Source:Spencer W. Kimball:Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball:59-61:When men obey commands of a creator, it is not blind obedience

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Spencer W. Kimball: "When men obey commands of a creator, it is not blind obedience"

Spencer W. Kimball:

To obey! To hearken! What a difficult requirement! Often we hear: "Nobody can tell me what clothes to wear, what I shall eat or drink. No one can outline my Sabbaths, appropriate my earnings, nor in any way limit my personal freedoms! I do as I please! I give no blind obedience!" Blind obedience! How little they understand! The Lord said through Joseph Smith: "Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof until long after the events transpire." (Scrapbook of Mormon Literature, vol. 2, p. 173.) When men obey commands of a creator, it is not blind obedience. How different is the cowering of a subject to his totalitarian monarch and the dignified, willing obedience one gives to his God. The dictator is ambitious, selfish, and has ulterior motives. God's every command is righteous, every directive purposeful, and all for the good of the governed. The first may be blind obedience, but the latter is certainly faith obedience. The patriarch Abraham, sorely tried, obeyed faithfully when commanded by the Lord to offer his son Isaac upon the altar. Blind obedience? No. He knew that God would require nothing of him which was not for his ultimate good. How that good could be accomplished he did not understand. He knew that he had been promised that through the seed of the miracle son Isaac should all the multitude of nations be blessed, and God having promised, it would be fulfilled.... It was not blind faith when the patriarch Noah built an ark some forty-two centuries ago or when the prophet Nephi built a boat about twenty-five centuries ago.... Here was no blind obedience. Each knew the goodness of God and that he had purpose in his strange commands. And so each with eyes wide open, with absolute freedom of choice, built by faith. Noah's family was saved from physical drowning and spiritual decadence, and Nephi's people were saved likewise. Is it blind obedience when the student pays his tuition, reads his text assignments, attends classes, and thus qualifies for his eventual degrees? Perhaps he himself might set different and easier standards for graduation, but he obeys every requirement of the catalog whether or not he understands its total implication. Is it blind obedience when one regards the sign "High Voltage—Keep Away," or is it the obedience of faith in the judgment of experts who know the hazard? Is it blind obedience when the air traveler fastens his seat belt as that sign flashes, or is it confidence in the experience and wisdom of those who know more of hazards and dangers? Is it blind obedience when the little child gleefully jumps from the table into the strong arms of its smiling father, or is this implicit trust in a loving parent who feels sure of his catch and who loves the child better than life itself? Is it blind obedience when an afflicted one takes vile-tasting medicine prescribed by his physician or yields his own precious body to the scalpel of the surgeon, or is this the obedience of faith in one in whom confidence may safely be imposed? Is it blind obedience when the pilot guides his ship between the buoys which mark the reefs and thus keeps his vessel in deep water, or is it confidence in the integrity of those who have set up protective devices? Is it then blind obedience when we with our limited vision, elementary knowledge, selfish desires, ulterior motives, and carnal urges, accept and follow the guidance and obey the commands of our loving Father who begot us, created a world for us, loves us, and has planned a constructive program for us, wholly without ulterior motive, whose greatest joy and glory is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life" of all his children? Blind obedience it might be when no agency exists, when there is regimentation, but in all of the commands of the Lord given through his servants, there is total agency free of compulsion. Some remonstrate that agency is lacking where penalties are imposed and condemnations threatened—to be damned for rejecting the gospel seems harsh to some and to take away free agency. This is not true, for the decision is ours—we may accept or reject, comply or ignore. In all of our life activities it is the same—we may attend college or stay away from the campus; we may apply ourselves to our studies or waste our time; we may fulfill all requirements or ignore them. The decision is ours; the agency is free. We may take the medicine or secretly pour it down the drain; we may yield our bodies to the surgeon's knife or refuse his service; we may follow paths or get lost in the jungle; but we cannot avoid the penalties of disobedience to law....[1]

Notes

  1. Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, pp. 59–61.