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Vote According To Your Conscience

Joseph Smith

"What a strange people these Mormons are. They are like a flock of sheep; if I should jump into Hell, I believe they would follow me!” (Joseph Smith, in reference to the secular block-voting of the Saints, Macomb Journal, January 25, 1837, p.2)

President Charles W. Penrose

“President Wilford Woodruff is a man of wisdom and experience, and we respect and venerate him, but when ‘Thus saith the Lord’, comes from him, the Saints investigate it: they do not shut their eyes and take it down like a pill.” (President Charles W. Penrose, First Counselor in the First Presidency, Millennial Star Vol. 54 #12 p. 191)

Joseph F. Smith

“We desire that the Latter-day Saints will exercise the liberty wherewith they have been made free by the gospel of Jesus Christ; for they are entitled to know the right from the wrong, to see the truth and draw the line between it and error; and it is their privilege to judge for themselves and to act upon their own free agency with regard to their choice as to sustaining or otherwise those who should exercise the presiding functions among them. We desire the Latter-day Saints to exercise their prerogative, which is, to vote as the Spirit of the Lord prompts them on the measures and the men that may be presented to them.” (1904 General Conference, President Joseph F. Smith)

Joseph F. Smith

“We desire that the brethren and sisters will all feel the responsibility of expressing their feelings in relation to the propositions that may be put before you. We do not want any man or woman who is a member of the Church to violate their conscience. We would like all to vote as they feel, whether for or against. (1902, General Conference, President Joseph F. Smith)

J. Reuben Clark

“We can tell when the speakers are moved upon by the Holy Ghost only when we, ourselves, are moved upon by the Holy Ghost. In a way, this completely shifts the responsibility from them to us to determine when they so speak”. (President J. Rueben Clark, CN-7/31/54)

Joseph F. Smith

“Men and women should become settled in the truth and rounded in a knowledge of the Gospel, depending upon no person for borrowed light, but trusting only upon the Holy Spirit, who is ever the same.” (President Joseph F. Smith, 1904; as quoted by Elder Samuel O. Bennion, General Conference, April 1941)

Joseph Fielding Smith

“It makes no difference what is written or what anyone has said, if what has been said is in conflict with what the Lord has revealed, we can set it aside. My words, and the teachings of any other member of the Church, high or low, if they do not square with the revelations, we need not accept them. Let us have this matter clear. We have accepted the four standard works as the measuring yardsticks, or balances, by which we measure every man’s doctrine” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation,3:203).

Joseph Smith

“It is the privilege of every Elder to speak of the things of God; and could we all come together with one heart and one mind in perfect faith the veil might as well be rent today as next week, or any other time, and if we will but cleanse ourselves and covenant before God, to serve Him, it is our privilege to have an assurance that God will protect us at all times.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 9)

First Presidency (Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, Anthon M. Lund)

An “Address to the World” from the First Presidency (President Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, Anthon H. Lund, in 1907), adopted by unanimous vote of the Saints: “The charge that the Church...shuns enlightened investigation is contrary to reason and fact...Enlightened investigation is the very means through which the Church hopes to promote belief in her principles, and extend the beneficent influence of her institutions. From the beginning, enlightened investigation has been the one thing she has sought.” (Improvement Era, May 1907)

2 Ne. 4:34

“O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.” (2 Nephi 4:34)

John Taylor

“If we have presidents or apostles or anybody that we do not like, let us vote them out, and be free men, and cultivate and cherish in our bosoms the principles of liberty.” (President John Taylor, 7 October 1872; “Discourse,” The Deseret News Weekly, volume 21, number 48.)

Mark 9:46

“And if thine eye which seeth for thee, him that is appointed to watch over thee to show thee light, become a transgressor and offend thee, pluck him out.” Mark 9:46, JST

Seymour B. Young

“You must work through the Spirit. If that leads you into conflict with the program of the Church, you follow the voice of the Spirit.” (Elder Seymour B. Young, First Quorum of the Seventy 1882-1924).

Joseph Smith

“President Joseph Smith read the 14th chapter of Ezekiel–said the Lord had declared by the Prophet, that the people should each one stand for himself, and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish church–that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls–applied it to the present state of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints–said if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall–that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds, in consequence of neglecting the duties devolving upon themselves.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 237-38).

Ezek. 14:14

"Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God." (Ezekiel 14:14)

George Q. Cannon

“Do not, brethren, put your trust in man though he be a bishop, an apostle, or a President; if you do, they will fail you at some time or place; they will do wrong or seem to, and your support will be gone; but if we lean on God, He will never fail us. When men and women depend upon God alone and trust in Him alone, their faith will not be shaken if the highest in the Church should step aside”. (George Q. Cannon, First Counselor in the First Presidency, Deseret Weekly, 43:322, Mar 7, 1891).

Orson Pratt

“We have hitherto acted too much as machines, as to following the President. I will confess to my own shame that I have acted contrary to my own judgment many times. I mean hereafter not to demean myself, to not run contrary to my own judgment. When President Young says that the Spirit of the Lord says thus and so, I don’t consider that all we should do is to say let it be so.” (Elder Orson Pratt; Conflict in the Quorum by Gary James Bergera, 2002).

Joseph Smith

“You will live to see men arise in power in the Church who will seek to put down your friends and the friends of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Many will be hoisted because of their money and worldly learning which they seem to be in possession of; and many who are the true followers of our Lord and Savior will be cast down because of their poverty.” (Joseph Smith; Mosiah Hancock Journal, pg. 28)

"I told them that a prophet was a prophet only when he was acting as such." (Joseph Smith; TPJS, p. 278)

Brigham Young

“Brethren, this church will be led on to the very brink of hell by the leaders of this people.” (Brigham Young; Attested to by Joshua Jones, 1861, Provo Bowery)

“Suppose that the leaders of this people had forsaken the Lord and should introduce, through selfishness, that which would militate against the kingdom of God on the earth, that which would in the issue actually destroy this people, how are you going to detect the wrong and know it from the right? You cannot do it unless you have the spirit of the Lord. Some may say, Brethren, you who lead the church, we have all confidence in you, we are not in the least afraid but what everything will go right under your superintendence; all the business matters will be transacted right; and if Brother Brigham is satisfied with it, I am. I do not wish any Latter-Day Saint in this world, nor in heaven, to be satisfied with anything I do, unless the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, the spirit of revelation, makes them satisfied. I wish them to know for themselves and understand for themselves, for this would strengthen the faith that is in them. Suppose that the people were heedless, that they manifested no concern with regard to the things of the kingdom of God, but threw the whole burden upon the leaders of the people, saying, ‘If the brethren who take charge of matters are satisfied we are,’ this is not pleasing in the sight of the Lord.” (Brigham Young; J. D. 3:44- 45)

"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 (including the prophet) should take the opposite course.” (Brigham Young; J. D. 1:312)

John Taylor

“The church will go into bondage both temporally and spiritually and in that day the One Mighty and Strong spoken of in the 85th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants would come.” (John Taylor; A LEAF IN REVIEW, Page 235.)

Wilford Woodruff

"The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty." (Sixty-first Semiannual General Conference of the Church, Monday, October 6, 1890, Salt Lake City, Utah. Reported in Deseret Evening News, October 11, 1890, p. 2.) "We will not end the practice of plural marriage until the coming of the Son of Man". (Wilford Woodruff: Journal of John Henry Smith, 21 May 1888, LDS Church Archives)

Scriptures:

"When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him." (Deuteronomy 18:22)

"But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed." (Galatians 2:11)

"And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell...Therefore, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion! Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well! Yea, wo be unto him that hearkeneth unto the precepts of men, and denieth the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost! Yea, wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we need no more!...Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!" (2 Nephi 28:21-29)

“Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.” (2 Nephi 28:31)

"And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them." (3 Nephi 16:10)

“Beware of pride lest ye become as the Nephites of old.” (D&C 38:39)

“No man can serve two masters.” (Matthew 6:24)"