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Here’s a tricky question for you: if you follow the prophet and do what he asks you to– does that mean you’re being blindly obedient?
Religious people all over the world face this same concern– if they act in faith are they being gullible and naive? Well, no one wants to feel like they’ve been duped, so let’s talk today about two important reasons your faithful obedience is NOT blind obedience.
FIRST: You have evidence that proves your faithful path is the right one.
I want you to meet my friend, Mr. Mindless. Mr. Mindless believes absolutely everything and everyone and does whatever they say. When Mr. Mindless wakes up in the morning he eats 10 raw eggs because he once saw a flyer in the trash that said eating raw eggs will help you live forever. The eggs make him feel terrible but he still eats them faithfully.
When Mr. Mindless walks to work he makes sure not to step on any cracks because he once heard that stepping on a crack would break his mother’s back. He once did step on a crack and his mother’s back was fine, but he still avoids them just in case.
At work, Mr. Mindless has a hard time concentrating because whenever an ad pops up on his internet browser he reads the ad and does whatever it tells him to do. He is miserably in debt, and his house is full of things he doesn’t use, but the ads are just so compelling he can’t resist!
Mr. Mindless is an exaggerated example of what blind obedience really is: it means following people, ideas, and trends without using good judgment. It is doing whatever is currently “in” without having evidence that that course of action is best; this type of obedience is mindless.
Now think about your own faith: would you say it’s mindless? Are you obedient because following God and His prophet are the current popular trends? Or is your faith based on prior evidence and personal experience? Do you obey because you have had your own experiences with God and have learned for yourself that obedience is the best course?
Let’s picture your own faithful obedience by meeting another friend, Miss Wise. Miss Wise eats fresh fruit every morning because it always makes her body feel great. When she walks to work she brings an umbrella because she’s learned that surprise rainstorms happen at least once a week. At work, Miss Wise keeps her cell phone on mute because she knows if she doesn’t it will distract her from doing her job. Miss Wise makes good decisions based on past experiences.
Miss Wise is NOT blindly obedient and neither are you. You aren’t following trends, you are making decisions based on years of experience. You have seen for yourself the power and peace that come from obedience to God. That is not blind obedience, that is wise obedience based on evidence and experience!
Elder Boyd K. Packer said, “We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see.”
The second reason your faithful actions are not blind obedience is because you have the power to receive personal spiritual knowledge.
Imagine attending a church where you were told that you could never read the scriptures for yourself, never pray, and never pay attention to any strong spiritual feelings you had. You were to obey and do only what your church’s leaders said.
That would be a nightmare!
Luckily for you, you belong to God’s true Church where you are encouraged to develop a personal relationship with God– to talk to Him, to read His words, to get to know Him, and to listen when He talks to you.
You are encouraged to gain a personal testimony of God and His prophet so that when they speak, you can know through the Spirit that what they are saying is true.
And if you should ever need assurance about a specific point of doctrine or church policy, you can go directly to God with your concerns. You have your own line of communication with God through which you can gain personal testimony and knowledge.
So when you follow the prophet are you being blindly obedient? Not at all!
Your obedience is wise because it is based on two things:
First, it is based on past experiences and evidence that have shown you why you should obey.
And second, it is based on your personal line of communication with God that gives you the spiritual assurance that you are on the right path.