John A. Widtsoe: The
word liberal, correctly used, has a noble meaning. The
true liberal hates slavery of every kind. He battles for human freedom.
He wants liberty in thought and action. He is tolerant, free from
bigotry, and generous in all his deeds. He places truth above all
else and hungers for full truth. He welcomes all new improvements
and calls for more . . . In short the liberal seeks to make better
the day in which he lives, and he becomes therefore a crusader for
the betterment of the human race.
Such a liberal, to accomplish his purpose, holds fast, without
the least concession, to the convictions of his soul. He is anchored
to the rock of truth, as he may see it. . . . His liberalism lies
in his constant attempt to make the underlying unchanging principles
of the cause he represents serve the changing conditions of the
day. . . . He may be forever seeking, under changing conditions,
to make the doctrine of human brotherhood more effective in behalf
of the needy. He is a believer who seeks to use his beliefs in every
concern of his life. . . .
It is folly to speak of a liberal religion, if that religion claims
that it rests upon unchanging truth. Neither can one be a liberal
in religion except in the application of the underlying doctrine
to human needs. . . .
Under the true definition of liberalism, the Church of Jesus Christ
is preeminently liberal. First, it makes truth and love of truth
its foundation. The whole latter-day work was initiated by Joseph
Smith's search for truth. . . . It is understood that every worthy
member of the Church must likewise seek and find truth for himself.
Then, the Church insists that its truths must be used for human
good. . . . Further, the Church . . . declares that men "live and
move and have their being" under the law of progress. Change steps
upon the heels of change in the unfolding of a progressive universe.
The simple eternal truths of existence are combined and combined
again, in different ways, but progressively, to serve man on his
never-ending journey. . . . Members of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints do not need to look elsewhere for a liberal