Mormon Quotes


Brigham Young
Honest hearts produce honest actions.
Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 232
Joseph Smith
No one can ever enter the celestial kingdom unless he is strictly honest.
Joseph Smith, Joseph Smith papers, recalled by Milo Andrus
John Taylor
I think a full, free talk is frequently of great use; we want nothing secret nor underhanded, and I for one want no association with things that cannot be talked about and will not bear investigation.
John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 20:264 (
Joseph F. Smith
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 Discourses 16:248 (
Harold B. Lee
As I say, it never ceases to amaze me how gullible some of our Church members are.
Harold B. Lee, "Admonitions for the Priesthood of God", Ensign, Jan 1973
Gordon B. Hinckley
In matters of honesty, there are no shortcuts; no little white lies, or big black lies, only the simple, honest truth spoken in total candor... Being true is different than being honest.
Gordon B. Hinckley, "13th Article, simple yet powerful," Church News, September 22, 2007, p. 3
Bruce R. McConkie
There are those who say that revealed religion and organic evolution can be harmonized. This is both false and devilish.
Bruce R. McConkie, June 1, 1980, BYU fireside address; quoted in Stephens and Meldrum, Evolution and Mormonism, p. 52
Orson Pratt
If, after a rigid examination, it be found an imposition, it should be extensively published to the world as such; the evidences and arguments on which the imposture was detected, should be clearly and logically stated, that those who have been sincerely yet unfortunately deceived, may perceive the nature of the deception and be reclaimed, and that those who continue to publish the delusion, may be exposed and silenced....
Orson Pratt, Apostle Orson Pratt, Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon
Orson Pratt
Convince us of our errors of doctrine, if we have any, by reason, by logical arguments, or by the Word of God, and we will be ever grateful for the information, and you will ever have the pleasing reflection that you have been instruments in the hands of God of redeeming your fellow beings from the darkness which you may see enveloping their minds.
Orson Pratt, Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, pp. 15‑16
Daniel C. Peterson
One area of the Book of Mormon that does bother some is what they see as anachronistic doctrine; that the Book of Mormon has Christian doctrine prior to the coming of Christ; that it has seemingly New Testament doctrines appearing centuries before Jesus arrives, and it seems to be representing a form of Christianity existing in the New World where there doesn't seem to be much evidence of that archaeologically. Christianity is invisible in the New World prior to the coming of Columbus, and so those things seem like clear anachronisms to people looking at it in that way.
Daniel C. Peterson, PBS, The Mormons
Daniel C. Peterson
There are certain things that exist in the Book of Mormon that some people argue [are] anachronistic. Steel is an example of that, though the issue dissolves a little bit when you look at, well, what did the word "steel" mean? When words like that appear in King James's English, what do they mean? They don't necessarily mean what we mean by "steel" today. But we do have a problem with metals in the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon seems to describe fairly widespread metal use. Well, I don't know if it's widespread; it's common throughout the Book of Mormon history and text, and yet we don't have any good evidence of any kind of metal industry, even small‑scale cottage industry, in Mesoamerica at the time.
Daniel C. Peterson, PBS, The Mormons
Daniel C. Peterson
The plates of the Book of Mormon were translated in a sense by Joseph Smith and in a sense not by Joseph Smith. Joseph didn't have the capacity to translate any modern or ancient language, certainly, at that time. A little bit later on he'll learn some Hebrew and some German ‑‑ not much, but a little bit. But the translation occurred by supernatural means, far beyond his capacity to do it. There were a couple of means that were prepared for this. One was that he used an instrument that was found with the plates that was called the Urim and Thummim. This is kind of a divinatory device that goes back into Old Testament times. Actually, most of the translation was done using something called a seer stone. The seer stone is obviously something like the Urim and Thummim. It seems to be a stone that was found in the vicinity, and I can't say exactly how it would have worked. It may have been a kind of a concentrating device or a device to facilitate concentration. He would put the stone for most of the concentration period in the bottom of a hat, presumably to exclude surrounding light. Then he would put his face into the hat. It's kind of a strange image for us today, but it sort of makes sense if you think of a computer screen, I suppose: You don't want to be looking at [anything] against a bright background; it hurts your eyes. ... He would read off what he saw in the stone, apparently in passages of about 25 to 35 words.
Daniel C. Peterson, PBS, The Mormons
Daniel C. Peterson
Horses in the Book of Mormon would be another. You have relatively few mentions of horses, but there are some, and we don't know exactly how they were used; they don't seem to be all that common. Were they horses as we understood them, [or] does the term describe some other animal? Languages don't always and cultures don't always classify things the way we would expect. We have what we call common‑sense ways of doing it. They're not common sense; they're just ours. But again, we don't have a strong case there. We're just problem solving there.
Daniel C. Peterson, PBS, The Mormons
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
Hugh Nibley
The worst sinners, according to Jesus, are not the harlots and publicans, but the religious leaders with their insistence on proper dress and grooming, their careful observance of all the rules, their precious concern for status symbols, their strict legality, their pious patriotism... the haircut becomes the test of virtue in a world where Satan deceives and rules by appearances.
Hugh Nibley, Waterman, Brian and Kagel, Brian Kagel. The Lord's University: Freedom and Authority at BYU. Signature Books. 1998
Ray T. Matheny
The Book of Mormon talks about ferrous and non‑ferrous metallurgical industries. A ferrous industry is a whole system of doing something. It's just not an esoteric process that a few people are involved in, but ferrous industry.., means mining iron ores and then processing these ores and casting [them] into irons.... This is a process that's very also calls for cultural backup to allow such an activity to take place.... In my recent reading of the Book of Mormon, I find that iron and steel are mentioned in sufficient context to suggest that there was a ferrous industry here.... You can't refine ore without leaving a bloom of some kind or impurities that blossom out and float to the top of the ore... and also the flux of limestone or whatever is used to flux the material.... [This] blooms off into silicas and indestructible new rock forms. In other words, when you have a ferroused metallurgical industry, you have these evidences of the detritus that is left over. You also have the fuels, you have the furnaces, you have whatever technologies that were there performing these tasks; they leave solid evidences. And they are indestructible things.... No evidence has been found in the new world for a ferrous metallurgical industry dating to pre‑Columbian times. And so this is a king‑size kind of problem, it seems to me, for the so‑called Book of Mormon archaeology. This evidence is absent.
Ray T. Matheny, Speech at Sunstone Symposium 6, "Book of Mormon Archaeology," August 25, 1984
Ray T. Matheny
While some people chose to make claims for the Book of Mormon through archaeological evidences, to me they are made prematurely, and without sufficient knowledge. I do not support the books written on this subject including The Messiah in Ancient America, or any other. I believe that the authors are making cases out of too little evidences and do not adequately address the problems that archaeology and the Book of Mormon present. I would feel terribly embarrassed if anyone sent a copy of any book written on the subject to the National Museum of Natural History — Smithsonian Institution, or other authority, making claims that cannot as yet be substantiated.... there are very severe problems in this field in trying to make correlations with the scriptures. Speculation, such as practiced so far by Mormon authors has not given church members credibility.
Ray T. Matheny, Mormon scholar and BYU professor of anthropology, letter dated Dec. 17, 1987
Ray T. Matheny
I really have difficulty in finding issue or quarrel with those opening chapters of the Book of Mormon [i. e., the first 7 chapters which only relate to Lehi and his family around the area of Jerusalem]. But thereafter it doesn't seem like a translation to me.... And the terminologies and the language used and the methods of explaining and putting things down are 19th century literary concepts and cultural experiences one would expect Joseph Smith and his colleagues would experience. And for that reason I call it transliteration, and I'd rather not call it a translation after the 7th chapter. And I have real difficulty in trying to relate these cultural concepts as I've briefly discussed here with archaeological findings that I'm aware of.... If I were doing this cold like John Carlson is here, I would say in evaluating the Book of Mormon that it had no place in the New World whatsoever. I would have to look for the place of the Book of Mormon events to have taken place in the Old World. It just doesn't seem to fit anything that he has been taught in his discipline, nor I in my discipline in anthropology, history; there seems to be no place for it. It seems misplaced. It seems like there are anachronisms. It seems like the items are out of time and place, and trying to put them into the New World. And I think there's a great difficulty here for we Mormons in understanding what this book is all about.
Ray T. Matheny, Speech at Sunstone Symposium 6, "Book of Mormon Archeology," August 25, 1984
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
Mark A. Taylor
On Valentine's Day, February 14, Kip made another attempt to end his life by again drinking a mixture of iodine and alcohol. He was taken to the psychiatric unit of the St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, where he was diagnosed as suicidal. (The medical facility is a codefendant in the Eliason suit.) Eight days later Kip was released to his father. Eliason recalls picking his son up at the hospital. "He seemed happy to be going home. Before we left, he introduced me to a 16‑year‑old girl he had met there. She had told him she was there for the same reason he was. Kip seemed very taken by his new friend and, when they said goodbye, he took her into his arms and kissed her. I'll never forget it." On March 2, 1982, Kip was home alone while his father made an overnight business trip, About 9 p.m. Eliason called him from his hotel. "Kip seemed all right. I asked him if he'd taken his medicine, and he said he had. I told him I'd be home soon, and that was about it." Sometime after the call, Kip wrote a suicide note. He went to the closed garage, started the family car and went to sleep. Dead at 16, Kip Eliason had but two "vices," masturbation and telling the truth. He was unable to stop masturbating and too honorable to lie.
Mark A. Taylor, Affirmation: Sin & Death in Mormon Country: A Latter‑day Tragedy
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