Subject: Can anyone trust Mormon Church leaders to tell the truth?
Date: Feb 22 15:42 2004
Author: Deconstructor

Do church leaders think they have a duty to tell the truth, or to protect church authority at all costs?

Apostle Dallin 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."
- Apostle Dallin Oaks, footnote 28, Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith: Psychobiography and the Book of Mormon, Introduction p. xliii

Apostle Boyd K. Packer:

“You seminary teachers and some of you institute and BYU men will be teaching the history of the Church this school year. This is an unparalleled opportunity in the lives of your students to increase their faith and testimony of the divinity of this work. Your objective should be that they will see the hand of the Lord in every hour and every moment of the Church from its beginning till now.

“Church history can be so interesting and so inspiring as to be a very powerful tool indeed for building faith. If not properly written or properly taught, it may be a faith destroyer.”

“There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not.”

Some things that are true are not very useful.

“That historian or scholar who delights in pointing out the weaknesses and frailties of present or past leaders destroys faith. A destroyer of faith — particularly one within the Church, and more particularly one who is employed specifically to build faith — places himself in great spiritual jeopardy. He is serving the wrong master, and unless he repents, he will not be among the faithful in the eternities. ... Do not spread disease germs!"
- Boyd K. Packer, "The Mantle is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect", 1981, BYU Studies, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 259-271

Apostle Russel M. Nelson:

"Indeed, in some instances, the merciful companion to truth is silence. Some truths are best left unsaid."

"Any who are tempted to rake through the annals of history, to use truth unrighteously, or to dig up facts with the intent to defame or destroy, should hearken to this warning of scripture:

“The righteousness of God [is] revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” (Rom. 1:17-18.)

I repeat: “The wrath of God is … against all … who hold the truth in unrighteousness.”

To anyone who, because of truth, may be tempted to become a dissenter against the Lord and his anointed, weigh carefully your action in light of this sacred scripture:

“These dissenters, having the same instruction and the same information … yea, having been instructed in the same knowledge of the Lord, nevertheless, it is strange to relate, not long after their dissensions they became more hardened and impenitent, and … wicked, … entirely forgetting the Lord their God.” (Alma 47:36.)

"We must realize that we are at war. The war began before the world was and will continue. The forces of the adversary are extant upon the earth. All of our virtuous motives, if transmitted only by inertia and timidity, are no match for the resolute wickedness of those who oppose us."
- Russell M. Nelson, “Truth—and More,” Ensign, Jan. 1986, page 69

Never Criticize Past or Present Church Leaders - Even if it's True

"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. As Elder George F. Richards, President of the Council of the Twelve, said in a conference address in April 1947, '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.' ... The Holy Ghost will not guide or confirm criticism of the Lord's anointed, or of Church leaders, local or general. This reality should be part of the spiritual evaluation that LDS readers and viewers apply to those things written about our history and those who made it."
- Dallin H. Oaks, "Reading Church History," CES Doctrine and Covenants Symposium, Brigham Young University, 16 Aug. 1985, page 25. also see Dallin H. Oaks, "Elder Decries Criticism of LDS Leaders," quoted in The Salt Lake Tribune, Sunday August 18, 1985, p. 2B

Apostle Dallin H. Oaks published a similar talk for the February 1987 Ensign Magazine. Again, Apostle Oaks declared that there is no place in the church for public criticism of church leaders, even if the criticism is true. He also said:

"Truth surely exists as an absolute, but our use of truth should be disciplined by other values. ... When truth is constrained by other virtues, the outcome is not falsehood but silence for a season. As the scriptures say, there is “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.”

"Does the commandment to avoid faultfinding and evil speaking apply to Church members’ destructive personal criticism of Church leaders? Of course it does. It applies to criticism of all Church leaders—local or general, male or female. In our relations with all of our Church leaders, we should follow the Apostle Paul’s direction: “Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father.” (1 Tim. 5:1.)"

"Government or corporate officials, who are elected directly or indirectly or appointed by majority vote, must expect that their performance will be subject to critical and public evaluations by their constituents. That is part of the process of informing those who have the right and power of selection or removal. The same is true of popularly elected officers in professional, community, and other private organizations."

"A different principle applies in our Church, where the selection of leaders is based on revelation, subject to the sustaining vote of the membership. In our system of Church government, evil speaking and criticism of leaders by members is always negative. Whether the criticism is true or not, as Elder George F. Richards explained, it tends to impair the leaders’ influence and usefulness, thus working against the Lord and his cause."

"Public debate—the means of resolving differences in a democratic government—is not appropriate in our Church government. We are all subject to the authority of the called and sustained servants of the Lord. They and we are all governed by the direction of the Spirit of the Lord, and that Spirit only functions in an atmosphere of unity. That is why personal differences about Church doctrine or procedure need to be worked out privately."
- Apostle Dallin H. Oaks, “Criticism,” Ensign, Feb. 1987, page 68

“You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord himself, with patience and faith, the promise is that ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.’ (DC 21:6)”
- Prophet Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, Oct. 1970, p. 152

Last year President Hinckley and Apostle Holland again put "uncompromising loyalty" to church leaders above all else:

So can we trust these guys to tell us the truth?

Subject: I loved this quote from Nelson
Date: Feb 22 16:17
Author: Tyler

"I repeat: “The wrath of God is … against all … who hold the truth in unrighteousness.”

Damn if that isn't the ultimate oxymoron! How does one hold TRUTH in unrighteousness? Something that is unrighteous?

That is the mormonism of contradictions, fear, and authoritarian control I grew to know and love! LOL


Subject: Nelson is taking that scripture way out of context...
Date: Feb 22 16:28
Author: Deconstructor

Here's more of the scriptures in Romans 1. It doesn't look like it really applies to historians bent on telling the truth.

Instead, it is condemning those in the church who are ungodly and change "the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man." If anything, the First Vision story "changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man." No wonder Nelson cuts the verses up so much. Here's the whole part:

Romans 1:17-23

17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Subject: I couldn't elaborate on my first response because I had to leave for SM early.
Date: Feb 22 17:48
Author: Marvelous

My fifteen-year-old, who is a Teacher, informed me that he had the sacrament bread assignment and that we had to leave early.

You quotes reminded me of the cult quizzes that appeared on another post. Blind obedience to leadership is one of the properties of a cult, which Mormonism is. When you reflect, it's crazy to turn your thinking over to someone else. In turn, I believe GAs have turned their thinking over, to a large degree, to their predecessors. It's the blind leading the blind, leading the blind.

As I'm currently reading books on early Christianity, it's amazing how remedial the Mormon scholarship is with regard to the subject. If one GA or LDS scholar makes an assertion, however vapid, it becomes conventional wisdom and is repeated by subsequent GAs and scholars. It may have no basis, but to contradict or criticize it becomes heresy.

Really, this kind of thinking, as much as anything else, exposes the Church's falseness. Why would God be afraid of truth? How phenomenally stupid!

Subject: In the words of Monte Burns, "Excellent!"
Date: Feb 22 20:35
Author: activejackmormon

Nice work Deconstructor. Isn't it odd that a church that boldly goes out and proclaims that only they have the truth put such a low value on truth. Clearly loyalty to authority is the cornerstone of the faith and truth is relative to this overriding aim.

Subject: Some things that are true are not very useful...(Packer)
Date: Feb 22 22:10
Author: zman44

and some things that are NOT true ARE VERY useful (insert favorite tyrant here).

Wow, how convenient and powerful this is to keep a group of people in line. This is tyranny. Whatever happened to the importance of free agency? Where does free agency stop? After rising from the baptismal waters?

Subject: Holy crap
Date: Feb 22 22:47
Author: mikemgc

That is one of the best damn reference posts I have seen deconstructor. Definitely one for my library. I mean, I always knew that was the attitude, but I've never seen a compilation of quotes like that that confirm what I always knew. Great post, thanks :)

Subject: I've always regarded that referenced quote attributed to Boyd K. Packer as a confession of lying...
Date: Feb 23 00:39
Author: Perry Noid

He essentially acknowledges that the truth or the totality of the truth DOES NOT cause people to see "the hand of the Lord in every hour and every moment of the Church from its beginning till now," but then he charges people employed by the Church to omit all truth that does not support such a view.

In other words, Packer is on record acknowledging that he wants to manipulate people into believing something that is not true. That is lying and Packer has essentially confessed that he advocates such lying.

Truth matters. Even Mormon scriptures promise that knowing the truth will set one free. The Jesus that Mormons (and many others) believe in calls himself "the truth." So when Packer is advocating the suppression of truth, what else is he logically advocating? He says that he is engaged in a war. If the first victim is truth, then it sounds like he is in a war against truth (among other things).

I don't know how Mormons of integrity can read such things from their leaders and continue to believe that they are on the side of truth.

Recovery from Mormonism - The Mormon Church

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