Sunday, March 16, 2014

The OPPOSITE of blind obedience...

“...while all members should respect, support, and heed the teachings of the authorities of the church, no one should accept a statement and base his or her testimony upon it, no matter who makes it, until he or she has, under mature examination, found it to be true and worthwhile; then one’s logical deductions may be confirmed by the spirit of revelation to his or her spirit, because real conversion must come from within” ((Hugh B. Brown, An Abundant Life: The Memoirs of Hugh B. Brown, ed. Edwin B. Firmage [Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1999], 140).


“With respect to people feeling that whatever the brethren say is gospel, this tends to undermine the proposition of freedom of speech and thought. As members of the church we are bound to sustain and support the brethren in the positions they occupy so long as their conduct entitles them to that. But we also have only to defend those doctrines of the church contained in the four standard works—the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Anything beyond that by anyone is his or her own opinion and not scripture. Although there are certain statements that whatever the brethren say becomes the word of God, this is a dangerous practice to apply to all leaders and all cases. The only way I know of by which the teachings of any person or group may become binding upon the church is if the teachings have been reviewed by all the brethren, submitted to the highest councils of the church, and then approved by the whole body of the church.

“I do not doubt that the brethren have often spoken under inspiration and given new emphasis—perhaps even a new explanation or interpretation—of church doctrine, but that does not become binding upon the church unless and until it is submitted to the scrutiny of the rest of the brethren and later to the vote of the people. Again, we are only bound by the four standard works and are not required to defend what any man or woman says outside of them” (Hugh B. Brown, An Abundant Life: The Memoirs of Hugh B. Brown, ed. Edwin B. Firmage [Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1999], 123-124.
“We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark that they would do anything they were told to do by those who preside over them even if they knew it was wrong; but such obedience is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself, should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God would despise the idea. Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty authority have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the saints were told to do by their presidents, they should do it without any questions. When Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their hearts to do wrong themselves." (Millennial Star, Volume 14, No. 38, Pages 593-595).

"I wish to notice this. We read in the Bible that there is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars. In the book of Doctrine and Covenants, the glories are called telestial, terrestrial, and celestial, which is the highest. These are worlds, different departments or mansions, in our Fathers's house. Now those men, or those women, who know no more about the power of God, and the influence of the Holy Spirit, than to be led entirely by another person, suspending their own understanding, and pinning their fate upon another's sleeve, will never be capable of entering into the celestial glory, to be crowned as they anticipate; they will never be capable of becoming Gods. They cannot rule themselves to say nothing of ruling others, but they must be dictated to in every trifle, like a child. They cannot control themselves in the least, but James, Peter or somebody else must control them. They never can become Gods, nor be crowned as rulers with glory, immortality, and eternal lives. They never can hold scepters of glory, majesty, and power in the celestial kingdom. Who will? Those who are valiant and inspired with the true independence of heaven, who will go forth boldly in the service of their God, leaving others to do as they please, determined to do right, though all mankind besides should take the opposite course. Will this apply to any of you? Your own hearts can answer. " -Brigham Young, journal of discourses, vol 1, p 312.