Mormon Quotes

Censorship

Boyd K. Packer
Remember: when you see the bitter apostate, you do not see only an absence of light, you see also the presence of darkness. Do not spread disease germs.
Boyd K. Packer, "The Mantle is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect," speech given August 1981 at BYU, Brigham Young University Studies, Summer 1981
Dallin H. Oaks
My duty as a member of the Council of the Twelve is to protect what is most unique about the LDS church, namely the authority of priesthood, testimony regarding the restoration of the gospel, and the divine mission of the Savior. Everything may be sacrificed in order to maintain the integrity of those essential facts. Thus, if Mormon Enigma reveals information that is detrimental to the reputation of Joseph Smith, then it is necessary to try to limit its influence and that of its authors.
Dallin H. Oaks, Apostle Dallin Oaks, footnote 28, Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith: Psychobiography and the Book of Mormon, Introduction p. xliii
Merrill J. Bateman
Although we want to ensure that every faculty member has the right to discuss and analyze as broadly and widely as possible any topic, including religious topics, including fundamental doctrine of the church, we do not believe they have‑‑they should be able to publicly endorse positions contrary to doctrine, or to attack the doctrine.
Merrill J. Bateman, BYU President Merrill J. Bateman, interview quoted in Mormon America, by Richard and Joan Ostling, pp. 235‑236
Alan Wilkins
We should not hire people who are a threat to the religious faith of our students or a critic of the Church and its leaders.
Alan Wilkins, BYU hiring process memo leak, see 'BYU Tightens Faculty Hiring Process,' Sunstone, 16:8, no. 94, February 1994, p. 79
Eugene England
I'm pretty pessimistic because it seems like things are just getting narrower and narrower. It's beginning to affect the students.
Eugene England, Eugene England, Dialogue founder, 'An Interview with Eugene England,' Student Review, April 10, 1998, p. 10‑11
D. Michael Quinn
Academic freedom exists at BYU only for what is considered non‑controversial by the university's Board of Trustees and administrators. By those definitions, academic freedom has always existed at Soviet universities (even during the Stalin era).
D. Michael Quinn, D. Michael Quinn to F. Lamond Tullis, August 29, 1988, in 'On Being a Mormon Historian,' p. 94
D. Michael Quinn
One of [J. Reuben Clark's] "fundamental rules" was "that I never read anything that I know is going to make me mad, unless I have to read it. To this rule I have added another, which is applicable here: I read only as time permits materials which merely support my own views." This stunned fellow lawyer Wilkinson to whom he wrote this explanation, "You do not have to get very far down in any article before you can tell whether or not the fellow is writing or saying something that is generally along the line of your own beliefs." More often he did not bother to read publications before dismissing their significance. Thus, he could draft a two‑page list of general criticisms about Fawn M. Brodie's biography of Joseph Smith and write a proposed review of the book even though he had not read it. In this letter to his brother Frank, Reuben explained that he circulated his proposed review among trusted friends "who have read the book." They told him that his sight‑unseen evaluation "more or less characterizes the whole treatment" in Brodie's No Man Knows My History. For example, his proposed review stated: "While the book seems popularly to be appraised as a chronicle of new and hitherto unpublished documents giving a true picture of the Prophet Joseph, the fact is it is almost wholly a rehash of charges against the Prophet that began to be made over a hundred years ago, which, being then discarded, were buried as base falsehoods. Since then they have from time to time been dug up and paraded again, only to be reburied because again found false. They are now dug up again and re‑paraded from motives that are quite apparent from the book itself. ... There is very little material used or cited that has not been already published. The book has a veneer of pseudo‑scholarship." That was a remarkable set of observations by someone who had not actually read the book he was formally reviewing.
D. Michael Quinn, Elder Statesman: A Biography of J. Reuben Clark
D. Michael Quinn
B.H. Roberts, a seventy, had problems directly involved with the writings of Church history. In November 1910, Church President Joseph F. Smith told the Salt Lake Temple fast meeting that Elder Roberts doubted that Joseph had actually received a priesthood restoration from John the Baptist. Church president Heber J. Grant also required B.H. Roberts to censor some documents in the seventh volume of the History of the Church. Elder Roberts was furious. 'I desire, however to take this occasion of disclaiming any responsibility for the mutilating of that very important part of President Young's manuscript,' Roberts replied to President Grant in August 1932, 'and also to say, that while you had the physical power of eliminating that passage from the History, I do not believe you had any moral right to do so.'
D. Michael Quinn, Dr. Michael Quinn, Mormon scholar, Sunstone, February 1992, pp. 13‑14
Wesley P. Lloyd
Richard Lyman spoke up and ask[ed] if there were things that would help our prestige and when Bro. Roberts answered no, he said then why discuss them. This attitude was too much for the historically minded Roberts...
Wesley P. Lloyd, Private Journal of Wesley P. Lloyd, Aug. 7, 1933
Peter Bart
[BYU is] a place where no one is allowed to drink or smoke; where sex is outlawed for everyone but married couples; where public figures like Senator Edward Kennedy and former first lady Betty Ford have been prevented from speaking on campus and films like The Godfather deemed unfit for student viewing; where a boy was brought to trial for looking up a girl's skirt in the library stacks (the girl never noticed, but a security man did); and where gays are not only systematically expelled but, until recent years, were even subjected occasionally to electroshock therapy to treat their 'affliction.'
Peter Bart, Peter Bart, 'Prigging Out,' Rolling Stone, April 14, 1983, p. 89
Thomas A. Clawson
At Special Priesthood meeting at which the official statement of the First Presidency regarding the teachings of Adam‑God is presented, Prest. Jos. F. Smith then said that he was in full accord with what Prest. Penrose had said and that Prest. Brigham Young when he delivered that sermon only expressed his own views and that they were not corroborated by the word of the Lord in the stand works of the Church. The Bible, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price and Doctrine and Covenants were voted upon by the Church convened in a Conference and organized in various Quorums of the Priesthood who voted by Quorums after which the body of the Church were asked to vote to sustain the above books as the Standards of the Church.... That those Patriarchs who persisted in teaching these things and did not stop when told to do so should be handled by their Bishops and their names sent up to the High Councils for further action and be cut off.
Thomas A. Clawson, Journal of Thomas A. Clawson, 1912‑1917 Book, pp. 69‑70, April 8, 1912
Sterling M. McMurrin
Yes, and church leaders still bring it up whenever they're inaugurating a president at BYU or Ricks. It quite clearly lays down the law on matters of academic freedom in church institutions: there is to be no freedom in matters pertaining to religion and morals. Clark laid it out very firmly.
Sterling M. McMurrin, Matters of Conscience
Bryan Waterman
[The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Economist both] pointed out the unusual nature of the campus demonstrations, which included not only public protests, but also spray‑painted graffiti ("Farr should teach here" was scrawled across a south campus stairwell) and a large swastika burned into the administration building's carefully manicured lawn. (Student organizers denied responsibility.)
Bryan Waterman, The Lord's University: Freedom and Authority at BYU, December 15, 1998
Bryan Waterman
The student protest came in response to morning headlines announcing the firings of two controversial but popular faculty members: Cecilia Konchar Farr, an English professor who had reportedly upset church leaders and much of the BYU community with her public pro‑choice activism, and David Knowlton, an anthropology professor specializing in Latin American studies, who had critiqued the LDS church's American image in South America, pointing out reasons the church's full‑time proselytizing missionaries—most of whom come from the United States—were common targets for terrorists.
Bryan Waterman, The Lord's University: Freedom and Authority at BYU, December 15, 1998
J. Reuben Clark
I said [to him that] I assumed that he would not print, that is, was not proposing to print the sermons of the other [deceased] brethren, that is, the early brethren, on such matters as the Adam‑God theory, so‑called, and the sermons on plural marriage. He said that was his idea. I said that I personally[,] and I thought the other brethren [of the current First Presidency] agreed with me, felt it would be unwise to issue a Journal of Discourses with those sermons omitted[‑‑]inasmuch as that would give the [Fundamentalist] cultists an opportunity for attack which might increase our present difficulties instead of mollifying them. ... I mentioned the fact that the title he had given to the collection "Sound Doctrine," implied that there was other doctrine [in the Journal of Discourses] that was unsound and that perhaps it would not be wise to give forth that implication. He seemed to agree with that idea. ... I said I felt that we were having a great many books published now by some of the leading Brethren; that these books did not always express all the sentiment of the other Brethren, at least some of them, and might be contrary to it; he admitted that. I also called attention to the fact that it would have been better if he had conferred with the Brethren before he began the printing of his book, instead of afterward, and he admitted that that was a mistake which he had made.
J. Reuben Clark, Exchange with Bruce R. McConkie, recorded in the office diary of J. Reuben Clark, 16 Mar. 1956
J. Reuben Clark
[We'll develop BYU's School of Theology] only for the purpose of developing and demonstrating the truth of the Restored Gospel and the falsity of the other religions of the world, and thereby up build the faith and knowledge of post‑graduate scholars.
J. Reuben Clark, Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, and David O. McKay to Committee on Publications (Joseph Fielding Smith, John A. Widtsoe, Harold B. Lee, and Marion G. Romney), 9 Aug. 1944
J. Reuben Clark
The function of this Committee is to pass upon and approve all materials, other than those that are purely secular, to be used by our Church Priesthood, Educational, Auxiliary, and Missionary organizations in their work of instructing members of the Church in the principles of the Gospel and in leading others to a knowledge of the Truth. To meet such required standards for use by Church organizations, such materials must: (1) Clearly set forth or be fully consistent with the principles of the restored Gospel. (2) Be wholly free from any taint of sectarianism and also of all theories and conclusions destructive of faith in the simple truths of the Restored Gospel, and especially be free from the teachings of the so‑called "higher criticism." Worldly knowledge and speculation have their place; but they must yield to revealed truth. (3) Be so framed and written as affirmatively to breed faith and not raise doubts. "Rationalizing" may be most destructive of faith. That the Finite cannot fully explain the Infinite casts no doubt upon the Infinite. Truth, not error, must be stressed. (4) Be so built in form and substance as to lead to definite conclusions that accord with the principles of the Restored Gospel which conclusions must be expressed and not left to possible deduction by the students. When truth is involved there is no place for student preference or choice. Youth must be taught that truth cannot be blinked or put aside, it must be accepted. (5) Be filled with a spirit of deepest reverence. They should give no place for the slightest levity. They should be so written that those who teach from and by them will so understand. (6) Be so organized and written that the matter may be effectively taught by men and women untrained in teaching without the background equipment given by such fields of learning as psychology, pedagogy, philosophy and ethics. The great bulk of our teachers are in the untrained group.
J. Reuben Clark, First Presidency's 1944 letter on the Literature Censorship Committee, later renamed the Committee on Publications
J. Reuben Clark
[Unless the organization drops its support of Dale L. Morgan's history of Mormonism,] the Guggenheim Foundation and the Guggenheim interests [would come] into ill repute in this area [referring to the Kennecott copper mine].
J. Reuben Clark, Thomas G. Alexander, "Utah, the Right Place,"; also Leonard J. Arrington, "A History of Bingham Copper Mine"
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