LDS Mormon Loyalty Church Leaders





Uncompromising Loyalty to the LDS Church

Mormon ObedienceEver wonder why both Mormon politicians and lay members vote in unison in support of the church, despite their differing political affiliations?

Ever wonder what motivates members of the church to reject their own spouses, children and relatives in favor of the church?

Ever wonder why members of the church sacrifice their personal integrity in defense of official church history and practices?

The answer is that faithful members know that their first and foremost duty is uncompromising loyalty to the church.

Church President Godon B. Hinckley recently declared:

gordon-hinckley"Now may I say a word concerning loyalty to the Church. We see much indifference. There are those who say, 'The Church won't dictate to me how to think about this, that, or the other, or how to live my life.'"

"No, I reply, the Church will not dictate to any man how he should think or what he should do. The Church will point out the way and invite every member to live the gospel and enjoy the blessings that come of such living. The Church will not dictate to any man, but it will counsel, it will persuade, it will urge, and it will expect loyalty from those who profess membership therein."

"The book of Revelation declares: 'I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth' (Revelation 3:15-16)."

"I make you a promise, my dear brethren, that while I am serving in my present responsibility I will never consent to nor advocate any policy, any program, any doctrine which will be otherwise than beneficial to the membership of this, the Lord's Church."

"This is His work. He established it. He has revealed its doctrine. He has outlined its practices. He created its government. It is His work and His kingdom, and He has said, "They who are not for me are against me" (2 Nephi 10:16)."

"In 1933, there was a movement in the United States to overturn the law which prohibited commerce in alcoholic beverages. When it came to a vote, Utah was the deciding state. President Heber J. Grant, then President of this Church, had pleaded with our people against voting to nullify Prohibition. It broke his heart when so many members of the Church in this state disregarded his counsel."

"On this occasion I am not going to talk about the good or bad of Prohibition but rather of uncompromising loyalty to the Church."

"How grateful, my brethren, I feel, how profoundly grateful for the tremendous faith of so many Latter-day Saints who, when facing a major decision on which the Church has taken a stand, align themselves with that position. And I am especially grateful to be able to say that among those who are loyal are men and women of achievement, of accomplishment, of education, of influence, of strength-highly intelligent and capable individuals."

"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.

Unquestioning Obedience a Virtue

robert-oaks"For us, to 'believe all things' means to believe the doctrine of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ as well as the words of the Latterday prophets. It means to successfully erase our doubts and reservations. It means that in making spiritual commitments, we are prepared to hold nothing back. It means we are ready to consecrate our lives to the work of the kingdom."

"The more we believe, the easier faith-based obedience becomes. Hence the value of 'believing all things.'"

"We are instructed to be like children, who are willing to be taught and then to act without first demanding full knowledge."

"Some members are constantly evaluating the gospel by the standards of the world. They may think, 'That is not how I think the Lord would want it done,' or, 'Based on my understanding of the scriptures, the Church position should have been . . .'"

"Some Church members may have reservations because of a physical appetite they are not quite willing to surrender."

"Other common reservations are flagged by words such as 'yes, but . . .' when scriptures or prophets are quoted. Or we may hear, 'I am not going to let the Church make my decisions for me.'"

"Obedience is a fundamental law of the gospel. It is not only the demonstration of our faith but also the foundation of our faith. But the philosophical standard of the world holds that unquestioning obedience equals blind obedience, and blind obedience is mindless obedience. This is simply not true. Unquestioning obedience to the Lord indicates that a person has developed faith and trust in Him to the point where he or she considers all inspired instruction — whether it be recorded scripture or the words of modern prophets — to be worthy of obedience."

"One day there will be answers to all our questions, and they will be based on divine fairness and love. The Lord will not hold people accountable for factors over which they have no control."

"Let us believe all things. Let us have unquestioning faith in all of the doctrines and truths of the restored gospel."

"Helps for Family Home Evening: 1. Blindfold one family member. Have a parent guide him or her through a set of obstacles. Compare this activity to the doctrines presented in this article."
- Elder Robert Oaks, "Believe All Things," Ensign, July 2005, page 30

russell ballard"I know a 17-year-old who, just prior to the prophet’s talk, had pierced her ears a second time. She came home from the fireside, took off the second set of earrings, and simply said to her parents, “If President Hinckley says we should only wear one set of earrings, that’s good enough for me.”"

"Wearing two pair of earrings may or may not have eternal consequences for this young woman, but her willingness to obey the prophet will. And if she will obey him now, on something relatively simple, how much easier it will be to follow him when greater issues are at stake."
- Apostle M. Russell Ballard, “His Word Ye Shall Receive,” Ensign, May 2001, 65

Church Leaders Expect Conformity

jeffrey holland"But no child in this Church should be left with uncertainty about his or her parents' devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Restoration of His Church, and the reality of living prophets and apostles who, now as in earlier days, lead that Church according to 'the will of the Lord, . . . the mind of the Lord, . . . the word of the Lord, . . . and the power of God unto salvation.' In such basic matters of faith, prophets do not apologize for requesting unity, indeed conformity, in the eloquent sense that the Prophet Joseph Smith used that latter word. In any case, as Elder Neal Maxwell once said to me in a hallway conversation, 'There didn't seem to be any problem with conformity the day the Red Sea opened.'"

"What a classic example of the warning Elder Richard L. Evans once gave. Said he:

Sometimes some parents mistakenly feel that they can relax a little as to conduct and conformity or take perhaps a so called liberal view of basic and fundamental things-thinking that a little laxness or indulgence won't matter-or they may fail to teach or to attend Church, or may voice critical views. Some parents . . . seem to feel that they can ease up a little on the fundamentals without affecting their family or their family's future. But, if a parent goes a little off course, the children are likely to exceed the parent's example.

"To lead a child - or anyone else - even inadvertently, away from faithfulness, away from loyalty and bedrock belief simply because we want to be clever or independent is license no parent nor any other person has ever been given. In matters of religion a skeptical mind is not a higher manifestation of virtue than is a believing heart, and analytical deconstruction in the field of, say, literary fiction can be just plain old-fashioned destruction when transferred to families yearning for faith at home. And such a deviation from the true course can be deceptively slow and subtle in its impact. As one observer said, "[If you raise the temperature of my] bath water . . . only 1 degree every 10 minutes, how [will I] know when to scream?"
- Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland, General Conference, Sunday April 6th 2003

Do church leaders think they have a duty to tell the truth, or to protect church authority at all costs?

Apostle Dallin Oaks:

dallin oaks"My duty as a member of the Council of the Twelve is to protect what is most unique about the LDS church, namely the authority of priesthood, testimony regarding the restoration of the gospel, and the divine mission of the Savior. Everything may be sacrificed in order to maintain the integrity of those essential facts. Thus, if Mormon Enigma reveals information that is detrimental to the reputation of Joseph Smith, then it is necessary to try to limit its influence and that of its authors."
- Apostle Dallin Oaks, footnote 28, Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith: Psychobiography and the Book of Mormon, Introduction p. xliii

Apostle Boyd K. Packer:

boyd packer“You seminary teachers and some of you institute and BYU men will be teaching the history of the Church this school year. This is an unparalleled opportunity in the lives of your students to increase their faith and testimony of the divinity of this work. Your objective should be that they will see the hand of the Lord in every hour and every moment of the Church from its beginning till now.

“Church history can be so interesting and so inspiring as to be a very powerful tool indeed for building faith. If not properly written or properly taught, it may be a faith destroyer.”

“There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not.”

Some things that are true are not very useful.

“That historian or scholar who delights in pointing out the weaknesses and frailties of present or past leaders destroys faith. A destroyer of faith — particularly one within the Church, and more particularly one who is employed specifically to build faith — places himself in great spiritual jeopardy. He is serving the wrong master, and unless he repents, he will not be among the faithful in the eternities. ... Do not spread disease germs!"
- Boyd K. Packer, "The Mantle is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect", 1981, BYU Studies, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 259-271

Apostle Russell M. Nelson:

russell nelson"Indeed, in some instances, the merciful companion to truth is silence. Some truths are best left unsaid."

"Any who are tempted to rake through the annals of history, to use truth unrighteously, or to dig up “facts” with the intent to defame or destroy, should hearken to this warning of scripture:

“The righteousness of God [is] revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” (Rom. 1:17-18.)

"I repeat: 'The wrath of God is … against all … who hold the truth in unrighteousness.'"

To anyone who, because of truth, may be tempted to become a dissenter against the Lord and his anointed, weigh carefully your action in light of this sacred scripture:

“These dissenters, having the same instruction and the same information … yea, having been instructed in the same knowledge of the Lord, nevertheless, it is strange to relate, not long after their dissensions they became more hardened and impenitent, and … wicked, … entirely forgetting the Lord their God.” (Alma 47:36.)

"We must realize that we are at war. The war began before the world was and will continue. The forces of the adversary are extant upon the earth. All of our virtuous motives, if transmitted only by inertia and timidity, are no match for the resolute wickedness of those who oppose us."
- Russell M. Nelson, “Truth—and More,” Ensign, Jan. 1986, page 69

Never Criticize Past or Present Church Leaders - Even if it's True

dallin oaks"It is one thing to depreciate a person who exercises corporate power or even government power. It is quite another thing to criticize or depreciate a person for the performance of an office to which he or she has been called of God. It does not matter that the criticism is true."

" As Elder George F. Richards, President of the Council of the Twelve, said in a conference address in April 1947, 'when we say anything bad about the leaders of the Church, whether true or false, we tend to impair their influence and their usefulness and are thus working against the Lord and his cause.' ... The Holy Ghost will not guide or confirm criticism of the Lord's anointed, or of Church leaders, local or general. This reality should be part of the spiritual evaluation that LDS readers and viewers apply to those things written about our history and those who made it."
- Dallin H. Oaks, "Reading Church History," CES Doctrine and Covenants Symposium, Brigham Young University, 16 Aug. 1985, page 25. also see Dallin H. Oaks, "Elder Decries Criticism of LDS Leaders," quoted in The Salt Lake Tribune, Sunday August 18, 1985, p. 2B

Apostle Dallin H. Oaks published a similar talk for the February 1987 Ensign Magazine. Again, Apostle Oaks declared that there is no place in the church for public criticism of church leaders, even if the criticism is true. He also said:

dallin oaks"Truth surely exists as an absolute, but our use of truth should be disciplined by other values. ... When truth is constrained by other virtues, the outcome is not falsehood but silence for a season. As the scriptures say, there is “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.”

"Does the commandment to avoid faultfinding and evil speaking apply to Church members’ destructive personal criticism of Church leaders? Of course it does. It applies to criticism of all Church leaders—local or general, male or female. In our relations with all of our Church leaders, we should follow the Apostle Paul’s direction: “Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father.” (1 Tim. 5:1.)"

"Government or corporate officials, who are elected directly or indirectly or appointed by majority vote, must expect that their performance will be subject to critical and public evaluations by their constituents. That is part of the process of informing those who have the right and power of selection or removal. The same is true of popularly elected officers in professional, community, and other private organizations."

"A different principle applies in our Church, where the selection of leaders is based on revelation, subject to the sustaining vote of the membership. In our system of Church government, evil speaking and criticism of leaders by members is always negative. Whether the criticism is true or not, as Elder George F. Richards explained, it tends to impair the leaders’ influence and usefulness, thus working against the Lord and his cause."

"Public debate—the means of resolving differences in a democratic government—is not appropriate in our Church government. We are all subject to the authority of the called and sustained servants of the Lord. They and we are all governed by the direction of the Spirit of the Lord, and that Spirit only functions in an atmosphere of unity. That is why personal differences about Church doctrine or procedure need to be worked out privately."
- Apostle Dallin H. Oaks, “Criticism,” Ensign, Feb. 1987, page 68

joesph wirthlin"Some people exalt themselves above God and His annointed servants because of their learning and scholarly achievements. We must never allow our intellect to take priority over our spirit. Our intellect can feed our spirit and our spirit can feed our intellect, but if we allow our intellect to take precedence over our spirit, we stumble, find fault, and may even lose our testimonies."
- Apostle Joseph B. Wirthlin. October 2004 General Conference.

mormon obedience“You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord himself, with patience and faith, the promise is that ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.’ (DC 21:6)”
- Prophet Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, Oct. 1970, p. 152

One effective way church members are locked into loyalty is through the temple ordinances, which include strong oaths of total loyalty and sacrifice to the church.

Quoting from the temple ceremony:

temple covenantTEMPLE NARRATOR: (All patrons stand.) "And as Jesus Christ has laid down his life for the redemption of mankind, so we should covenant to sacrifice all that we possess, even our own lives if necessary, in sustaining and defending the Kingdom of God."

"All arise. Each of you bring your right arm to the square. You and each of you solemnly covenant and promise before God, angels, and these witnesses at this alter that you will observe and keep the Law of Sacrifice, as contained in the Old and New Testament, as it has been explained to you. Each of you bow your head and say "yes.""


ELOHIM: "That will do." (All patrons sit down.)

TEMPLE NARRATOR: (All patrons stand.) "Each of you bring your right arm to the square. You and each of you covenant and promise before God, angels, and these witnesses at this altar, that you do accept the Law of Consecration as contained in this, (The Officiator holds up a copy of the Doctrine and Covenants again.), the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, in that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion."

"Each of you bow your head and say "yes.""


PETER: "That will do." (All patrons sit down.)

Mormons take these oaths very seriously. In fact, all members of the church who attened the temple prior to 1990 also made death-oaths in connection with these pledges of absolute loyalty.

From the temple ceremony before 1990 through the 1930's:

Death Oath #1:

ELOHIM: "All arise." (All patrons stand.)

ELOHIM: "Each of you make the sign of the First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, by bringing your right arm to the square, the palm of the hand to the front, the fingers together, and the thumb extended. This is the sign. Now, repeat in your mind after me the words of the covenant, at the same time representing the execution of the penalty."

"I ________, think of the new name, covenant before God, angels and these witnesses that I will never reveal the First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, with its accompanying name and sign, and penalty. Rather than do so, I would suffer my life to be taken."

(Patrons perform the action as the Officiator guides them.)

"That will do." (Patrons sit down.)

Death Oath #2:

PETER: "The sign is made by bringing the right hand in front of you, with the hand in cupping shape, the right arm forming a square, and the left arm being raised to the square. This is the sign. (The officiator demonstrates.) The Execution of the Penalty is represented by placing the right hand on the left breast, drawing the hand quickly across the body, and dropping the hands to the sides. I will now explain the covenant and obligation of secrecy which are associated with this token, its name, and sign, and penalty, and which you will be required to take upon yourselves."

PETER: "All arise. (All Patrons stand.) Each of you make the sign of the Second Token of the Aaronic priesthood by bringing the right hand in front of you, with the hand in cupping shape, the right arm forming a square, and the left arm being raised to the square. This is the sign."

"Now, repeat in your mind after me the words of the covenant, at the same time representing the Executing of the Penalty."

"I, _________, think of the first given name, solemnly covenant, before God, angels, and these witnesses that I will never reveal the second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, with its accompanying name, and sign, and penalty. Rather than do so, I would suffer my life to be taken."

(Patrons perform the action as the Officiator guides them.)

"That will do." (All patrons sit down.)

Death Oath #3:

PETER: "All arise. (All patrons stand.) Each of you make the sign of the First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood or Sign of the Nail by brining the left hand in front of you with the hand in cupping shape, the left arm forming a square; also by bringing the right hand is also brought forward, the palm down, the fingers close together, the thumb extended, and by placing the thumb over the left hip. This is the sign."

"Now repeat in your mind after me the words of the covenant, at the same time representing the Execution of the Penalty:"

"I solemnly covenant in the name of the Son that I will never reveal the First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood or Sign of the Nail, with its accompanying name,and sign and penalty. Rather than do so, I would suffer my life to be taken."

(Patrons perform the action as the Officiator guides them.)

"That will do." (All patrons sit down.)

Prior to the 1930's, these death oaths were even more grewsome. From the temple ceremony prior to the 1930's:

ADAM : "We, and each of us, covenant and promise that we will not reveal any of the secrets of this, the first token of the Aaronic priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign or penalty. Should we do so, we agree that our throats be cut from ear to ear and our tongues torn out by their roots."

ADAM: "All bow your heads and say Yes."

TEMPLE PATRONS: "Yes." (All patrons sit down.)

PETER: "The brethren and sisters will now stand, push back the seats, place the robe on the left shoulder, and receive the Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood. We and each of us do covenant and promise that we will not reveal the secrets of this, the Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign, grip or penalty. Should we do so, we agree to have our breasts cut open and our hearts and vitals torn from our bodies and given to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field."

"All bow your heads and say yes."

TEMPLE PATRONS: "Yes." (All patrons sit down.)

PETER: "We and each of us do covenant and promise that we will not reveal any of the secrets of this, the First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign or penalty. Should we do so, we agree that our bodies be cut asunder in the midst and all our bowels gush out."

"All bow your heads and say yes."

TEMPLE PATRONS: "Yes." (All patrons sit down.)

Is it any wonder that faithful Mormons will give up everything, including their own family members and integrity to the cause of the church?

How could anyone who takes these oaths seriously be open-minded about problems with the church?

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