Maybe Dissenters Are Needed in This Church

I have a question for you. In the LDS church, are we all supposed to agree on everything? If there is a piece of information taught that conflicts with our prior beliefs are we to just blindly change and switch over to this new idea? Is it ever appropriate to question or even disagree with those who have authority over us in the church? I believe that these are complex questions, with a variety of ways in which one could respond. We do believe in obedience in this church, we do believe in faith, but don’t we also believe that God is actually the one leading us? Aren’t we to seek to follow his counsel and to thus question and faithfully seek better understanding through his direction? I believe we are, even though sometimes in zealous moments we may want dissenters to just step in line, perhaps we should realize that maybe God wants them to be exactly where they are.

Hugh B. Brown once shared a powerful quote where he said “I admire men and women who have developed the questing spirit, who are unafraid of new ideas as stepping stones to progress. We should, of course, respect the opinions of others, but we should also be unafraid to dissent–if we are informed. Thoughts and expressions compete in the marketplace of thought, and in that competition truth emerges triumphant. Only error fears freedom of expression… This free exchange of ideas is not to be deplored as long as men and women remain humble and teachable. Neither fear of consequence nor any kind of coercion should ever be used to secure uniformity of thought in the church. People should express their problems and opinions and be unafraid to think without fear of ill consequences. … We must preserve freedom of the mind in the church and resist all efforts to suppress it.”


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