Mormon Quotes

Disciplinary action

Brigham Young
I say, rather than that apostates should flourish here, I will unsheath [sic] my bowie knife, and conquer or die! [Great commotion in the congregation, and a simultaneous burst of feeling, assenting to the declaration] Now, you nasty apostates, clear out, or judgment will be put to the line, and righteousness to the plummet! [Voices, generally, 'go it, go it.'] If you say it is right, raise your hands! [All hands up.] Let us call upon the Lord to assist us in this, and every good work!
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 1:83 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Brigham Young
Make them soap‑boilers and kitchen flunkeys, we are not going to send them into hell fire, for it takes a good Latter‑day Saint apostatized to get down that deep (did I say bottomless?) pit. A person, to become an angel of the Devil, has first to be a good Saint, and then deny the Lord who bought him.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 8:179 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Wilford Woodruff
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
Wilford Woodruff
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
Gordon B. Hinckley
I think you'll find our women are very happy now. We have a dissident now and again, somebody who speaks out very sharply, very strongly. But that's very unusual. Statistically it's such a very small item that you'd hardly reckon with it.... They're outspoken. They speak up. They feel strongly about it. That's their prerogative. They talk about it a good deal, and we've heard what they've had to say. We've heard it again and again. We feel they're not right. We let them go forward with what they're doing. If they speak out against the church in a strong, vigorous way, then possibly some action will be taken.
Gordon B. Hinckley, Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, interview with Richard Ostling, in Mormon America, by Richard and Joan Ostling, p. 364
Boyd K. Packer
Save for those few who defect to perdition after having known a fulness [sic], there is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no offense exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness.
Boyd K. Packer, "The Brilliant Morning of Forgiveness"
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
Melvin J. Ballard
Any man or woman who has heard the Gospel and rejected it — not only those in the days of Noah, but any man or woman in this day who has had a good chance to receive and embrace the Gospel and enjoy its blessings and privileges, but who has been indifferent to these things, ignoring and neglecting them — such a person need not hope or anticipate that when he is dead the work can be done for him and he can gain celestial glory. Don't you Latter‑day Saints get the notion that a man can live in defiance or total indifference, having had a good chance — not just a casual chance or opportunity — to accept the Gospel and that when he dies you can go and do the work for him and have him receive every blessing that the faithful ones are entitled to.
Melvin J. Ballard, Crusader for Righteousness, p. 221
Heber C. Kimball
I have not a doubt but there will be hundreds who will leave us and go away to our enemies. I wish they would go this fall: it might relieve us from much trouble; for if men turn traitors to God and His Servants, their blood will surely be shed, or else they will be damned, and that too according to their covenants.
Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses 4:375 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Dallin H. Oaks
"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
Dallin H. Oaks
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
First Presidency
The Church strongly discourages artificial insemination using semen from anyone but the husband. However, this is a personal matter that ultimately must be left to the judgment of the husband and wife. Responsibility for the decision rests solely upon them. Artificial insemination of single sisters is not approved. Single sisters who deliberately refuse to follow the counsel of Church leaders in this matter are subject to Church discipline.
First Presidency, Church Handbook of Instructions, section 21.4.3
First Presidency
The Lord's law of chastity is abstinence from sexual relations outside of lawful marriage and fidelity within marriage. Sexual relations are proper only between a man and a woman who are legally and lawfully wedded as husband and wife. Adultery, fornication, homosexual or lesbian relations, and every other unholy, unnatural, or impure practice are sinful. Members who violate the Lord's law of chastity or who influence others to do so are subject to Church discipline.
First Presidency, The Church Handbook of Instructions, section 21.4.5
Salt Lake Tribune
Douglas A. Wallace was excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter‑day Saints Sunday for ordaining a black man into the church's priesthood.
Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake Tribune, April 13, 1976
Salt Lake Tribune
After reading in person a 23‑page letter detailing his concerns, [George P.] Lee said he was astounded at the speed with which he was ousted. Within minutes, two officials came to his office and told him to turn over all church property, including a credit card and a signed pass with which faithful Mormons gain entry to their temples. 'I was stripped of everything,' said Lee... 'It was just absolutely cold.'
Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake Tribune, September 10, 1989, p. 14B
Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake City police officers admitted Thursday that the accidental wounding of an undercover officer occurred during surveillance of Mormon dissident Douglas A. Wallace [who was excommunicated from the church for giving the Priesthood to a black man].
Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake Tribune, Sept. 17, 1977
Salt Lake Tribune
Douglas A. Wallace was excommunicated from the LDS church for giving the priesthood to a black man. Wallace claimed that the Mormon Church: 'was behind April police surveillance... that led to the accidental shooting of a Salt Lake City police officer.'
Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake Tribune, Sept. 17, 1977
Sidney Rigdon
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
Armand Mauss
My plea, then to the civil rights organizations and to all critics of the Mormon Church is: get off our backs! ... agitation over the 'Negro issue' by non‑Mormon groups, or even by Mormon liberals, is likely simply to increase the resistance to change.
Armand Mauss, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Winter 1967, pp. 38‑39
Daniel C. Peterson
There aren't many [reasons for excommunication], really. Flat out saying Joseph Smith was a liar, I think, yeah, there's no reason for you to be a Latter‑day Saint. ... It gets a little fuzzier after that. Advocating a nonhistorical Book of Mormon, for example, advocating it in the church, I'd probably say you can't do that. If you believe it privately, that's your business. ... If they're not talking about it, if they're not advocating it, then I would say leave them alone. Work with them, if nothing else, but leave them alone. So I don't see a really clear line there. Obviously there's no room in the church for, say, a vibrant Mormon atheist movement or something like that. ...
Daniel C. Peterson, PBS, The Mormons
John D. Lee
Punishment by death is the penalty for refusing to obey the orders of the Priesthood. I knew of many men being killed in Nauvoo by the Danites. It was then the rule that all enemies of the Prophet Joseph should be killed, and I knew of many a man who was quietly put out of the way by the orders of Joseph and his apostles while the church was there.
John D. Lee, John D. Lee Diaries
Jedediah M. Grant
I say, there are men and women that I would advise to go to the Presidency immediately, and ask him to appoint a committee to attend to their care; and then let a place be selected, and let that committee shed their blood. We have amongst us that are full of all manner of abominations, those who need to have their blood shed, for water will not do, their sins are too deep a dye... I believe that there are a great many; and if they are covenant breakers we need a place designated, where we can shed their blood... Brethren and sisters, we want you to repent and forsake your sins. And you who have committed sins that cannot be forgiven through baptism, let your blood be shed, and let the smoke ascend, that the incense thereof may come up before God as an atonement for your sins, and that the sinners in Zion may be afraid.
Jedediah M. Grant, Journal of Discourses 4:49 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
George Franklin Richards
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
D. Michael Quinn
Just last month, attorneys for condemned child‑killer James Edward Wood in Pocatello, Idaho, argued that his defense was undermined by a visit from local [Mormon] church leaders who talked to him about shedding his own blood.... His [Wood's] attorneys contend Wood is a victim of a Mormon belief in 'blood atonement.' ... Judge Lynn Winmill... heard hours of testimony during the past week about Mormon doctrine on apostasy and forgiveness of sin. Wood's lawyers even asked the bishop who presided over the church court that excommunicated Wood about secret temple rituals involving symbolic throat and slashing or disembowelment, but Winmill did not require him to respond.
D. Michael Quinn, Salt Lake Tribune, Nov. 5, 1994
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
Gordon Douglas Pollock
Defectors became a kind of bogey to haunt all inhabitants of the Mormon Kingdom. Without vigilance and strength of character they [other members], like the defectors, could become overwhelmed by the baseness of their character and, thus, open to Satan's enticements. In this way blame was shifted from the Kingdom to the individual defector. More importantly, dissent was portrayed as the outward sign of personal weakness and sin. Dissent, therefore, could no more be tolerated than sin itself. This attitude within the Kingdom militated against any legitimate expression of doubt. There was no loyal opposition within the Kingdom of God. As no dissent from orthodox opinion was allowed, either the inhabitant accepted it or he was compelled to withdraw.
Gordon Douglas Pollock, "In Search for Security: The Mormons and the Kingdom of God on Earth, 1830‑1844," p. 22‑23, Ph.D dissertation, Queen's University, 1977
New York Times
The excommunication of the church official, Elder George P. Lee, a 46‑year‑old Navajo, was announced Friday in a one‑paragraph statement. It followed his assertion that Mormon leaders were racist and that the church's president was too feeble to make decisions.
New York Times, New York Times, September 3, 1989, p. 29
Dialogue
Accordingly, the doctrine asserts that those who commit certain grievous sins such as murder and covenant‑breaking place themselves beyond the atoning blood of Christ, and their only hope for salvation is to have their own blood shed as an atoning sacrifice. In his writings, Joseph Smith only hinted at the doctrine, Brigham Young successively denied and asserted it, Joseph F. Smith ardently defended it, and in more recent years, Hugh B. Brown repudiated it and Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie both have vigorously defended it in principle while staunchly denying that the Church has ever put it into actual practice, whereas most other General Authorities have prudently preferred to remain silent on the subject. It should be noted that the whole notion of blood atonement is so obviously linked to the Mormon literal mind‑set that it does not seem to admit of a mitigated, symbolic interpretation and is either accepted or rejected outright, depending on one's level of literalistic belief.
Dialogue, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, v. 15, no. 3, p. 93
Grant Syphers
In all humility I must say that God has not inspired me to feel good about the Church's practices regarding Negroes.... when my wife and I went to San Francisco Ward's bishop to renew our temple recommends, he told us that anyone who could not accept the Church's stand on Negroes as a divine doctrine was not supporting the General Authorities and could not go to the temple. Later, in an interview with the stake president we were told the same thing: if you express doubts about the divinity of this 'doctrine' you cannot go to the temple.
Grant Syphers, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Winter 1967, p. 6
Bill Hickman
It was one of the hot‑beds of fanaticism, and I expect that more men were killed there, in proportion to population, than in any other part of Utah. In that settlement it was certain death to say a word against the authorities, high or low.
Bill Hickman, Brigham Young's Destroying Angel, 1964, p. 284
Gustive O. Larson
To whatever extent the preaching on blood atonement may have influenced action, it would have been in relation to Mormon disciplinary action among its own members. In point would be a verbally reported case of a Mr. Johnson in Cedar City who was found guilty of adultery with his step‑daughter by a bishop's court and sentenced to death for atonement of his sin. According to the report of reputable eyewitnesses, judgment was executed with consent of the offender who went to his unconsecrated grave in full confidence of salvation through the shedding of his blood. Such a case, however primitive, is understandable within the means of this doctrine and the emotional extremes of the [Mormon] reformation.
Gustive O. Larson, Dr. Gustive O. Larson, BYU Professor, Utah Historical Quarterly, Jan. 1958, p. 62, note 39
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
The Economist
On the BYU campus, most people's idea of a free thinker is someone who wears shorts cut away at the thigh.
The Economist, "In a Glass House," Economist, 26 June 1993, 27
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
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