Quantcast

Comments about ‘LDS World: The blessings of willing obedience’

Return to article »

Published: Sunday, Oct. 20 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

Comments
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
antodav
TAMPA, FL

“Blind obedience is the weakest form of obedience, compliance without thinking, without exercising agency and individually determining that obedience to this principle is appropriate and right. Thoughtful, willing obedience is what God hopes from us.”

Free agency comes with the expectation that we will use it to voluntarily follow God and keep his commandments. When we choose to abuse that agency instead, it will only lead to suffering and misery.

djk
blue springs, MO

as a child of god i choose to follow. even though i cannot see our Heavenly Father but i know he is there listening, comforting, guiding, understanding, forgiving. we have free agency which is a wonderful gift, this gift is given to us so that we may learn. choosing to follow the path of righteousness is the easier path even when the path is bumpy and full of experiences. i choose to follow the path holding the rod of iron !

suzyk#1
Mount Pleasant, UT

To: djk - your comment brought tears to my eyes and happiness to my heart. It is so refreshing to read comments from someone who has the same feelings I do. I once chose the path of unrighteousness that cost me many, many years of heartache, lonliness and being lost. The Miracle of Forgiveness gave me once again the desire to repent, turn around my thinking and behavior and because I am married and sealed to a remarkable man I will never allow myself to be drawn into the dark pit with the adversary.

Deliriousdd
Benicia, CA

Thank you for sharing this wonderful history of your ancestor. I have an ancestor who was among the rescue party. But I have felt the true heroes of this story are those who suffered, but retained their faith and made it to "Zion" in the end. Their faith is what makes them heroes in my eyes.

Mimifran
Gymea, NSW

Agency is not "free", it came at a price and that price was paid by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. What we have is the right to choose the consequences which is why we ponder, think and determine the right course then obtain confirmation from our Father in Heaven. Of course, the Holy Ghost helps us through this process if we allow him to. The General Authorities have taught us this, our freedom lays in our being able to choose which path to follow but never to choose the consequences of those paths. When we look at it this way we realise how precious the Atonement really is.

Stay the Course
Salt Lake City, utah

And your point is what Don?

Apocalypse please
Bluffdale, UT

Obedience is a nice way to get people to do what you want them to do. Especially within the context of religion. "God told me that you need to give/do/sacrifice..." That's a pretty good motivator. It can also be pretty scary too.

ksampow
Farr West, Utah

An excellent story. Thank you.
I do take issue with one point in the article: “Blind obedience is the weakest form of obedience, compliance without thinking, without exercising agency and individually determining that obedience to this principle is appropriate and right."
That term "blind obedience" is unfortunate - it is often used by the unfaithful to criticize the obedient. In reality any act of obedience is a righteous exercise of agency. Choosing to obey when you don't understand why is perhaps the most difficult, most sincere act of righteousness.
In the Pearl of Great Price we can read an example: "An angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me." WHen the Lord commands, do it - even if you don't yet know why.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

In this story of the Martin handcart company, the overriding issue was survival. Obedience is not in and of itself a virtue. Cooperation for the greater welfare of all as well as ones self is the moral of this story.

Mc
West Jordan, UT

@Craig Clark
I disagree. Obedience in and of itself IS a virtue. It is obedience to law, to parents, to God, to rules of society, etc. that allows us to live together in peace. Disobedience leads to most all of the ills of society and creates the need for prisons.

Obedience does not restrict our freedom. It makes us more free to enjoy all of the good that life has to offer and to reach our full potential. It is a great virtue!

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

Mc,

Obedience is sometimes most vigorously preached by those who wish to be obeyed. Then what's it really about?

Children must be made to obey because they are at too helpless and innocent an age to fend for themselves or understand the dangers in the world. But they won't be children forever. Someday they will be adults faced with making many moral decisions on their own. A wise parent prepares them for that day.

Obedience is much like the Sabbath which Jesus had to remind the Pharisees was made for man, not the other way around.

1aggie
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

@ksampow
"That term "blind obedience" is unfortunate - it is often used by the unfaithful to criticize the obedient. In reality any act of obedience is a righteous exercise of agency. Choosing to obey when you don't understand why is perhaps the most difficult, most sincere act of righteousness. "

I couldn't disagree more with your statement. Choosing to obey when you don't understand why has been the cause of much evil in this world and is a common excuse used by authoritarian followers for blind obedience to their (sometimes evil) leaders. Obedience by itself is nothing, particularly if it is part of your emotional makeup (as an authritarian follower) to be obedient to the leader du jour. At the end of WWII we hung a lot of people who claimed "any act of obedience is a righteous exercise of agency".

JD Jones
Salt Lake City, UT

Someone wrote, "Free agency comes with the expectation that we will use it to voluntarily follow God and keep his commandments. When we choose to abuse that agency instead, it will only lead to suffering and misery."

Obedience is not a virtue. Indeed, takes away our freedom to exercise reason with regard to certain topics. For example, Mormons are really not free to discover that evidence contradicts key claims about the history of this continent, and it also prevents people from learning about evolution by natural selection. It requires a great deal of mental effort in the form of cognitive dissonance to refute the truth that humans are the descendents of primates that no longer exist.

Breathe Deep
Eagle Rock, ID

JD Jones,

Obedience is regarded as a virtue in many traditional cultures; historically, children have been expected to be obedient to their elders, slaves to their owners, serfs to their lords in feudal society, lords to their king, and everyone to God.

Obedience does not in any way take away freedoms. Freedon in and of itself has its roots in obedience.

Brahmabull
sandy, ut

So the author is saying that god protected and preserved this one man for being obedient and having faith but the 150 people who died on the same trip who were also obedient somehow weren't protected? Why didn't god protect those 150? It doesn't make sense.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: The story of the Willie and Martin handcart companies
Five companies of Mormon pioneers crossed America pulling handcarts. The last two companies, the Willie and Martin companies, met with tremendous tragedy. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 222 people perished due to equipment failure and early snow storms. Brigham Young’s handcart plan was quickly abandoned.

[Howard Christy, professor emeritus at BYU, said,] “In my opinion, responsible leadership at the outset could have completely averted the disaster.” Several recorded comments by church agents that they supposed God would intervene to protect the emigrants “shows their knowledge of the dangers of starting late. They were throwing all sense to the wind that all would be well.”

Sneaky Jimmy
Bay Area, CA

God can't protect you from yourself. The leaders of the Willie/Martin Co. made a huge mistake by leaving late in the year. The rescue was heroic. We shouldn't laud them for their obedience. They were eager to get to the Valley, took a risk and suffered.

GK Willington
Salt Lake City, UT

re: Apocalypse please

Agreed.

Just a random and tangential thought, CTR & Hold to the rod sound like "Strength Through Unity, Unity Through Faith" from V for Vendetta.

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

per Craig Clark...

"Obedience is sometimes most vigorously preached by those who wish to be obeyed. Then what's it really about?"

Conformity.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: The deaths and hardship of the handcart pioneers were tragic.

Termed by some the worst overland disaster in the history of the American West,early LDS tended to talk about it in hushed tones, if at all,according to William G. Hartley, associate professor of history at Brigham Young University, who moderated the [Mormon History Association] panel discussion.
Over time, the emphasis of the story became the faith and endurance of the emigrants, rather than the decisions that led to the disaster, he said, adding that for modern LDS youths who re-enact the handcart trek, the experience has almost become a rite of passage.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments