Several months ago, I found myself in a situation where someone chastised me for something I had written on this blog. Never mind the fact that what I had written had been misinterpreted, but I was hurt that someone doubted my commitment to the church because I asked questions.
I knew I had seen quotes from past leaders embracing questioning from members, so I spent several days combing resources for such quotes and compiled them into one document.
Here is what I came up with:
- “If [the prophet] writes something . . . out of harmony with [scripture, we are] duty bound to reject it. If [it’s] in perfect harmony with [scripture], [we] accept [it].” —Joseph Fielding Smith
- “If [the prophet] says something that contradicts what is found in the standard works . . . it is false” —Harold B. Lee
- “When ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ comes from [the prophet], the saints investigate it: they do not shut their eyes and take it down like a pill.” —Charles W. Penrose
- “There is no place in the church for blind adherence.” —John A. Widstoe
- “I am fearful [members trust] their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence” —Brigham Young
- “Let every[one] know, by the whispering of the Spirit . . . whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates.” —Brigham Young
- “Every church member is expected to understand the doctrine of the church intelligently.” —John A. Widstoe
- “God has not established His Church to make of its members irresponsible automatons” —James E. Talmage
- “[We] . . . are obedient because [we] know certain spiritual truths and have decided, as an expression of . . . individual agency, to obey the commandments of God.” —Boyd K. Packer
- “Those who talk of blind obedience may appear to know many things, but they do not understand the doctrines of the gospel. —Boyd K. Packer
- “Each member . . . has a right to . . . judge . . . those who . . . act in their interests” —Lorenzo Snow
- “We can tell when . . . speakers are ‘moved upon by the Holy Ghost’ only when we . . . are ‘moved upon by the Holy Ghost.’ . . . the responsibility [is for] us to determine when they so speak.” —J. Reuben Clark
You can read the quotes in context here.
Do you know of any others? Share them in the comments below.