“Spoiling the Egyptians”: On Non-LDS Source Usage

I once made the silly mistake of suggesting that members of the Church might beneficially learn from non-LDS sources, or more specifically, that non-LDS sources might have messages for people in the world, messages from God that could only viably come through them and not from our own leadership. The sentiment itself might not sound so objectionable to most Mormons. My mistake was that I made this suggestion during a Sunday School lesson. And I compounded my error by later reading a quote from a non-manual source.

As former GOP presidential nominee candidate Rick Perry once said, “Oops.” 

The fact is, especially outside of the Sunday School context where manual warnings rule the roost, Mormons do refer to non-Mormons, even in teaching specific gospel principles. General Authorities quote fairly regularly from non-Mormon sources, most famously, C.S. Lewis (although he isn’t the most frequently cited non-Mormon in General Conference, not by a long shot. That distinction belongs to Abraham Lincoln!).

This phenomenon stretches at least all the way back to the 1840s when church leaders (possibly even Joseph Smith) approvingly referred to John Lloyd Stephens’ bestselling book Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan as a support to the Book of Mormon. Most recently, President Monson’s priesthood session address quotes New York Times columnist David Brooks (who, incidentally, came out in favor of gay marriage in 2003!). So church leaders have been comfortable referring to non-Mormon voices even in official settings for quite some time without necessarily endorsing everything such sources say.

It seems clear that in some official church settings (i.e., Sunday School and RS/PH lessons) we’re restricted as far as non-manual sources are concerned, although I cautiously suggest there is some wiggle-room there, too. But Sacrament meeting talks, much like conference addresses, allow for some unofficial source usage. Visiting and Home Teachers might include something extra in their messages, too, and there’s always FHE for those who are so inclined (can’t wait to have an FHE with my future kids on AMC’s The Walking Dead).

So far so good.

You’ll notice my two examples above, Joseph and Pres. Monson, both involve sources which are presumed by the user to largely already fit within the LDS narrative. Well, I was recently reading a book by non-Mormon biblical scholar N.T. Wright when this question came to mind again: Can LDS folks utilize non-LDS sources without merely re-stating already-established LDS beliefs? In other words: what sort of things could we learn from non-LDS sources (can they challenge widely-held Mormon beliefs, official or non?), and how would such learning shake out in a Church where ultimate doctrinal authority is vested in the standard works and church leadership? These need not be paradigm-changing points, challenges to foundational doctrines, high-flying academic critiques; these can simply be new and interesting suggestions and connections. And there is the always-thorny distinction between orthopraxis and orthodoxy to be considered as well.

In part two I’ll go into more detail discussing ways in which such things have occurred in the past and might occur in the future, inside and outside of Mormonism. Specifically, Augustine’s call to spoil the Egyptians, i.e., to make use of good pagan knowledge, presents an interesting parallel to LDS approaches.


  1. No good can come from deviating from the approved lesson manuals!

  2. As former GOP presidential nominee candidate Rick Perry once said, “Oops.”

    That reminds me of the three times I was called out for similarly relying on non-LDS sources in my Sunday School lessons: 1. When I read excerpts out of Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling when teaching Abraham’s sacrifice. 2. When I used the Jewish Study Bible to teach the creation accounts in Genesis. 3. Oh, shoot, what was the third one….

    But seriously, I think this is an important issue. I don’t know if it’s a result of our Church being so isolated for so long, or was solidified with correlation, but I think we lost one of the key visions of Mormonism. As Terryl Givens has recently pointed out in a series of papers and lectures (and will be the main thesis of his book on Mormon theology), Joseph Smith understood the doctrinal restoration of Mormonism to “gather” truths from around the world that had been “scattered” during the apostasy. JS’s best quote is when he said, “If the Presbyterians have any truth, embrace that. If the Baptists and Methodists have truth, embrace that, too. Get all the good in the world, if you want to come out a pure Mormon.” Brigham had similar pleasant–and almost imperialist–quotes like, “The business of the elders of this church, is to gather up all the truths in the world pertaining to life and salvation wherever they may be found.” A key implication of this framework is that the restoration is never fully “complete,” and it is our job to constantly be searching for more sources of truth throughout the world to expand our corpus of knowledge.

    I wish we could re-adopt this understanding of teaching the gospel.

  3. Meldrum the Less says:

    A teacher may get into trouble for not strictly following the manual depending on the local leadership and class membership’s tendency to tattle. But as members of the class, we has much greater latitude. We have got to speak up more if we do not wish to be bored to spiritual death.

  4. My favorite lesson I ever gave was back in the 90’s in a BYU ward. I can’t even recall what passage we were studying but it was something vaguely eschatological. (I think something Pauline) I spent most of the class talking via the movie The Fisher King about eschatology and charity. Fortunately no one raised a fuss.

    My favorite Sunday School teacher was also in a BYU ward. He wasn’t a scriptoria nor able to talk about close readings of the text. Almost all his lessons involved large discussions of Broadway shows. But somehow he always got at what was essential in the text but did an outstanding job communicating it in a sufficiently entertaining way. All the people who probably rarely paid attention in a typical class truly listened an learned in his.

    I’ve also loved trying to figure out the Pauline passages where he is quoting and playing with various Stoic philosophies.

  5. I know you’ve all read it, of course, but I was a little surprised this was left in an article I wrote. Footnote 4, “I am not certain that Latter-day Saint commentators would have anything unique to say [about this chapter]. Perhaps, from another perspective, some Latter-day Saint teachers could be encouraged to explore non-Latter-day Saint publications for help in understanding the Bible.”

    I’ve often brought in outside perspectives and such, but rarely read directly from something in Sunday School. On occasion, we’ll read a KJV verse and then something like, “but that doesn’t quite capture what it’s trying to say. Listen to what a modern translation does with this” and then read from a NRSV or JPS or something.

  6. I agree with Ben P. and I like this post. Look forward to future installments.

  7. mormons love to quote CS lewis ad nauseum

  8. Peng: but that’s because CS Lewis has been baptized by proxy. (If not in temple work, then in constant recitations.) Same with Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    But seriously, it is fascinating how some people become identified as “safe.” There should be a study done on the “sainting” process of non-Mormon figures.

  9. Half Canadian says:

    I’ve quoted Walter Williams during a sacrament meeting talk.
    Granted, the point of the quote was well within church teachings, but no one batted an eye.

  10. I quoted “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” in a Sacrament Meeting talk once (with proper attribution), and I’m not sure how the Stake Presidency Counselor who was on the stand felt about it – but neither he nor the Stake President said anything to me in Stake Council when I saw him again, so I assume he wasn’t too upset. I’ve quoted non-Mormon sources frequently, in all kinds of meetings – but I usually do it with a grin and preface it with something like, “I’m going to quote a non-Mormon again, so you can ignore it if you want.” By now, people expect it – but I still get some pushback occasionally when it deals with scriptural interpretation and alternate views of doctrine. That’s where the biggest conflict in many people’s minds, I think – when their scriptural interpretations and doctrinal views get challenged in some way.

    “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things” is an important mindset, and I fear we “deny the power thereof” far too much currently as a people.

  11. Steve Young used the story of Eric Liddle from Chariots of Fire in a BYU Multi-Stake Fireside he spoke at in the early 1980’s. In my current Stake, the Stake Leadership wanted to show Pam Stenzel’s Sex Has a Price Tag to the youth by Ward, showing it to parents, & allowing Bishops to opt out on it. Some Bishops did, citing “it’s not Church approved”. I’m glad now our Bishop did show it.

    On the other hand, some GA’s quoted J. Edgar Hoover in General Conference in the 1960’s. Details of Hoover’s conduct that has come out now, makes one wonder if quoting him was a good idea.

    Yes, LDS exclusivity feelings go crazy sometimes.

  12. Glenn Smith says:

    I have used non-LDS sources in my Sunday School (youth class) as analogies. Of course, when I accepted the calling, I warned the Bishop’s councillor I would teach in my own way. Alas, I was released last week after 2.5 years. I once quoted Louis Lamour in a sacrament meeting talk; even used a Reader’s Digest story once.

  13. As a SS teacher over a decade ago, I spent about 15 minutes in one class showing the plan of salvation as it’s portrayed in the movie “Groundhog Day” (it really is there). I don’t think I could pull that off any more.

  14. Ben P #2 – Will you please give us the references for the JS and BY quotations? I deviate all over the place in my class, and although the students have been comfortable, even enthusiastic, about it so far, the SP is another matter. These quotations will help.

  15. iippoInari says:

    One non-LDS source I would recommend for getting interesting new perspectives is 7th day Adventist literature. I read some things by (is it Ellen White who is the leading lady there? I may or may not remember the name correctly) on my mission and gained some really interesting insights into true doctrine that I reckon I wouldn’t have from any other source. I am a big proponent of gathering in the truth from everywhere where it is scattered. The Spirit does a good job at helping you identify the valuable things even in sources that you can’t guarantee being completely doctrinally sound.

  16. Athena (#14): sure. The first quote is Joseph Smith’s sermon, July 23, 1843, found in Cook and Ehat, eds., Words of Joseph Smith, 234. (Note that I cleaned up some punctuation to make it more readable.) And the second quote was reprinted in the Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young manual, chapter 2, which can be found online.

  17. Elder Bruce Hafen visited our Stake Conference about two years ago. His address during the adult session was almost entirely based on the movie “The Man From Snowy River”. It was great. I also have on my to-do list to watch the 1965 movie Shenandoah. I have this nagging feeling that I’ll never really understand President Monson until I watch that movie.

  18. I got a talking to for using “internet sources” once. My source? The online lesson manual I had printed out from lds.org.

    Even so, is it an outside source if it’s in your head? I refer to things I’ve read all the time. They can correlate the manuals, but they can’t correlate my mind!

  19. I’ve quoted Bob Dylan and Bob Marley in Sacrament meeting talks. My current stake president quotes Dylan and Emerson pretty frequently, and I think I’ve heard him allude to, if not quote, the Beatles.

  20. I was a sub RS teacher for a couple of months before I was called to be permanent. My teaching was no different as a perma from when I was a sub (meaning, I didn’t use the lesson manual after I had gotten the gist of the lesson), yet immediately after my first lesson I got a talking-to. And after the second. And the third, when I was told to mind my Ps and Qs during the next time, when the stake RS presidency would be there. (I quit on the spot.) It seemed I was supposed to read from the manual and ask all the questions in the back as written. I said, “You knew how I taught before you called me to this position. Did you think I was going to change?” That was the last time I’ve ever been asked to teach (or speak in SM).

  21. I’ve quoted Mother Teresa. If she’s not a safe non-LDS source, I’m not sure who is.

    Of course, he’s in a position I’m not in, but President Monson quotes non-LDS sources all the time. In his New Year’s message he quotes William James (psychologist), Charles Swindoll (evangelical pastor), Thomas Wolsey (Catholic cardinal), Thomas Fuller (Christian historian) and Ralph Waldo Emerson (poet) — and makes one reference to the Old Testament. I think Monson sets a good example for us.

  22. Steve Evans says:

    #18 for BCotW.

  23. Dave K., if we don’t try, then we won’t do.

    In the pop culture vein, one Saturday night in Provo, a dozen or so of us from my ward went to a dollar show of Branagh’s Henry V movie. The next morning in testimony meeting, there were three different speakers who expounded gospel analogies the movie brought to their minds, some of them quite good. I fear, though, that I am falling very short of what BHodges was hoping for.

  24. hawkgrrrl (#18), I can relate. I once subbed for gospel doctrine. The lesson was on the OT account of Elijah. I thought it would be helpful to spend the first 5 minutes of the class reviewing the events Elijah was involved in during the restoration. The review would provide context for why we should care about the OT account. Or so I thought. Instead, I heard complaints that the D/C was not part of the lesson for the day and so should not be used. Mind you, the complaints came from class members, not the bishopric or SS presidency.

  25. The most memorable testimony from my days in Chicago came from a new convert who loved country music, particularly Toby Keith. He walked up to the stand and sang:

    I love this ward
    It’s my kind of place
    Just sit down in the front pews
    Puts a big smile on my face
    Come as you are
    No cover charge
    I love this ward.

    My wife actually cried for joy. She’s a country nut too. So I asked her if I could use the lyrics from “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue” in my testimony. I’m still waiting for approval.

  26. Christian J says:

    I see much of non-LDS source usage as a way of supporting already held LDS beliefs/doctrines. That’s not the same as adding new truths. Anywho, I like the exercise BH.

    I second Ben S. and SteveP, read some modern translations of the Bible – read what non-LDS scholars for 100’s of years have had to say about them – we could learn a thing or two!

  27. Victor Hugo’s Les Mis is my favorite non-Mo source to use in Sacrament meeting talks.

    I have had some of my more profound epiphanies from reading non-LDS perspectives, and contrasting and viewing them with my LDS lenses. It has helped me appreciate how powerful a position we are in to integrate, learn from, and seek to apply sources from all over, as a part of our mandate to accept continuing revelation.

    Mormonism is perhaps the most powerful and versatile religious system out there, and it can be frustrating to see its potential and progress at times appearing to be institutionally stifled. Sometimes even willfully so.

    While there is certainly wisdom in not just letting every possible idea run amok and have institutional acceptability, there must be some way to find a happy medium. Right?

  28. Mark Brown says:

    Dave K, (25)

    Your wife would have LOVED the Mother’s Day sermon I heard once. It was a ward in Idaho, natch, and the speaker quoted from memory the following part of Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother”:

    M is for the mudflaps you give me for my pickup truck
    O is for the oil I put on my hair
    T is for T-bird
    H is for Haggard
    E is for eggs, and
    R is for REDNECK.

    I felt like crying when I heard it, too, but they weren’t tears of joy.

  29. Mark Brown says:

    Something we’re overlooking here is that sports figures seem to have quasi-canonical status. I can’t imagine getting into trouble by quoting extensively from Jimmer, Bronco, LaVell or Steve Young in a lesson or talk.

  30. Oops.

    I’ve subbed for RS and Sunday School regularly and I had no idea there were any issues with using sources outside of the manual. The only time I remember raising eyebrows was when I used commentary from Jewish rabbis in the Zondervan NIV Study Bible to supplement our study the JKV. However, I bet if I’d claimed I’d gotten it off Wikipedia or that I’d “heard it once” (maybe in seminary or another Sunday School class), nobody would have blinked. Those sources are legitimately LDS.

  31. Stina, I don’t know about Wikipedia but we all know that Webster’s Dictionary is canonical and can be used to begin almost any sac mtg talk.

  32. I found DOGMA to be one of the most spiritually uplifting movies I’ve ever seen. Occasionally I say this at church.

  33. hawkgrrrl (#18) and Dave K. (#24), I relate, too. I’m teaching OT for Adult Institute. After the introduction, I spent four sessions reviewing some gospel fundamentals to which we will compare and contrast OT teachings: the King Follett discourse (the Gods, our situation in the eternities, a great example of a prophetic voice, an example of how an account has been compiled from multiple sources); Alma 42 (Jesus Christ, the fall, the atonement, justice, mercy, grace); 3 Nephi 12 (part of the BoM version of the SotM – faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, a trajectory for the development of godly individuals that culminates in perfect love); and a collection of OT, BoM, and D&C teachings about temporal and spiritual equality (oneness, a Zion attitude, communities of godly individuals). There has been no resistance, only surprise by a couple of people who missed the first session. This approach addresses many agendas, one of which is form the character of our group – to prepare the class for robust discussions, inevitable uncertainties, outside sources, widely differing interpretations among class members, etc., that our OT adventure will comprise. I want us to be able to disagree and still be one. This particular agenda is already bearing fruit. So it’s not the students I’m worried about right now, but the SP. I told him a few weeks ago that I was learning some really exciting things about the OT, and he took this to mean that I might teach things that don’t support church doctrine. Sigh.

  34. This reminds me of a conversation I once participated in on a YW Leaders Yahoo message board ( I know, I know, first mistake). Several people were very adament that nothing other than what was printed in the manuals, church magazines or other church publications were to ever be used in teaching a lesson. I pointed out at President Monson was famous for quoting poetry and outside material in his conference talks. One lady then said, “Whatever he says is printed in the Ensign, so it’s okay to use when that issue is published!” It was at that point I realized I was dealing with crazy people and deleted my membership in the group.

  35. One may want to replace the first name of your non-LDS source with “Elder.” For example, Elder Ehrman suggests the Q source may have influenced the writings of Luke.

  36. I’ve quoted Dante and Dostoevsky on multiple occasions in Gospel Doctrine class, and no one has ever raised an eyebrow over it.

  37. Actually, you can also mask the true nature your non-LDS source by giving their first initial, full middle and last names (eg. N. Thomas Wright), to make them sound like a low-level GA. No need to invoke the ‘Elder’ title.

  38. larryco_, I think Groundhog day has been used heavily in dozens of lessons I’ve attended. It’s a pretty apt analogy for a lot of points even though we don’t believe in anything like reincarnation. I’d honestly be surprised if, in most wards, anyone would complain.

    Honestly I think the main reason the “don’t use outside sources” rule was given was because of people teaching from McConkie’s writings too much. I remember many a lesson when I was young where the teacher taught the gospel according to Bruce. Now I actually like a lot of McConkie’s writings and think he gets a bit too bad a rap simply because of how his writings got used. But honestly the fact so many couldn’t distinguish between Elder McConkie’s personal opinions and what the gospel was that should be taught at Church was a problem. And say what you will but I think the Church successfully broke the back of that problem by the late 90’s.

  39. Mark:

    I think the official rule is that you are allowed to quote from the scriptures, the current prophet, Jimmer, LaVell, and Sheri Dew. All others (Bronco, Steve, Tebow, C.S., BCC, Wikipedia, etc) require a note from the bishop and express written consent from Major League Baseball.

  40. When I taught RS, I stuck to the manual–but mostly because I was 18 and terrified of being the teacher and the youngest person in the room (family ward). But my Sunday School teachers in high school definitely used the 4th season of “24” to illustrate how the Lamanites were led astray by the incorrect traditions of their fathers, which we all thought was awesome–my mother, not so much. But I’m also pretty firmly attached to the 13th Article of Faith; it is my absolute justification for grabbing bits and pieces of things with which to feather my Mormon nest.

  41. Mommie Dearest says:

    I once made a comment in RS quoting an idea I’d gleaned from “extracurricular” reading. Can’t remember the comment now, but I do remember the teacher asking me where I read it, and I admitted, in my smallest voice, “Sunstone…” It got a laugh, to my relief.

  42. #2: Here’s one of my favorite President Hinckley quotes, from his interview with Larry King: “We say to people: you bring all the good that you have, and let us see if we can add to it.” It’s a similar sentiment to the “gather all the good” thinking that you’ve quoted, but I wonder exactly how it’s different.

  43. I use non-manual sources in every lesson I teach in RS. My favorite that I used in a RS lesson was when I quoted “humanitarian Paul Hewson”. I think only two or three people caught that I was quoting Bono.

  44. I SO want more quotes from “humanitarian Paul Hewson”!!!

  45. JKC (no. 19): Do you live in a stake of historical importance in Church history?

  46. The recent First Presidency message is exactly what I had in mind, both because it is so recent and because I have that same William James quote in my scriptures (along with other James, Lequier, Brightman, Schopenhauer, Berdyaev, Whitehead, and Hartshorne). Luckily like Margaret’s reference, most people don’t know of these folks so I’m pretty safe unless I accidentally reference their métier. “Philosophies of men!”

  47. I loved this post and all the comments. If I’m ever in a teaching position again, I’m pretty sure I’ll look for sources that are inspiring and applicable regardless of where they come from. If that means I have to be sneaky or subtle with my attributions, that’s fine. I taught Relief Society at BYU and I actually made a point of using “outside” sources in almost all of my lessons, because I just think it’s a good thing to do. We don’t need to inbreed our lessons, it’s good to add new genes to the pool.

  48. A few years back I read a quote from William Burroughs at the funeral of a friend. I can imagine it was the first Burroughs quote ever read over a Mormon pulpit, but no one was offended and I doubt anyone there understood the context, nor were they aware of how appropriate it was. A version of the quote can be heard here –

  49. LilyTiger says:

    My mom read “Horton Hatches an Egg” as part of her Sacrament Meeting talk on tithing. (“Horton is faithful 100%!”) She did, however, get permission from the bishop before she read it. I’ll say this–it was memorable!

  50. Some things just sound Mormon and work well. I’ve never been called on using outside sources. Whatever I’m reading comes into my lesson. Last Thursday that included Treasure Island. A constant is Les mis. I used the movie awakenings with alma chapter 5…talking about how it feels to be awake and how hard you would fight to stay there.

    With President Monson such a wonderful example it seems indefensible to prevent quotes from outside sources…though you can’t underestimate the Mormon ability to stand for the indefensible.

    I’ll always remember a talk describing the potential converts all around us who were searching for truth, but still haven’t found what they’re looking for.

  51. Raymond Takashi Swenson says:

    Moroni chapter 7 tells us that the light of Christ is given to all of us so we can locate truth in the world. When someone who was not (yet) a Latter-day Saint uses that inborn light to find a truth that leads toward Christ, and records that discovery, we can use our own light to vet and verify it as truth.

    My guess is that many of the most sincere and thoughtful people of the past two thousand years, who lived when the fulness of the gospel was not on the earth, have lined up to wait for vicarious baptism. By all means, let us “baptize” the insights of these brother and sister saints into our study of the gospel!

  52. Sam Kitterman says:

    Amen and AMEN is all I would add to this discussion.

  53. When my best friend gave his “farewell” talk a few years ago, he quoted Spider-Man’s uncle Ben: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Everybody laughed, but the point was still valid. I think it is great to be able to refer to outside sources, whether they be historical, pop cultural, or even somewhat whimsical if it helps the speaker to relate to the audience AND also enhances the message. Personally, I have found that it make my Primary lessons more interesting for the kids if I occasionally relate the lesson to something they like/enjoy outside of a church setting.

  54. I don’t know what the big issue is here. I have been a member for over 30 years and I have heard many a non-mormon quote of all sorts. I have cited plenty of them in my classes over the years and still do. We have manuals for a reason, to keep the docrine pure and simple and easy to undersand. Manuals are mostly scriptures based or like the Teachings of the Presidents books, based on their teachings, which are also scriptural for the most parts. I guess thisis done to avoid deviating from the simple truth of the gospel.

    There are some teachers who like to teach things that are not scripture based, as doctrine, and there lies the problem; like the time a teacher in our Sunday School class taught that “we lose our memories of our earthly lives after we died”. I was called contentious, by some members of the class, who took this teacher word as final on all doctrinal matters, when I dared to challege this person to show me where in the scriptures we could find this teaching.

    Anyway, I think we can find truth everywhere and our leaders teach us to find that truth and use it to our advantage, but as far as teaching in church goes, we are there to teach the gospel based on the scriptures and the prophets. It is ok to quote non-mormons who had something to say about the truth we are teaching, if you stick to the doctrine being taught. It’s ok to quote non-mormons in our talks if it supports the teaching. Let’s keep in mind that in church we are there to teach simple gospe truth. Now is you want to have a symposium on a subject, Sunday School or RS/PH lessons are not the place for it.

  55. Rahui Katene says:

    Rgate, your quote didn’t make it this far (NZ). Please try again, I’m so eager to read it. This is great reading and I’ve enjoyed all the comments. But is this just a problem in your country, because when I was GD teacher several years ago I regularly used sources outside the manual and never had problems. Also my former GD teacher was one of the best ever – very thought provoking. He used the manual only for the objectives instead teaching straight from scripture – much wider than just that proscribed for that week! – and other sources. I really miss him.

  56. How can you personalize your presentations with personal experiences and testimony? Do we have to mask all of our feelings and insights with the words from the scriptures or church leaders? As I attend the lectures of the guest speakers of EFY, many of whom are from the Church institutes, there are example after example of former students and their challenges. None of this is in any scripture or Ensign. These speakers have taught for years and have finally amassed a huge volume of entertaining and spiritual insights. They sprinke the presentations with scripture and church doctrine. They are hugely successful!!
    But we of lesser experience and little teaching experience are supposed to follow these types of teachers with canned lessons from church publications 20 years old that have been taught 5 different times in the past 20 years. Gagged because some spiritual leader with a tittle hasn’t said what we want to say yet. I like Moroni 6:5-9, especially vs. 9 : And their meetings were conducted by the church after the manner of the workings of the Spirit, and by the power of the Holy Ghost; for as the power of the Holy ghost led them whether to preach, or to exhort, or to pray, or to supplicate, or to sing, even so it was done (hopefully they had the right Ensign handy to cover whatever the Spirit dictates!)
    There was a recent conference talk (which I can’t find at present) that talked about each speaker coming up with his/her subject independently and unreviewed before delivery. Is this kind of spiritual freedom reserved for only the elite of the church or are we encouraging members to not stand on borrowed light!

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