“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.
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 !
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.
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.
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.
And your point is what Don?
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.
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.
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.
@Craig ClarkI 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!
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.
@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".
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.
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.
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.
RE: The story of the Willie and Martin handcart companiesFive 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.”
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.
re: Apocalypse pleaseAgreed. Just a random and
tangential thought, CTR & Hold to the rod sound like "Strength Through
Unity, Unity Through Faith" from V for Vendetta.
per Craig Clark..."Obedience is sometimes most vigorously
preached by those who wish to be obeyed. Then what's it really
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.
Church leaders must be held accountable for whatever is done in the name of
"obedience" to them.
Obedience was, perhaps, the difference between life and death for him. It is
also the difference between eternal life and death for all of us. I find it
amazing that people talk of it being scary for people to be obedient to God and
do his bidding but everyone of us are obedient to a Government every day without
any thinking, we obey laws we have no idea how they got there, why they are in
force, how they affect us, but blindly we follow, and you think it is scary to
follow Gods laws. I find that a little scary. If we follow the teachings of
the Prophets who are directly led by God, then blessings will come to us, how do
we know? Because the Holy Ghost told us it is correct. Do we always understand
completely the commandments we have to follow, no, but we have a trustworthy
Governor at our helm unlike the self-gratifying members of our Government who do
things for their own gratification and not that of the peoples?.
scwozYou mention how obedience was the difference between life and
death for him, but you fail to mention that obedience was the difference between
life and death for the 150 who died on that very same trip.