinking that because someone is different from us, it must mean they are not pleasing to God. This line of thinking leads some to believe that the Church wants to create every member from a single mold—that each one should look, feel, think, and behave like every other. This would contradict the genius of God, who created every man different from his brother, every son different from his father. Even identical twins are not identical in their personalities and spiritual identities.

    It also contradicts the intent and purpose of the Church of Jesus Christ, which acknowledges and protects the moral agency—with all its far-reaching consequences—of each and every one of God’s children. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are united in our testimony of the restored gospel and our commitment to keep God’s commandments. But we are diverse in our cultural, social, and political preferences.

    The Church thrives when we take advantage of this diversity and encourage each other to develop and use our talents to lift and strengthen our fellow disciples.

    Dieter F. Uchtdorf April 2013 “Four Titles”

  7. Kinglamoni
    June 27, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Beautiful quotes. I new deep down you had a soft spot for Joseph Smith. Going threw what you are now, having all manner of things said about you. Does it effect your perspective on Joseph?

  8. Sker
    June 27, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    We should gather all the good and true principles in the world
    and treasure them up, or we shall not come out true “Mormons.”
    -Joseph Smith (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 316)

  9. Rio Cruz
    June 30, 2014 at 7:51 am

    I hope you shared these quotes with your stake president!

  10. MajJohnButtrick
    July 1, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    In response to the quote “When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done.”, Pres. George Albert Smith said:
    “The leaflet to which you refer, and from which you quote in your letter, was not “prepared” by “one of our leaders.” However, one or more of them inadvertently permitted the paragraph to pass uncensored. By their so doing, not a few members of the Church have been upset in their feelings, and General Authorities have been embarrassed.

    I am pleased to assure you that you are right in your attitude that the passage quoted does not express the true position of the Church. Even to imply that members of the Church are not to do their own thinking is grossly to misrepresent the true ideal of the Church, which is that every individual must obtain for himself a testimony of the truth of the Gospel, must, through the redemption of Jesus Christ, work out his own salvation, and is personally responsible to His Maker for his individual acts. The Lord Himself does not attempt coercion in His desire and effort to give peace and salvation to His children. He gives the principles of life and true progress, but leaves every person free to choose or to reject His teachings. This plan the Authorities of the Church try to follow.

    The Prophet Joseph Smith once said: “I want liberty of thinking and believing as I please.” This liberty he and his successors in the leadership of the Church have granted to every other member thereof.

    On one occasion in answer to the question by a prominent visitor how he governed his people, the Prophet answered: “I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.”

    Again, as recorded in the History of the Church (Volume 5, page 498 [499] Joseph Smith said further: “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.”

    I cite these few quotations, from many that might be given, merely to confirm your good and true opinion that the Church gives to every man his free agency, and admonishes him always to use the reason and good judgment with which God has blessed him.”

  11. SLSDM
    August 18, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    “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.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 4: 368)

    “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, Journal of Discourses 3: 45)

    “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, Journal of Discources 16: 248)

    “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 W. Penrose, Millennial Star 54: 191)

    “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… The only way I know of by which the teachings of any person or group may become binding on the church as a whole 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 of the Lord and given new emphasis – perhaps even a new explanation or interpretation – of church doctrine, but that does not become binding on 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 bound only by the four standard works and are not required to defend what any man or woman says outside of them.”
    Hugh B Brown, 1st Counselor in the 1st Presidency

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