Apostle Hugh B. Brown of the Mormon church on thinking
Unfortunately for Mormonism, you don’t hear talks like the following anymore. The speaker was Hugh B. Brown of the quorum of the twelve apostles. He said these things about 40 years ago. If anyone can find similar thought expressed in public by church leaders in the last 40 years, please send them to me. As near as I can tell though, if Brown was around today, he’d think that the church had entered the dark ages.
“We are grateful in the Church and in this great university that the freedom, dignity and integrity of the individual is basic in Church doctrine as well as in democracy. Here we are free to think and express our opinions. Fear will not stifle thought, as is the case in some areas which have not yet emerged from the dark ages. God himself refuses to trammel man’s free agency even though its exercise sometimes teaches painful lessons. Both creative science and revealed religion find their fullest and truest expression in the climate of freedom.
I hope that you will develop the questing spirit. Be unafraid of new ideas for they are the stepping stones of progress. You will of course respect the opinions of others but be unafraid to dissent – if you are informed.
Now I have mentioned freedom to express your thoughts, but I caution you that your thoughts and expressions must meet competition in the market place of thought, and in that competition truth will emerge triumphant. Only error needs to fear freedom of expression. Seek truth in all fields, and in that search you will need at least three virtues; courage, zest, and modesty. The ancients put that thought in the form of a prayer. They said, ‘From the cowardice that shrinks from new truth, from the laziness that is content with half truth, from the arrogance that thinks it has all truth – O God of truth deliver us’.”
Speech at BYU, March 29, 1958