Mormon Quotes

Church history

George A. Smith
We are doing a great business in the tea, coffee and tobacco in the Co‑operative Store. When we first established it we thought we would not sell tobacco at all; but pretty soon the Superintendent asked the Directors if he might not bring in some poor kind of tobacco to kill the ticks on the sheep. It was very soon discovered that unless they sold tobacco, so many Latter‑day Saints used it, that a successful opposition could be run against them on the tobacco trade alone, and they had to commence it, I believe, under the plea that it was brought on to kill the ticks on sheep. Shame on such Latter‑day Saints, so far as tobacco is concerned.
George A. Smith, Journal of Discourses 16:238 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Boyd K. Packer
[Church history] if not properly written or properly taught,... may be a faith destroyer... The writer or teacher who has an exaggerated loyalty to the theory that everything must be told is laying a foundation for his own judgment.... The Lord made it very clear that some things are to be taught selectively and some things are to be given only to those who are worthy.
Boyd K. Packer, Boyd K. Packer, "The Mantle is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect," reprinted in BYU Studies, v. 21, no. 3, 1981, pp. 259‑277
Boyd K. Packer
There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not. Some things that are true are not very useful.
Boyd K. Packer, The Mantle is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect, Fifth Annual Church Educational System Religious Educators' Symposium, Brigham Young University, 22 August, 1981
Boyd K. Packer
I have come to believe that it is the tendency for many members of the Church who spend a great deal of time in academic research to begin to judge the Church, its doctrine, organization, and leadership, present and past, by the principles of their own profession. Ofttimes this is done unwittingly, and some of it, perhaps, is not harmful. It is an easy thing for a man with extensive academic training to measure the Church using the principles he has been taught in his professional training as his standard. In my mind it ought to be the other way around. A member of the Church ought always, particularly if he is pursuing extensive academic studies, to judge the professions of man against the revealed word of the Lord. Many disciplines are subject to this danger. Over the years I have seen many members of the Church lose their testimonies and yield their faith as the price for academic achievement. Many others have been sorely tested.
Boyd K. Packer, The Mantle is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect, Brigham Young University, August 22, 1981
Boyd K. Packer
One who chooses to follow the tenets of his profession, regardless of how they may injure the Church or destroy the faith of those not ready for 'advanced history', is himself in spiritual jeopardy. If that one is a member of the Church, he has broken his covenants and will be held accountable.
Boyd K. Packer, The Mantle Is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect
Millennial Star
The Seer, the "Great First Cause," and certain articles by Orson Pratt on the Holy Spirit were disowned by the Church. The people of the Church were asked to destroy his questionable writings.
Millennial Star, Millennial Star, v. 27, p. 698, Nov. 1865
Dallin H. Oaks
Satan can even use truth to promote his purposes. Facts, severed from their context, can convey an erroneous impression.
Dallin H. Oaks, "Reading Church History," speech delivered at the Ninth Annual Church Educational System Religious Educators' Symposium, BYU
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
James D. Bales
What does it all add up to? Does it merely mean that one of the 'finds' which the Latter‑day Saints believed supported the Book of Mormon does not support it, and that there is no real blow dealt to the prophetship of Joseph Smith? Not at all, for as Charles A. Shook well observed in a personal letter to the author 'Only a bogus prophet translates bogus plates.' Where we can check up on Smith as a translator of plates, he is found guilty of deception. How can we trust him with reference to his claims about the Book of Mormon? If we cannot trust him where we can check him, we cannot trust him where we cannot check his translation... Smith tried to deceive people into thinking that he had translated some of the plates. The plates had no such message as Smith claimed that they had. Smith is thus shown to be willing to deceive people into thinking that he had power to do something that could not be done.
James D. Bales, James D. Bales, The Book of Mormon?, pp. 98‑99
Dale W. Adams
A writ was sworn out by authorities in Kirtland accusing Smith and Rigdon of "illegal banking and issuing unauthorized bank paper."
Dale W. Adams, Dale W. Adams, "Chartering the Kirtland Bank," BYU Studies, Fall 1983, v. 23, p. 472
Richard Abanes
They were found guilty of violating state banking laws and fined $1,000 each, plus small costs. As Mormon historian B.H. Roberts concisely stated in his history of the church, "The Kirtland Safety Society enterprise ended disastrously."
Richard Abanes, Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, p. 139
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
Stanley P. Kimball
A recent electronic and chemical analysis of a metal plate... brought in 1843 to the Prophet Joseph Smith... appears to solve a previously unanswered question in Church history, helping to further evidence that the plate is what its producers later said it was — a nineteenth‑century attempt to lure Joseph Smith into making a translation of ancient‑looking characters that had been etched into the plates.... As a result of these tests, we concluded that the plate... is not of ancient origin.... the plate was etched with acid; and as Paul Cheesman and other scholars have pointed out, ancient inhabitants would probably have engraved the plates rather than etched them with acid. Secondly, we concluded that the plate was made from a true brass alloy (copper and zinc) typical of the mid nineteenth century: whereas the 'brass' of ancient times was actually bronze, an alloy of copper and tin.
Stanley P. Kimball, Stanley P. Kimball, Mormon scholar, The Ensign, Aug. 1981, pp. 66‑70
Bryan Waterman
The Mormon tradition of celebrating the church's educational endeavors has some roots in pre‑Utah Mormon history, but dates most certainly from turn‑of‑the‑century debates over public schooling in Utah territory. When church leaders realized that the non‑Mormons among them had enough political power to make public schooling inevitable, they threw their weight into the public school movement and launched a public relations campaign to portray Mormons as "friends of education." In the early 1890s, following the church's disavowal of polygamy, leaders invited a number of prominent American educators, such as Harvard president Charles Eliot, to Utah to see for themselves if Mormonism's success depended on ignorant masses, as newspapers of the day claimed. Forgetting that Utah's public schools would not have existed without "gentile" (non‑Mormon) prodding, church leaders welcomed the praise the state's schools received during a 1913 National Education Association conference in Salt Lake City. In 1915 Mormons marked the entrance to Utah's exhibit at the Panama‑Pacific Exposition in San Francisco with Brigham Young's aphorism: "Education is the power to think clearly; the power to act well in the world's work, and the power to appreciate life." The church's reputation also benefitted from attention given to the "Utah Plan," a model educational system ("social uplift with a vengeance," in one historian's view) for the national Progressive Education movement in the 1920s. By the 1947 centennial of the Mormon pioneers' entry into the Salt Lake Valley, high claims for Mormon education (or Utah education) were commonplace among church members; mid‑twentieth‑century Mormon leaders pointed to LDS and Utah educational success as a sign of the church's divine nature, claiming that "the Latter‑day Saints present a picture of educational achievement second to none in Ame
Bryan Waterman, The Lord's University: Freedom and Authority at BYU, December 15, 1998
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"
Thomas S. Monson
Sister Harris was faithful to the agreement, but Sister Marsh, desiring to make some especially delicious cheese, saved a pint of strippings from each cow and sent Sister Harris the milk without the strippings. This caused the two women to quarrel. When they could not settle their differences, the matter was referred to the home teachers to settle. They found Elizabeth Marsh guilty of failure to keep her agreement. She and her husband were upset with the decision, and the matter was then referred to the bishop for a Church trial. The bishop's court decided that the strippings were wrongfully saved and that Sister Marsh had violated her covenant with Sister Harris. Thomas Marsh appealed to the high council, and the men comprising this council confirmed the bishop's decision. He then appealed to the First Presidency of the Church. Joseph Smith and his counselors considered the case and upheld the decision of the high council. Elder Thomas B. Marsh, who sided with his wife through all of this, became angrier with each successive decision so angry, in fact, that he went before a magistrate and swore that the Mormons were hostile toward the state of Missouri. His affidavit led to or at least was a factor in Governor Lilburn Boggs's cruel extermination order, which resulted in over 15,000 Saints being driven from their homes, with all the terrible suffering and consequent death that followed. All of this occurred because of a disagreement over the exchange of milk and cream.
Thomas S. Monson, "School Thy Feelings, O My Brother"
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