What do Quakers (Friends) Believe

Acquaintances often ask me what Quakers believe knowing that Marguerite is a Quaker and that I have been attending First Day meeting with her for years.  You won’t find an official creed that Quakers subscribe to. The reasons are rooted in history, but remain central to the Quaker notion of the Divine or God.

Most believe that there is “that of God” in every person, and that our relationship with the Divine is immediate and personal. No intermediary is necessary to hear the leading of God, and no other person or thing is essential to mediate our connection with the divine.  One needs only to sit quietly listening and waiting with openness to the Spirit moving you.  In fact, priests, liturgies, vestments, ornate churches, and the other traditional trappings of formal religions get in the way by substituting the external for what must arise from within. So, while individuals may share what they personally believe, they don’t presume to speak for all Quakers.

That said, here are some attempts to describe what Quakers believe. The first is a set of nine statements that life-long Quaker Arthur Larrabee has constructed and revised over many years of conversations with his fellow Friends.

The second item is a simple list compiled and offered by the Friends General Conference – the organization that serves Quaker Meetings throughout the US and Canada. It’s generally given to visitors who wish to explore what  the Religious Society of Friends stands for.

Larrabees Statement of Quaker Beliefs
Larrabees Statement of Quaker Beliefs

Rack Cards Summarizing Friends Values and Testimonies.