Cory Leonard

On Criticism: A Mormon Perspective

In politics on October 23, 2011 at 4:03 pm

In 1986 Dallin Oaks gave a presentation on “criticism” to the LDS Student Association and explores what it means to deal with disagreements, concerns, and conflicts–both in society and within Mormon beliefs and church organization.

He observes five different ways that criticism of ecclesiastical leaders can be directed, and anticipates the concepts to not be accepted or understood widely.

This counsel will be anathema to some. I invite those who are troubled by it to consider it in terms of the teachings of the scriptures rather than in terms of their personal preferences or the canons of any particular profession. Those who reject the authority of the scriptures or our latter-day prophets cannot be expected to agree with what I have said. Those who see freedom or truth as absolutely overriding principles in all human actions cannot be expected to be persuaded by the scriptures’ teaching that “knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.” (1 Cor. 8:1.)
Those who govern their thoughts and actions solely by the principles of liberalism or conservatism or intellectualism cannot be expected to agree with all of the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As for me, I find some wisdom in liberalism, some wisdom in conservatism, and much truth in intellectualism—but I find no salvation in any of them.

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