the thinker

Brigham Young University

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“The evidence is overwhelming that attending BYU, even for only one semester, produces young adults who are highly active in the church.”

- BYU internal study of students, see “BYU Grads More Active Than Other University Attenders,” Sunstone, 19:2, no. 102, June 1996

"The pedagogical posture of the CES has become increasingly anti-scientific and anti-intellectual, more inward looking, more intent on the uniqueness and exclusiveness of the Mormon version of the gospel as opposed to other interpretations, whether religious or scientific. Lesson manuals still occasionally take gratuitous swipes at scientists, intellectuals, and modernist ideas, which are blamed for jeopardizing students' testimonies. Non-Mormon sources and resources are rarely used and highly suspect."

- Armand Mauss, Mormon scholar, The Angel and the Beehive, p. 102; online at Link is here.

"Although we want to ensure that every faculty member has the right to discuss and analyze as broadly and widely as possible any topic, including religious topics, including fundamental doctrine of the church, we do not believe they have--they should be able to publicly endorse positions contrary to doctrine, or to attack the doctrine."

- BYU President Merrill J. Bateman, interview quoted in Mormon America, by Richard and Joan Ostling, pp. 235-236; online at Link is here.

“We should not hire people who are a threat to the religious faith of our students or a critic of the Church and its leaders.”

- BYU hiring process memo leak, see “BYU Tightens Faculty Hiring Process,” Sunstone, 16:8, no. 94, February 1994, p. 79

“[Church history] if not properly written or properly taught,... may be a faith destroyer... The writer or teacher who has an exaggerated loyalty to the theory that everything must be told is laying a foundation for his own judgment.... The Lord made it very clear that some things are to be taught selectively and some things are to be given only to those who are worthy.”

- Boyd K. Packer, “The Mantle is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect,” reprinted in BYU Studies, v. 21, no. 3, 1981, pp. 259-277; online at Link is here.

“Satan can even use truth to promote his purposes. Facts, severed from their context, can convey an erroneous impression.”

- Dallin H. Oaks, “Reading Church History,” speech delivered at the Ninth Annual Church Educational System Religious Educators' Symposium, BYU, August 16, 1985

“We have the responsibility to preserve the doctrinal purity of the Church. We are united in this objective.”

- First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve statement, Sunstone, 16:6, no. 92, November 1993, p. 72; Link is here.

“I'm pretty pessimistic because it seems like things are just getting narrower and narrower. It's beginning to affect the students.”

- Eugene England, Dialogue founder, “An Interview with Eugene England,” Student Review, April 10, 1998, p. 10-11

“It's [BYU] a place where no one is allowed to drink or smoke; where sex is outlawed for everyone but married couples; where public figures like Senator Edward Kennedy and former first lady Betty Ford have been prevented from speaking on campus and films like The Godfather deemed unfit for student viewing; where a boy was brought to trial for looking up a girl's skirt in the library stacks (the girl never noticed, but a security man did); and where gays are not only systematically expelled but, until recent years, were even subjected occasionally to electroshock therapy to treat their ‘affliction.'”

- Peter Bart, “Prigging Out,” Rolling Stone, April 14, 1983, p. 89

“Some bishops distribute a handbook that dispenses some unusual recommendations to male students on how to curb their onanistic urge: avoid spicy foods, keep your shower door slightly ajar, and if all else fails, tie your hand to the bedpost... when Playboy magazine declared recently that, based on its survey of major college campuses, BYU had the lowest sexual temperature, the news was greeted with a sense of relief on campus.”

- Peter Bart, “Prigging Out,” Rolling Stone, April 14, 1983, p. 92

“Some speakers were rejected because of their politics, in spite of university policies prohibiting politics as a criterion for selecting speakers, and others were rejected for their ‘reputation' or statements on moral issues.”

- “BYU Rejected Speakers for Morals, Politics,” Salt Lake Tribune, April 10, 1980, p. B4

“Academic freedom exists at BYU only for what is considered non-controversial by the university's Board of Trustees and administrators. By those definitions, academic freedom has always existed at Soviet universities (even during the Stalin era).”

- D. Michael Quinn to F. Lamond Tullis, August 29, 1988, in “On Being a Mormon Historian,” p. 94; online at Link is here.