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We have been taught by prophets to never blindly obey

  • We are not to follow them blindly:
    • Elder Boyd K. Packer said, “We are following the admonition of the Prophet Joseph Smith, ‘I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.’ We should not, according to the scriptures, need to be commanded in all things.” (See D&C 58:26.)1
    • “With all their inspiration and greatness, prophets are yet mortal men with imperfections common to mankind in general. They have their opinions and prejudices and are left to work out their own problems without inspiration in many instances.” – Bruce R. McConkie
    • “If Joseph Fielding Smith writes something which is out of harmony with the revelations, then every member of the Church is duty bound to reject it. If he writes that which is in perfect harmony with the revealed word of the Lord, then it should be accepted.” – (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols., (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954–56), 3:203–204 ISBN 0884940411)
    • “The greatest fear I have is that the people of this Church will accept what we say as the will of the Lord without first praying about it and getting the witness within their own hearts that what we say is the word of the Lord.” – Brigham Young
    • “When churches or church leaders choose to enter the public sector to engage in debate on a matter of public policy, they should be admitted to the debate and they should expect to participate in it on the same basis as all other participants. In other words, if churches or church leaders choose to oppose or favor a particular piece of legislation, their opinions should be received on the same basis as the opinions offered by other knowledgeable organizations or persons, and they should be considered on their merits. By the same token, churches and church leaders should expect the same broad latitude of discussion of their views that conventionally applies to everyone else’s participation in public policy debates. A church can claim access to higher authority on moral questions, but its opinions on the application of those moral questions to specific legislation will inevitably be challenged by and measured against secular-based legislative or political judgments.” Dallin H. Oaks, “Religious Values and Public Policy,” Ensign, Oct 1992, 60 [1]
  • We are to be champions of equal rights for all:
    • Joseph Smith declared in a statement published in the June 1, 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons (vol. 3, no. 15, p. 808) that he and other members of the First Presidency were “friends of equal rights and privileges to all men.”
    • President John Taylor said, “When the people shall have torn to shreds the Constitution of the United States the Elders of Israel will be found holding it up to the nations of the earth and proclaiming liberty and equal rights to all men”. (Journal of Discourses, 21:8)
    • Hugh B. Brown of the First Presidency said in October 1963 General Conference, “We believe that all men are the children of the same God, and that it is a moral evil for any person or group of persons to deny any human being the right to gainful employment, to full educational opportunity, and to every privilege of citizenship….We call upon all men, everywhere, both within and outside the Church, to commit themselves to the establishment of full civil equality for all of God’s children.”
    • On December 15, 1969, the First Presidency issued an official statement on civil rights. Latter-day Saints were told, “Each citizen must have equal opportunities and protections under the law with reference to civil rights.”
  • We are to be active in the political arena:
    • The LDS Church encourages its members to play a role as responsible citizens in their communities, becoming informed about issues and voting in elections.
    • The LDS Church expects its members to engage in the political process in an informed and civil manner, respecting the fact that members of the Church come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences and may have differences of opinion in political matters.



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