Church Organization

There are those within the Church who are disturbed when changes are made with which they disagree or when changes they propose are not made. They point to these as evidence that the leaders are not inspired. They write and speak to convince others that the doctrines and decisions of the Brethren are not given through inspiration.

Two things characterize them: they are always irritated by the word obedience, and always they question revelation. It has always been so. Helaman described those who “began to disbelieve in the spirit of prophecy and in the spirit of revelation; and the judgments of God did stare them in the face” (Helaman 4:23). “They were left in their own strength” (4:13), and “the Spirit of the Lord did no more preserve them; yea, it had withdrawn from them” (4:24). Changes in organization or procedures are a testimony that revelation is ongoing. While doctrines remain fixed, the methods or procedures do not.

Boyd K. Packer  |  Ensign, November 1989, p. 15

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Spencer W. Kimball Portrait

“I am impressed that our various Church programs are like keys on the keyboard of a piano. Some of the keys are used much more often than others, but all of them are needed from time to time to produce harmony and balance in our lives. So often, therefore, what we are doing in our various talks and meetings is to remind ourselves of the need for balance, the need for fresh emphasis here or there, and the need to do the things that matter most without leaving the other things undone.”

Spencer W. Kimball  |  Conference Report, Apr. 1976, 70; or Ensign, May 1976, 46

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Joseph Smith Portrait

“It is contrary to the economy of God for any member of the Church, or any one [else], to receive instruction for those in authority, higher than themselves.”

Joseph Smith  |  Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 21.

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“There is an urgent need for leaders of the Church at all levels to spiritualize their leadership more so that our overarching purposes are not lost in the mechanics of meetings, organizations.”

Harold B. Lee

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“During the Great Depression, Harold B. Lee, serving then as a stake president, was asked by the Brethren to find an answer to the oppressive poverty, sorrow, and hunger that were so widespread across the world at that time. He struggled to find a solution and took the matter to the Lord and asked, “What kind of an organization will we have … to do this?”…And “it was as though the Lord had said [to him]: ‘Look, son. You don’t need any other organization. I have given you the greatest organization there is on the face of the earth. Nothing is greater than the priesthood organization. All in the world you need to do is to put the priesthood to work. That’s all.’”

Harold B. Lee  |  transcript of welfare agricultural meeting, Oct. 3, 1970, 20.

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“I know that those who use the cliche about the gospel being more “true” than the Church want the term gospel to mean a perfect system of revealed commandments based in principles that infallibly express the natural laws of the universe. But even revelation is, in fact, merely the best understanding the Lord can give us of those things. And, as God himself has clearly insisted, that understanding is far from perfect. He re­minds us, in the first section of the Doctrine and Covenants, “Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding. And inasmuch as they erred it might be made known” (D&C 1:24-25). This is a remarkably complete and sobering inventory of the problems involved in putting God’s knowledge of the universe into human language and then having it understood. It should make us careful about claiming too much for “the gospel,” which is not the perfect principles or natural laws themselves—or God’s perfect knowledge of those things—but is merely the closest approximation that in­spired but limited mortals can receive.”

Eugene English  |  Why the Church Is As True As the Gospel

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Neal A. Maxwell Headshot
“When the word living is used, it carries a divinely deliberate connotation. The Church is neither dead nor dying, nor is it even wounded. The Church, like the living God who established it, is alive, aware, and functioning. It is not a museum that houses a fossilized faith; rather, it is a kinetic kingdom characterized by living faith in living disciples.”

Elder Neal A. Maxwell  |  Things As They Really Are, 46;

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“All of these difficulties have the potential to bleach the bones of faith and exhaust the strength of individuals and families…. In every ward and branch, there is a Relief Society with sisters who can seek and receive revelation and counsel with priesthood leaders to strengthen each other and work on solutions that are applicable in their own homes and communities. I hope my granddaughters will understand that through Relief Society, their discipleship is extended and they can become engaged with others in the kind of impressive and heroic work the Savior has done.”

Julie B Beck  |  What I Hope My Granddaughters Will Understand

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Neal A. Maxwell Headshot
“The doctrines of the Church and its authority are not just partially true, but true as measured by divine standards. The Church is not, therefore, conceptually compromised by having been made up from doctrinal debris left over from another age, nor is it comprised of mere fragments of the true faith. It is based upon the fulness of the gospel of him whose name it bears, thus passing the two tests for proving his church that were given by Jesus during his visit to the Nephites.”

Elder Neal A. Maxwell  |  Things As They Really Are

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“The story is told of a church official who returned from installing a new stake presidency. ‘Dad, do you Brethren feel confident when you call a man as the stake president that he is the Lord’s man?’ the official’s son asked upon his father’s return home. ‘No, not always,’ he replied. ‘But once we call him, he becomes the Lord’s man.'”

Terryl and Fiona Givens

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