Quotes

Reason

“Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear”.  (Thomas Jefferson)

“Man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without a rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons, gullibility, which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason, and THE MIND BECOMES A WRECK”.  (Thomas Jefferson)

“The man who cannot listen to an argument which opposes his views either has a weak position or is a weak defender of it. No opinion that cannot stand discussion or criticism is worth holding. And it has been wisely said that the man who knows only half of any question is worse off than the man who knows nothing of it. He is not only one-sided but his partisanship soon turns him into an intolerant and a fanatic. In general it is true that nothing which cannot stand up under discussion or criticism is worth defending” (James E. Talmage, Improvement Era, January, 1920, p 204.)

“I think full, free talk is frequently of great use; we want nothing secret, not underhanded, and I for one want no association with things that cannot be talked about and will not bear investigation.” (Pres. John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, vol 20, pg 264)

“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” (Carl Sagan)

To the intelligent man or woman, life appears infinitely mysterious. But the stupid have an answer for every question.  (Edward Abbey)

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” (Galileo)

Book of Mormon

“The Book of Mormon must submit to every test, literary criticism with the rest. Indeed, it must be submitted to every analysis and examination. It must submit to historical tests, to the tests of archaeological research and also to higher criticism.” (B.H. Roberts, Senior President of the Seventy, The Improvement Era, 1911)

“This book [the Book of Mormon] is entitled to the most thorough and impartial examination. Not only does the Book of Mormon merit such consideration, its claims, even demand the same.” (Apostle James E. Talmage in ‘Articles of Faith’, page 273)

Black and White

“Each of us has to face the matter-either the Church is true, or it is a fraud. There is no middle ground. It is the Church and kingdom of God, or it is nothing.” (President Gordon B. Hinckley. “Loyalty,” April Conference, 2003)

Choice

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” (C.S. Lewis)

Faith

“For faith, as well intentioned as it may be, must be built on facts, not fiction – faith in fiction is a damnable false hope.”  (Thomas Edison)

“The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church..” (Ferdinand Magellan, 1480-1521)

I Don’t Know

“None of us knows what lies ahead. We may speculate, but we do not know.” (The Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, October 2001 General Conference “Till We Meet Again,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, Page 89)

During an CNN interview after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Larry King asked Hinckley if God could have prevented the attacks:

  • KING: President Hinckley, though, couldn’t He (God) have prevented this?
  • HINCKLEY: Oh, I suppose so. I believe He’s all powerful, yes. I don’t know His will. I don’t know how He operates.( Larry King Live CNN Interview, September 14, 2001)http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0109/14/lkl.00.html

“I do not know what the future holds. I do not wish to sound negative, but I wish to remind you of the warnings of scripture and the teachings of the prophets which we have had constantly before us.” (The Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Times in Which We Live,” October 2001 General Conference, Ensign, Nov. 2001, Page 72)

Question: “Until 1978 no person of color attained the priesthood in your church. Why it took so long time to overcome the racism?”

  • Hinckley: “I don’t know. I don’t know. (long pause) I can only say that.  (From an interview Jan 29th, 2002 conducted by reporter Helmut Nemetschek, ZDF television, Germany, at Salt Lake City, Utah, in the Church Administration Building:)

Question: “Is this the teaching of the church today, that God the Father was once a man like we are?

  • Hinckley: “I don’t know that we teach it. I don’t know that we emphasize it. I haven’t heard it discussed for a long time in public discourse. I don’t know. I don’t know all the circumstances under which that statement was made. I understand the philosophical background behind it. But I don’t know a lot about it and I don’t know that others know a lot about it.” (Interviewing Gordon B. Hinckley, Time Magazine, Aug 4, 1997 http://home.teleport.com/~packham/gbh-god.htm)

Religion

‘With or without religion, you will have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things–but for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.'” (Steven Weinberg)

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