Mormon Quotes

Internal dissent

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
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
Gerald N. Lund
So how do we deal with these false philosophies? Fortunately, Mormon not only gave us Korihor's doctrines, he also gave us an inspired answer to them. This is the real value of the Korihor account. The first thing to note is that Alma does not get into philosophical debate with Korihor. He doesn't allow himself to be pulled onto the ground that Korihor tries to define as the area of debate. There is a great lesson in that. We combat false philosophies with revelation and true doctrine, not academic debate.
Gerald N. Lund, Ensign, Countering Korihor's Philosophy, July 1992
Gerald N. Lund
There is another lesson that Mormon draws from the story of Korihor. After Korihor is confounded by Alma, he demands a sign before he will believe. Korihor receives his sign—he is struck dumb, and evidently deaf as well. (See Alma 30:51.) In that pitiable state, Korihor resorts to begging for his livelihood. He finally goes among a people called the Zoramites, and there he is "run upon and trodden down" until he dies. (Alma 30:59.)
Gerald N. Lund, Ensign, Countering Korihor's Philosophy, July 1992
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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