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"von wem stammt das unglaubliche Zitat:
"When our leaders speak the thinking had been done"
1) Das Original stammt aus dem "Ward Teachers Message For June, 1945, also
der Heimlehrbotschaft, publiziert ursprünglich in Improvement Era, Juni
1945, S. 354.
"When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a
plan--it is Gods plan. When they point the way, there is no other which is
safe. When they give direction, it should mark the end of controversy. God
works in no other way. To think otherwise, without immediate repentance, may
cost one his faith, may destroy his testimony, and leave him a stranger to
the kingdom of God." (siehe unten). Ein ofizielles Organ damit. Dokument A
2) Dann passierte etwas faszinierendes. Ein Nicht-HLT (!) Priester, J.
Raymond Cope, "fragt an" beim Präsidenten der Kirche. George A. Smith.
Dokument B. (s.u.)
3) George macht einen "Rückzieher." Dokument C. (s.u.)
Jeder denkende Mensch würde meinen das Thema wäre damit erledigt. Da jedoch
das Denken ja aufhört, wenn eben "unsere Führer sprechen", ist die
Geschichte noch nicht zu Ende.
4) 1978 durfte dann die Junge Damen Präsidentin, Elaine Cannon, laut denken
(Dokument D, s.u., aus "leaders" wird bei ihr "prophet").
5) und die Erste Präsidentschaft war mittels einer Botschaft der Ersten
Präsidentschaft schwer begeistert (Dokument E, s.u., N- Eldon Tanner zitiert
Cannon zu Beginn und wiederholt den Satz zum Schluß selbst!)
6) und diese elementare Grundbedingung des mormonischen Lebens bzw.
Überlebens wurde z.B. sogleich in einen Leitfaden für das Aaronische
Priestertum eingebaut und gelehrt, denn immerhin muß ja die (männliche)
Jugend Zions ihre zukünftigen Lebensbedingungen kennen.
"A 1945 Perspective
This 1945 ward teachers message on the obedience apparently required of
Church members, the response it sparked from a concerned Salt Lake City
Unitarian minister, and the response of Church President George Albert Smith
to both documents seem appropriate accompaniments to the Newell essay.
Typographical errors have been corrected in brackets. All italics appear as
underlining in the original. The Cope and Smith letters are in Special
Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah--the
J. Raymond Cope Collection (Association no. 691) and the George A. Smith
Papers (Manuscript no. 36, Box 63-8A), respectively.
Ward Teachers Message for June, 1945
"Sustaining the General Authorities of the Church"
No Latter-day Saint is compelled to sustain the General Authorities of the
Church. When given the opportunity to vote on the proposition in any of the
several conferences held throughout the Church, he may indicate his
willingness to sustain them by raising his right hand; he may manifest his
opposition in like manner; or he may ignore the opportunity entirely. There
is no element of coercion or force in this or any other Church procedure.
However, there is the principle of honor involved in the members choice.
When a person raises his hand to sustain Church leaders as "prophets, seers,
and revelators," it is the same as a promise and a covenant to follow their
leadership and to abide by their counsel as the living oracles of God.
Consequently, any subsequent act or word of mouth which is at variance with
the will of the Lord as taught by the leaders of the Church places the
sincerity of such person in serious doubt. One could scarcely have claim
upon complete integrity, if he raises his hand to sustain the Authorities of
the Church and then proceeds in opposition to their counsel.
Any Latter-day Saint who denounces or opposes, whether actively or
otherwise, any plan or doctrine advocated by the "prophets, seers, and
revelators" of the Church is cultivating the spirit of apostasy. One cannot
speak evil of the Lords anointed and retain the Holy Spirit in his heart.
It should be remembered that Lucifer has a very cunning way of convincing
unsuspecting souls that the General Authorities of the Church are as likely
to be wrong as they are to be right. This sort of game is Satans favorite
pastime, and he has practiced it on believing souls since Adam. He wins a
great victory when he can get members of the Church to speak out against
their leaders and to "do their own thinking." He specializes in suggesting
that our leaders are in error while he plays the blinding rays of apostasy
in the eyes of those whom he thus beguiles. What cunning! And to think that
some of our members are deceived by this trickery.
The following words of the Prophet Joseph Smith should be memorized by every
Latter-day Saint and repeated often enough to insure their never being
I will give you one of the Keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom. It is an
eternal principle, that has existed with God from all eternity: That man who
rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they
are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that
that man is in the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent, will
apostatize, as God lives (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp.
WHEN OUR LEADERS SPEAK, THE SPEAKING HAS BEEN DONE (meine Herv.). When they
propose a plan--it is Gods plan. When they point the way, there is no other
which is safe. When they give direction, it should mark the end of
controversy. God works in no other way. To think otherwise, without
immediate repentance, may cost one his faith, may destroy his testimony, and
leave him a stranger to the kingdom of God. (Improvement Era, June 1945, p.
Letter of Reverend J. Raymond Cope
First Unitarian Society
13th East at Sixth South Street
Salt Lake City 2, Utah
J. Raymond Cope, Ph.D.
November 16, 1945
President George Albert Smith
Church of Jesus Christ of L.D.S.,
Office of the President,
Salt Lake City.
Dear President Smith:
It has been one of the great privilege[s] of my life to have lived for the
past four years in Salt Lake City, and to have become personally acquainted
with many of the leaders of the L.D.S. Church. From them I have learned many
things, and the spirit of friendliness which is found in our relationships
is a source of unending delight to me. It is because I have found you and
the other leaders so very charitable and sympathetic that I make so bold as
to write you this letter.
May I first assure you of my good will; that there is not one note of
hostility in attitude. I am confident that you will understand why I write,
and that we have a common interest in the problem.
Last June there was delivered to my door a short religious editorial,
prepared by one of your leaders, entitled "Sustaining the General
Authorities of the Church." Its message amazed me a great deal, and with the
passing of weeks my distur[b]ance became very acute. It might have passed,
except that several members of your Church have come to me to discuss the
subject. The most recent was a prominent doctor, who, because of this tract,
he affirms, is losting [sic] his religious faith. He is a large man, and I
became impressed with his deep sincerity as he broke down and wept like a
boy. I am convinced that he is undergoing a very dangerous experience.
Permit me to quote the passages which seem to be brought most in question:
"He (Lucifer) wins a great victory when he can get members of the Church to
speak against their leaders and to do their own thinking[.]"
"When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a
plan--it is Gods plan. When they point the way, there is no other which is
safe. When they give direction, it should mark the end of controversy...."
I do not know who is responsible for this statement, but I am sure it is
doing inestimable harm to many who have no other reason to question the
integrity of the Church leaders. Many people are suffering because of this.
My reply to each of those who have spoken to me is "please do not become
distrubed [sic], for this cannot be the position of the true leaders. And,
from my knowledge of the early writings of your leaders, I must assume this
to be non-representitive [sic].
Several years ago, when I first became acquainted with the L.D.S. Church, I
read extensively in the texts, and there are many passages which may be used
to give a better expression to the vision and genius of your Faith. I cite
but one, although there are many others which are familiar to you.
Quoting from the Discourses of Brigham Young, as Selected and Arranged by
John A. Widtsoe, in the Chapter on "The Priesthood":
"I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders
that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by
him. I am fearful that they settle down in a state of blind self-security,
trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless
confidence that in itself would thwa[r]t the purposes of God in their
salvation, and weaken that influence they could give their leaders did they
know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the
right way. Let every man and woman know, by the whisperings of the Spirit of
God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord
dictates, or not."
This quotation from Brigham Young is a wonderful passage, and it has been on
the basis of such freedom that persons like myself have grown to have a deep
feeling of kinship with the L.D.S. Church. It is in keeping with the high
traditions of my Unitarian background that the gains made by my fellow
workers are seen as gains for us all. It is a source of regret to all of us
when one stone is discovered to bar the way to deeper faith within any soul.
With an assurance of my continued good-will and friendliness,
Most cordially yours,
J. Raymond Cope. [typed]
Letter of President George Albert Smith
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Office of the First Presidency
Salt Lake City, Utah
December 7, 1945
Dr. J. Raymond Cope
First Unitarian Society
13th East at 6th South Street
Salt Lake City, Utah
My dear Dr. Cope:
I have read with interest and deep concern your letter of November 16, 1945,
in which you make special comment on "a short religious editorial prepared
by one of your (our) leaders entitled "Sustaining the General Authorities of
the Church". You say that you read the message with amazement, and that you
have since been disturbed because of its effect upon members of the Church.
I am gratified with the spirit of friendliness that pervades your letter,
and thank you for having taken the time to write to me.
The leaflet to which you refer, and from which you quote in your letter, was
not "prepared" by "one of our leaders." However, one or more of them
inadvertently permitted the paragraph to pass uncensored. By their so doing,
not a few members of the Church have been upset in their feelings, and
General Authorities have been embarrassed.
I am pleased to assure you that you are right in your attitude that the
passage quoted does not express the true position of the Church. Even to
imply that members of the Church are not to do their own thinking is grossly
to misrepresent the true ideal of the Church, which is that every individual
must obtain for himself a testimony of the truth of the Gospel, must,
through the redemption of Jesus Christ, work out his own salvation, and is
personally responsible to His Maker for his individual acts. The Lord
Himself does not attempt coercion in His desire and effort to give peace and
salvation to His children. He gives the principles of life and true
progress, but leaves every person free to choose or to reject His teachings.
This plan the Authorities of the Church try to follow.
The Prophet Joseph Smith once said: "I want liberty of thinking and
believing as I please." This liberty he and his successors in the leadership
of the Church have granted to every other member thereof.
On one occasion in answer to the question by a prominent visitor how he
governed his people, the Prophet answered: "I teach them correct principles,
and they govern themselves."
Again, as recorded in the History of the Church (Volume 5, page 498 
Joseph Smith said further: "If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear
them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot
persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to
believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own
I cite these few quotations, from many that might be given, merely to
confirm your good and true opinion that the Church gives to every man his
free agency, and admonishes him always to use the reason and good judgment
with which God has blessed him.
In the advocacy of this principle leaders of the Church not only join
congregations in singing but quote frequently the following:
"Know this, that every soul is free
To choose his life and what hell be,
For this eternal truth is given
That God will force no man to heaven."
Again I thank you for your manifest friendliness and for your expressed
willingness to cooperate in every way to establish good will and harmony
among the people with whom we are jointly laboring to bring brotherhood and
Geo. Albert Smith [signed]"
Quellen: Jeweils aus Dialogue, Bd. 19, Nr.1, 1986, S. 35ff.
"When the prophet speaks, the thinking has been done
Womens Fireside, September 16, 1978
"If We Want to Go Up, We Have to Get On", by Elaine A. Cannon, Young Women
Thank you, President Tanner.
President Kimball, Brethren of the General Authorities who are here with us,
thank you for this privilege and for your presence. And to you sisters
across the waves of sound, our greetings and our love. To all of you radiant
mothers and daughters gathered here in the Tabernacle (including my own
daughters and my mother who have come from their scattered homes to be in
the presence of the prophet on this historic occasion), you are a wonderful
delight to look upon.
I join with you all in the joy of being a woman and in the privilege of
being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the ful
ness of times.
Though we are women with different cultural backgrounds clear across the
span of my voice, some with differences in personal situations (we may even
clash at times on opinions regarding temporal trends or how to bake a loaf
of bread properly), my firm feeling is that we must pursue a course of a
covenant people. We must secure those traditions which are sacred to good
people everywhere. In each country as you hear this program by direct line,
your course should become clear, your priorities ought to be known to you as
a daughter of God. Personal opinions may vary. Eternal principles never do.
WHEN THE PROPHET SPEAKS, sisters, THE DEBATE IS OVER. So I urge us all to
provide powerful unity as women for those things we can agree upon-family,
chastity, accountability to the Lord, responsibility in the community,
sharing the gospel.
If by any chance there are doubts in any hearts within the sound of my
voice, or if your own testimony is at all shaky at the moment, hang on to
ours while yours grows. I know that God lives, and I know that Jesus is the
Christ and a necessary Redeemer, that he loves us and that his principles
suffice. On this very special occasion of my maiden voyage, as it were, I am
thankful to be able to personally testify that as President Kimball placed
his hands upon my head with the other Brethren, President Tanner and
President Romney, to set me apart as the general president of the Young
Women of the Church, I felt, through the power of the Holy Ghost, that sweet
and undeniable witness of the validity of his calling as prophet. This
church is true, sisters. The system-priesthood, womanhood-is a blessing to
As each challenge comes to us in life, and as our timetable varies a little
from what we thought it was going to be, may we be wise enough to find
ourselves on the Lords side, getting on and going up with the prophet, I
pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."
New Era, January-February 1979, S. 40f.; ebenso im Ensign November 1978, S.
First Presidency Message, "The Debate Is Over"
By President N. Eldon Tanner
First Counselor in the First Presidency
Recently, at the Churchwide fireside meeting held for the women of the
Church, Young Women President Elaine Cannon made the following statement:
"WHEN THE PROPHET SPEAKS, . THE DEBATE IS OVER" (meine Herv.) (Ensign, Nov.
1978, p. 108).
I was impressed by that simple statement, which carries such deep spiritual
meaning for all of us. Wherever I go, my message to the people is: Follow
the prophet. Why else has the Lord placed prophets on the earth throughout
the dispensations of time? In his infinite wisdom, and as part of the plan
of life and salvation for his children, God has given us the blueprint to
follow, the leadership to direct us and keep us on course, and the Church
organization to help us lay the foundation and develop the skills, or make
the preparation necessary, to lead us back to our eternal home.
It is foolish to suppose that men can be left to their own devices and
accomplish what God intended for them. That is just as unreasonable as it
would be to leave a newborn babe on its own and expect it to learn to walk
and talk and feed and clothe itself without assistance from those
responsible for its care and training. A child so neglected and left alone
would soon perish.
Latter-day Saints should be able to accept the words of the prophets without
having to wait for science to prove the validity of their words. We are most
fortunate to have a living prophet at the head of the Church to guide us,
and all who heed his counsel will be partakers of the promised blessings
which will not be enjoyed by those who fail to accept his messages.
Today there are many issues under debate as controversies rage all around
us. It should be evident to all that we need divine direction, as men and
women who argue their causes seem to be unable to come to workable or
peaceable solutions. It is sad indeed that the world does not know or accept
the fact that in our midst is a prophet through whom God can direct the
solution of world problems.
True Latter-day Saints have no such dilemma. They know that the messages of
the prophet have come from the Lord and have the concurrence of all the
General Authorities, who are men of vision and integrity, and who themselves
try to keep in tune with deity. They are not, as some would suggest,
following blindly and acting without their own agency to speak and think for
themselves. Through prayer to our Heavenly Father each of us can have the
assurance that the course we choose has his divine approval.
We cannot serve God and mammon. Whose side are we on? WHEN THE PROPHET
SPEAKS THE DEBATE IS OVER" (meine Herv.).
Ensign, August 1978, o.S. aus Website der lds.org
"12 Following the Living Prophet
12: Following the Living Prophet, Objective, 39
Each young man will resolve to learn and follow the counsel of Gods
SUGGESTED LESSON DEVELOPMENT
Optional object lesson
Have some or all of the young men try to open the lock without the right key
or combination. Then ask why no one could open it. The young men will
probably indicate that unless they have the right key or combination they
cannot open the lock. Explain that the prophets inspired instructions are
like the key or combination. They reveal or unlock the will of the Lord to
us. The prophet helps us learn the way to salvation and eternal life.
As the servant of the Lord, the prophet receives "light and truth and
revelation from him . to proclaim his truth" and to "give counsel and
direction to the Saints and to the world" (Joseph Fielding Smith, in
Conference Report, Apr. 1972, pp. 12-13; or Ensign, July 1972, p. 27).
Elder David B. Haight of the Council of the Twelve Apostles emphasized the
way in which the prophet guides us as follows: "His voice becomes the voice
of God to reveal new programs, new truths, new solutions. . He must be bold
enough to speak truth even against popular clamor. . He must be certain of
his divine appointment, of his celestial ordination, and of his authority to
call to service, to ordain, to pass keys which fit eternal locks" ("Come,
Listen to a Prophets Voice," in Speeches of the Year, 1976 [Provo: Brigham
Young University Press, 1977], p. 291).
The Lord Reveals His Will through His Prophet
Scripture report and discussion
Read and discuss Doctrine and CovenantsD&C 1:38.
. Whose voice is the same as the Lords voice? (The prophets, the stake
presidents, the bishops.)
Quotation and discussion
Explain that the Lord sends his prophets because he loves us and wants us to
return to him. A prophet teaches us how to follow Christ and return to his
presence. President N. Eldon Tanner of the First Presidency testified: "I
have had the great privilege of being with four Presidents of this church
and of seeing how the Lord works through them. One cannot doubt when he sees
them that they are prophets of God, leading us in the paths of truth and
righteousness and helping us to prepare ourselves . for eternal life" (in
Conference Report, Oct. 1980, p. 5; or Ensign, Nov. 1980, p. 6).
We Are Blessed When We Follow the Living Prophet
Display a picture of the living prophet. Point out that we have been
specifically directed to follow the living prophets inspired counsel.
Explain that the living prophet receives instruction from the Lord for the
members of the Church at this time. Because each generation lives under
different conditions, the Lord guides his Church in each generation through
the living prophet.
Write Prophets Instructions at the top left of the chalkboard and Promises
and Blessings on the top right of the chalkboard.
Using a message from the prophet, help the young men appreciate the prophet
s concern for them by sharing the message and extracting specific
instructions and particular promises and blessings. Have the young men
supply the items for the lists as they listen to the prophets counsel.
Point out that we may not see an immediate reason for following the prophet
s advice. For example, over 150 years ago the Lord revealed through the
Prophet Joseph Smith that tobacco, coffee, and tea are harmful to our
bodies. At that time, people thought those items were harmless, and they
were amazed by this revelation. Only recently modern science has confirmed
the truths that a prophet revealed so many years ago. The many Saints who
have followed the Prophet and obeyed the Word of Wisdom have been blessed
spiritually and physically for their obedience. Likewise, if we obey our
prophets counsel, we will be blessed.
Quotation and discussion
Sister Elaine A. Cannon, who has devoted much of her life to guiding and
teaching young people, bore this witness of the living prophet: "Now, as he
speaks to us . it is as if the Lord Jesus Christ himself were addressing
us. . Christ made this very clear when he said to others of his children a
time ago, Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these .
whom I have chosen from among you to minister unto you (3 Nephi 12:1). .
Your course should become clear, your priorities ought to be known to you. .
Personal opinions vary. Eternal principles never do. WHEN THE PROPHET
SPEAKS . THE DEBATE IS OVER" (meine Her.v) ("If We Want to Go Up, We Have to
Go On," New Era, Jan.-Feb. 1979, pp. 40-41).
. What did Sister Cannon mean when she said that WHEN THE PROPHET SPEAKS,
THE DEABTE IS OVER? (meine Herv.)
. Why is this so important to us?
Testimony and challenge
Bear testimony of the blessing of having a living prophet. Challenge each
young man to choose one of the instructions from the prophets message
discussed in the lesson and live it more fully each day. Furthermore,
challenge the class to listen more carefully to the prophets future advice
and to use it in making everyday decisions."
Quelle: Website der lds.org