Reminiscing about the benefits of living close to family, Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained at the Sunday afternoon session of general conference how obedience is exhibited through faithfulness.
"One day I asked my grandfather how I would know if I was always doing the right thing, given life presents so many choices," said Elder Perry. "He taught me about breaking in a team of horses so that they would work together. He explained that a team of horses must always know who is in charge. One key to asserting control and directing a horse is a harness and bit."
Relating that to the gospel, Elder Perry said his grandfather believed the driver was the Lord. "He is the one who has a purpose and a plan. He is also the trainer and builder of the team of horses, and, in turn, each individual horse. The driver knows best, and the only way for a horse to know he is always doing the right thing is to be obedient and follow the driver's lead."
The harness and bit are the promptings of the Holy Ghost, said Elder Perry. A gentle tug is the equivalent of the still small voice and out of respect for agency is never a strong, forceful tug.
"Men and women who ignore the gentle prompting of the Spirit will often learn, as the Prodigal Son learned, through the natural consequences of disobedience and riotous living," said Elder Perry. "We must be sensitive to our spiritual bits. Even with the slightest tug from the Master, we must be willing to completely alter our course."
Elder Perry then said the kind of obedience his grandfather used as an example with the horses, "requires a special trust—that is, an absolute faith in the driver of the team faith in Jesus Christ."
He spoke of the prophet Abraham, who was obedient and faithful in his willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac. ."
"Too often people think obedience as a passive and thoughtless following of the orders or dictates of a higher authority. Actually, at its best, obedience is an emblem of our faith in the wisdom and power of the highest authority, even God.
Further, Elder Perry said, "...our faithfulness through obedience will ultimately rescue us. Those who rely on themselves and follow only their own desires and self inclinations are so limited when compared to those who follow God and tap into His insight, power and gifts."