Mormon Quotes

Dishonesty

Brigham Young
If I had forty wives in the United States, they did not know it, and could not substantiate it, neither did I ask any lawyer, judge, or magistrate for them. I live above the law, and so do this people.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 1:361
Brigham Young
In 1857 it is estimated that eleven thousand troops were ordered here; some seven thousand started for this place, with several thousand hangers on. They came into this Territory when a company of emigrants were traveling on the south route to California. Nearly all of the Company were destroyed by the Indians. That unfortunate affair has been laid to the charge of the whites. A certain judge that was then in this Territory wanted the whole army to accompany him to Iron county to try the whites for the murder of that company of emigrants. I told Governor Cumming that if he would take an unprejudiced judge into the district where that horrid affair occurred, I would pledge myself that every man in the regions round about should be forthcoming when called for, to be condemned or acquitted as an impartial, unprejudiced judge and jury should decide; and I pledged him that the court should be protected from any violence or hindrance in the prosecution of the laws; and if any were guilty of the blood of those who suffered in the Mountain Meadow massacre, let them suffer the penalty of the law; but to this day they have not touched the matter, for fear the Mormons would be acquitted from the charge of having any hand in it, and our enemies would thus be deprived of a favorite topic to talk about, when urging hostility against us. "The Mountain Meadow massacre! Only think of the Mountain Meadow massacre!!" is their cry from one end of the land to the other.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 10:109‑110
Brigham Young
Is there war in our religion? No; neither war nor bloodshed. Yet our enemies cry out "bloodshed," and "oh, what dreadful men these Mormons are, and those Danites! how they slay and kill!" Such is all nonsense and folly in the extreme. The wicked slay the wicked, and they will lay it on the Saints.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 12:30
Brigham Young
The seer stone which Joseph Smith first obtained He got in an Iron kettle 25 feet under ground. He saw it while looking in another seers stone which a person had. He went right to the spot [and] dug [and] found it.
Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 1833‑1898 Typescript, 9 vols., ed. by Scott G. Kenney, v. 5, September 11, 1859, pp. 382‑383
Brigham Young
Kanosh the Pauvantee [Pauvant] Chief with Several of his band vis[i]ted me gave them some council & presints. A Spirit Seems to be takeing posses[s]ion of the Indians to assist Isreal. I can hardly restrain them from exterminating the "Americans".
Brigham Young, Diary of Brigham Young, page 71
Joseph Smith
Joe claimed he could tell where money was buried, with a witch hazel consisting of a forked stick of hazel. He held it ‑‑ one fork in each hand ‑‑ and claimed the upper end was attracted by the money.
Joseph Smith, March 23, 1885, Naked Truths About Mormonism; April 1, 1888; Joseph Smith's New York Reputation Re‑examined, p. 166; Mormonism Unvailed, by E.D. Howe, p. 12
Joseph Smith
Was not Joseph Smith a money digger? Yes, but it was never a very profitable job for him, as he only got fourteen dollars a month for it.
Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 120; History of the Church 3:29; Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 271
Joseph Smith
It is not always wise to relate all the truth. Even Jesus, the Son of God, had to refrain from doing so, and had to restrain His feelings many times for the safety of Himself and His followers, and had to conceal the righteous purposes of His heart in relation to many things pertaining to His Father's kingdom.
Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 392
Heber J. Grant
[FDR is] knowingly promoting unconstitutional laws and... advocating communism.
Heber J. Grant, The Mormon Corporate Empire, p. 38
David O. McKay
Whole nations are declaring atheism to be the law of the land. Atheism has become the greatest weapon Satan has to use, and its evil influence is bringing degradation to millions throughout the world. Even at this moment as the sun throws warm, genial rays on snowcapped summits and frost‑covered valleys of this western land, the public press tells of increasing activity on the part of the evil one. Warlike activities and international misunderstandings prevent the establishing of peace and divert man's inventive genius from the paths of science, art, and literature, and apply it to human retardation and the holocaust of war.
David O. McKay, Peace Built Upon the Solid Foundation of Eternal Principles (David O. McKay, 1964 Semi‑Annual General Conference, Improvement Era)
Ezra Taft Benson
True to form, many of the people who desire to frustrate God's purposes of giving mortal tabernacles to His spirit children through worldwide birth control are the very same people who support the kinds of government that perpetuate famine. They advocate an evil to cure the results of the wickedness they support.
Ezra Taft Benson, Prophet Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 539
Ezra Taft Benson
Those professed atheists, who have confidently relied upon science to dethrone and eclipse Almighty God, are already doing their manful best, of course, to rub out all reference to the prayer in their recapitulation and evaluation of Apollo 8.
Ezra Taft Benson, Godless Forces Threaten Us (Ezra Taft Benson, 1969 Semi‑Annual General Conference, Improvement Era)
Ezra Taft Benson
This recognition, together with the abandonment of the inspired Monroe Doctrine, gave the Red atheists a big diplomatic sanctuary for the coordination and direction of their propagandist spies and saboteurs. These promptly infiltrated every branch of our federal government and later every segment of our economy, and more recently have established a godless base 90 miles from our shores. Our recognition broke the ice of American resistance to the acceptance of the Kremlin gangsters into the international community as a legitimate government and so strengthened their iron grip upon the tortured people of Russia and her satellites.
Ezra Taft Benson, Godless Forces Threaten Us (Ezra Taft Benson, 1969 Semi‑Annual General Conference, Improvement Era)
Ezra Taft Benson
The tenth plank in Karl Marx's Manifesto for destroying our kind of civilization advocated the establishment of "free education for all children in public schools." There were several reasons why Marx wanted government to run the schools. Dr. A. A. Hodge pointed out one of them when he said, "It is capable of exact demonstration that if every party in the State has the right of excluding from public schools whatever he does not believe to be true, then he that believes most must give way to him that believes least, and then he that believes least must give way to him that believes absolutely nothing, no matter in how small a minority the atheists or agnostics may be. It is self‑evident that on this scheme, if it is consistently and persistently carried out in all parts of the country, the United States system of national popular education will be the most efficient and widespread instrument for the propagation of atheism which the world has ever seen."
Ezra Taft Benson, Strengthening the Family (Ezra Taft Benson, 1970 Semi‑Annual General Conference, Improvement Era)
Gordon B. Hinckley
Last year alone we sent humanitarian aid to assist with 829 projects in 101 countries, giving 11.2 million dollars in cash and 44 million in material resources for a total $55.2 million.
Gordon B. Hinckley, "Los Angeles World Affairs Council"
Gordon B. Hinckley
The business involvement which we have is a very, very minor part of our activity... We try to operate the few — and I emphasize that — the few business interests that we do have in a business‑like prudent way, as any prudent business corporation would do, and use them for public good.
Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Mormon Church is Rich, Rapidly Growing and Very Controversial," Wall Street Journal, November 9, 1983, p. 1
Gordon B. Hinckley
I don't see anything further that we need to do. I don't hear any complaint from our black brethren and sisters. I hear only appreciation and gratitude wherever I go.
Gordon B. Hinckley, "Mormon Leader Defends Race Relations," Los Angeles Times, September 12, 1998
Bruce R. McConkie
From the days of Joseph Smith to the present, wicked and evilly‑disposed persons have fabricated false and slanderous stories to the effect that the Church, in the early days of this dispensation, engaged in a practice of blood atonement whereunder the blood of apostates and others was shed by the Church as an atonement for their sins... there is not one historical instance of so‑called blood atonement in this dispensation, nor has there been one event or occurrence whatever, of any nature, from which the slightest inference arises that any such practice either existed or was taught.... But under certain circumstances there are some serious sins for which the cleansing of Christ does not operate, and the law of God is that men must then have their own blood shed to atone for their sins."
Bruce R. McConkie, Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 92
Bruce R. McConkie
I do not know all of the providences of the Lord, but I do know that he permits false doctrine to be taught in and out of the Church and that such teaching is part of the sifting process of mortality.
Bruce R. McConkie, McConkie's 1981 letter to BYU
Mark E. Petersen
I believe that the more thoroughly science is studied, the further does it take us away from anything comparable to atheism. If you think strongly enough, you will be forced by science to a belief in God, which is the foundation of all religion.
Mark E. Petersen, Know for Yourself (Mark E. Petersen, 1952 Annual General Conference, Improvement Era)
Mark E. Petersen
Atheism is the cause of most of our ills. If we were realistic about our present plight, we would admit that atheism in its many forms is our greatest enemy, whether it be in abandoning God for pleasure and money, or in yielding to philosophical meanderings, or in surrendering to those forces which break down family life, destroy free government, seduce the masses, and spawn hate and war.
Mark E. Petersen, America and God (Mark E. Petersen, 1968 Annual General Conference, Improvement Era)
Mark E. Petersen
Few scientific men today defend the atheistic attitude. Never yet has there been adequate refutation of the argument that design in the universe presumes an intelligence.
Mark E. Petersen, Know for Yourself (Mark E. Petersen, 1952 Annual General Conference, Improvement Era)
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
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
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
Russell M. Nelson
The details of this miraculous method of translation are still not fully known. Yet we do have a few precious insights. David Whitmer wrote: "Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, and not by any power of man." (David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, Richmond, Mo.: n.p., 1887, p. 12.)
Russell M. Nelson, Russell M. Nelson, "A Treasured Testament," Ensign, July 1993, 61
Gerald N. Lund
It is an inspired insight on Alma's part. Korihor is not consistent in his own thinking. If we truly can know only those things for which we have empirical evidence, then we cannot teach there is no God unless we have evidence for that belief. And Korihor has no evidence.
Gerald N. Lund, Ensign, Countering Korihor's Philosophy, July 1992
Gerald N. Lund
Second, Alma exposes Korihor for what he is. (See chart 2 for a summary of how Alma dealt with Korihor.) In effect, Alma says to Korihor: "You know that we don't profit from our service in the Church, but you say we glut ourselves on the labor of the people. Therefore I say you deliberately twist the truth." It all comes down to one irrefutable conclusion: Korihor is a liar.
Gerald N. Lund, Ensign, Countering Korihor's Philosophy, July 1992
Gerald N. Lund
Like any philosophical system, Korihor's doctrine had metaphysical, epistemological, and axiological aspects. Together, they enabled him to convince many to reject the traditional values taught by the Church. For example, Korihor's argument that "ye cannot know of things which ye do not see" (Alma 30:15) reveals his epistemology—his system of determining truth—to be primarily empirical, or based on observation and use of the senses. (See chart 1.) However, the Apostle Paul says, "Faith is ... the evidence of things not seen." (Heb. 11:1; italics added.) Korihor's stance, however, is, "If you can't see it, you can't know it." He therefore rejects prophecy because prophecy deals with the future, and you cannot "see," or experience, the future with the physical senses. Consequently, all talk of a future Savior and redemption is to be rejected on principle.
Gerald N. Lund, Ensign, Countering Korihor's Philosophy, July 1992
Gerald N. Lund
In other words, for Korihor to say that there is no God, based on the very criteria he himself has established, he would have to perceive every cubic meter of the universe simultaneously. This creates a paradox: In order for Korihor to prove there is no God, he would have to be a god himself! Therefore, in declaring there is no God, he is acting on "faith," the very thing for which he so sharply derides the religious leaders!
Gerald N. Lund, Ensign, Countering Korihor's Philosophy, July 1992
Gerald N. Lund
But there is more to Alma's answer than that. Alma takes Korihor's own philosophy and catches him in a trap of his own making. Korihor teaches that we can know only what we can see. (See Alma 30:15.) But when questioned, Korihor categorically denies that he believes there is a God. Alma then asks, "What evidence have ye that there is no God, or that Christ cometh not? I say unto you that ye have none, save it be your word only." (Alma 30:40.)
Gerald N. Lund, Ensign, Countering Korihor's Philosophy, July 1992
Gerald N. Lund
Korihor's answer goes something like this (see Alma 30:23—28): There are two explanations for why people believe in religion. First, they have been indoctrinated by their parents (the "foolish traditions" of the fathers), and second, they have been deceived by religious leaders whose motives are personal gain—money and/or power. Further, Korihor's philosophy—expressed in his teaching to the people—is that this indoctrination of the people brings psychological abnormalities—"derangement" or a "frenzied mind." (Alma 30:16.) Since there is no God and since religion is a farce, Korihor concludes, we can live as we please without fear of eternal consequences.
Gerald N. Lund, Ensign, Countering Korihor's Philosophy, July 1992
Gerald N. Lund
Korihor had tried to teach people that happiness is to be found independent of God and the gospel. The Book of Mormon shows that this is not possible.
Gerald N. Lund, Ensign, Countering Korihor's Philosophy, July 1992
Richard G. Scott
The victim must do all in his or her power to stop the abuse. Most often, the victim is innocent because of being disabled by fear or the power or authority of the offender. At some point in time, however, the Lord may prompt a victim to recognize a degree of responsibility for abuse. Your priesthood leader will help assess your responsibility so that, if needed, it can be addressed. Otherwise the seeds of guilt will remain and sprout into bitter fruit. Yet no matter what degree of responsibility, from absolutely none to increasing consent, the healing power of the atonement of Jesus Christ can provide a complete cure.
Richard G. Scott, General Conference, May, 2009
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
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, Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith: Psychobiography and the Book of Mormon
Dallin H. Oaks
All of the scores of media stories on [the Salamander letter] apparently assume that the author of that letter used the word 'salamander' in the modern sense of a 'tailed amphibian.' One wonders why so many writers neglected to reveal to their readers that there is another meaning of 'salamander,' which may even have been the primary meaning in this context in the 1820s.... That meaning... is 'a mythical being thought to be able to live in fire... A being that is able to live in fire is a good approximation of the description Joseph Smith gave of the Angel Moroni:... the use of the words white salamander and old spirit seem understandable. In view of all this, and as a matter of intellectual evaluation, why all the excitement in the media, and why the apparent hand‑wringing among those who profess friendship or membership in the Church?
Dallin H. Oaks, Oaks on the "Salamander Letter," which was later discovered to be a forgery
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
Dallin H. Oaks
Another way to seek a testimony seems astonishing when compared with the methods of obtaining other knowledge. We gain or strengthen a testimony by bearing it. Someone even suggested that some testimonies are better gained on the feet bearing them than on the knees praying for them.
Dallin H. Oaks, 'Testimony,' in Ensign of May 2008
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
Erastus Snow
The theory of evolution, that man in our present state upon the earth is but a sequence and outgrowth of steady advancement from the lowest order of creation till the present type of man... [is] in short that our great‑grandfathers were apes and monkeys.
Erastus Snow, Journal of Discourses 19:270
James E. Talmage
The decision reached by the First Presidency, and announced to this morning's assembly, was in answer to a specific question that obviously the doctrine of the existence of races of human beings upon the earth prior to the Fall of Adam was not a doctrine of the Church; and, further, that the conception embodied in the belief of many to the effect that there were no such Pre‑Adamite races, and that there was no death upon the Earth prior to Adam's fall is likewise declared to be no doctrine of the Church.
James E. Talmage, Stephens and Meldrum, Evolution and Mormonism, p. 45
Thorpe B. Isaacson
Many of our large universities have now experienced a great growth in undergraduate study for religious courses, and many churches are now attracting crowds that overflow their meetinghouses. Attendance at religious courses has doubled. Many colleges and universities now hold what they call a "Religious Emphasis Week," and specialists have found that eighty percent recognize the need for religious faith, and now there are very few who will admit atheism. "Lean not on thine own understanding."
Thorpe B. Isaacson, Trust in the Lord (Thorpe B. Isaacson, 1956 Semi‑Annual General Conference, Improvement Era)
Daniel C. Peterson
Another issue that comes up is Joseph Smith and plural marriage. ... If you deal with the problem up front and say, "Look, here is this issue; this is what we have to say about it," people then are confronted with it later on and they say, "Oh, okay, I've heard that before." But if they think the church is hiding something from them, well then they think, "Well, what else am I not being told? This is maybe just the tip of the iceberg; there's a lot more out there." And then confidence in the teaching authority of the church is decreased, and I think that's a mistake. I think we can handle these issues. But I understand the impulse.
Daniel C. Peterson, PBS, The Mormons
Daniel C. Peterson
People come in to me sometimes and they bring up Mountain Meadows Massacre and say, "I had never heard about this, until last week." And they're horrified. They think that Brigham Young ordered it. That the Church is lead by mass murderers. Or something like that. I think we make a mistake by not telling them about Mountain Meadows earlier on, and also making the case for, look, the evidence for Brigham Young's involvement is at best thin. I think actually there's none at all, basically. But we can inoculate them beforehand, make sure they've already had a controlled dose of the disease, in effect. So that they're not shocked when another issue comes along. ...
Daniel C. Peterson, PBS, The Mormons
Jedediah M. Grant
Did the Prophet Joseph want every man's wife he asked for? He did not, but in that thing was the grand thread of the Priesthood developed. The grand object in view was to try the people of God, to see what was in them.
Jedediah M. Grant, Journal of Discourses 2:14
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
Paul H. Dunn
I survived being run over by an enemy tank, while others were crushed.
Paul H. Dunn, Arizona Republic, February 16, 1991, p. B‑9
Paul H. Dunn
I kept a Japanese prisoner from being butchered by GIs bent on revenge for the torture slayings of American soldiers.
Paul H. Dunn, Arizona Republic, February 16, 1991, p. B‑9
Paul H. Dunn
[Paul H. Dunn told a] tale about his best friend, 'who died in his arms during a World War II battle, while imploring Dunn to teach America's youth about patriotism.' Then there was the riveting account of how God protected him as enemy machine‑gun bullets ripped away his clothing, gear and helmet without ever touching his skin.' Another inspirational yarn explained 'how perseverance and Mormon values led him to play major‑league baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals.' Unfortunately, none of these stories were true. Dunn's 'dead' friend was still alive; only the heel of his boot was ever touched by a bullet; and he never played for the Cardinals.
Paul H. Dunn, Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, p. 427
Paul H. Dunn
[I was] one of only six individuals in my 1,000‑man combat group who survived a major battle, and was the only one of those six not wounded.
Paul H. Dunn, Arizona Republic, February 16, 1991, p. B‑9
Paul H. Dunn
I wrestled a dynamite pack off a child kamikaze infiltrator, saving myself and the child.
Paul H. Dunn, Arizona Republic, February 16, 1991, p. B‑9
Paul H. Dunn
[I was] the sole survivor among 11 infantrymen in a 100‑yard race against death, during which one burst of machine‑gun fire ripped [my] right boot off, another tore off [my] ammunition and canteen belt and yet another split [my] helmet in half ‑ all without wounding [me].
Paul H. Dunn, Arizona Republic, February 16, 1991, p. B‑9
Paul H. Dunn
I confess that I have not always been accurate in my public talks and writings.
Paul H. Dunn, Paul Dunn, 'Official Apologizes for Embellishing Stories,' Washington Times, October 28, 1991
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
W. Wyl
Lining the shelves of the [Kirtland Safety Society] bank vault... were many boxes, each marked $1,000. Actually these boxes were filled with 'sand, lead, old iron, stone, and combustibles' but each had a top layer of bright fifty‑cent silver coins. Anyone suspicious of the bank's stability was allowed to lift and count the boxes. 'The effect of those boxes was like magic;' said C.G. Webb. 'They created general confidence in the solidity of the bank and that beautiful paper money went like hot cakes. For about a month, it was the best money in the country.'
W. Wyl, W. Wyl, Mormon Portraits, 1886, p. 36
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
Martin Harris
There was a company there in the neighborhood, who were digging for money supposed to have been hidden by the ancients. Of this company were old Mr. Stowell ‑‑ I think his name was Josiah ‑‑ also old Mr. Beman, also Samuel Lawrence, George Proper, Joseph Smith, jr., and his father, and his brother Hiram Smith. They dug for money in Palmyra, Manchester, also in Pennsylvania, and other places... and they took Joseph to look in the stone for them, and he did so for a while, and he then told them the enchantment was so strong that he could not see, and they gave it up.
Martin Harris, Tiffany's Monthly, MORMONISM‑No. II, p. 164; also in New Witness, by Kirkham, v. 2, p. 377
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
Thomas Ferguson
I wonder what really goes on in the minds of Church leadership who know of the data concerning the Book of Abraham, the new data on the First Vision, etc.... It would tend to devastate the Church if a top leader were to announce the facts.
Thomas Ferguson, Thomas Ferguson to John W. Fitzgerald, March 6, 1976, John Fitzgerald Collection, Special Collections, Milton R. Merrill Library, Utah State University
Helen Mar Kimball
[He explained] the principle of Celestial marrage [plural marriage]...After which he said to me, 'If you will take this step, it will ensure your eternal salvation [and] exaltation and that of your father's household [and] all of your kindred.['] This promise was so great that I willingly gave myself to purchase so glorious a reward. None but God [and] his angels could see my mother's bleeding heart ‑‑ when Joseph asked her if she was willing... She had witnessed the sufferings of others, who were older [and] who better understood the step they were taking, [and] to see her child, who had scarcely seen her fifteenth summer, following in the same thorny path, in her mind she saw the misery which was as sure to come...; but it was all hidden from me.
Helen Mar Kimball, Mormon Polygamy: A History
Helen Mar Kimball
I would never have been sealed to Joseph had I known it was anything more than ceremony. I was young, and they deceived me, by saying the salvation of our whole family depended on it.
Helen Mar Kimball, Mormon Polygamy: A History by Richard S. Van Wagoner
Alvin R. Dyer
I want to talk to you a little bit now about something that is not missionary work, and what I say is NOT to be given to your investigators [potential converts] by any matter of means.... Why is it that you are white and not colored? God is not unjust to cause a righteous spirit to be born as a cursed member of the black race.
Alvin R. Dyer, "For What Purpose?," Missionary Conference in Oslo, Norway, March 18, 1961
David Olson
Spencer W. Kimball for his incorrect press release concerning the police involvement combined with the LDS church's efforts to restrict Douglas A. Wallace from the temple grounds, specifically the Tabernacle, on April 3, 1977. His denial of these actions is wrong. Any man who can take such actions and still call himself a prophet deserves more than I to be confined to this wheelchair.
David Olson, Salt Lake Tribune, Jan. 18, 1978
W. L. Hines
Jo stole his wife... while [Isaac] Hale [Emma's Father] was at Church. My wife and I saw him on an old horse with Emma on behind as they passed our house on their way to [be]... married.
W. L. Hines, W. L. Hines statement in Naked Truths About Mormonism, No.1, 1888
Keith Norman
Well, if I understand Elder McConkie, he was saying that, although earlier Church leader's never believed, preached, or practiced blood atonement, we actually do believe in it and would practice it if we had the legal and political power to do so. (Even thought we didn't when Brigham Young presided over the theocratic territory of Deseret.)
Keith Norman, Sunstone, Aug. 1990, p. 11
Hal Hougey
We conclude, therefore, that the Book of Mormon remains completely unverified by archaeology. The claims Mormon missionaries have made are fallacious and misleading.
Hal Hougey, Archaeology and the Book of Mormon, pamphlet by Hal Hougey, p. 4‑6, 1976
Steve Johnson
In 1949 [actually 1946] California lawyer, Tom Ferguson, rolled up his sleeves, threw a shovel over his shoulder, and marched into the remote jungles of southern Mexico. Armed with a quote by Joseph Smith that the Lord had 'a hand in proving the Book of Mormon true in the eyes of all people,' Ferguson's goal was: Shut the mouths of the critics who said such evidence did not exist. Ferguson began an odyssey that included twenty‑four trips to Central America, eventually resulting in a mountain of evidence supporting Book of Mormon claims.
Steve Johnson, Transcript of the advertisement for The Messiah in Ancient America by Thomas Ferguson, 1988
Michael R. Ash
There have been a number of horse bones discovered in America that might date to Book of Mormon times. The surviving remains from such finds are currently undergoing testing to determine their antiquity.
Michael R. Ash, Animals in the Book of Mormon
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
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
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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