This is one of my most favorite searches that I have done on LDS Library 2009, the search for “Intelligent Obedience”. (Sorry, I haven't had time to clean this up. Every now and then, some of them will still go a little nuts, even when it comes to Intelligent Obedience. I have also noticed that decades can go by between one mention of Intelligent Obedience and the next.)
Elder L. Tom Perry, We Believe All That God Has Revealed, Ensign (CR), November 2003, p.85
There is great strength and power in the fact that millions throughout the world share the same testimony of God, the Savior, and the calling of the Prophet Joseph Smith. We have never been encouraged to be blindly obedient; it is an intelligent obedience that characterizes members of the Church.
Elder Loren C. Dunn, Conference Report, April 1969, First Day-Morning Meeting, p.22
On another occasion President McKay said: "Children deserve to be taught intelligent obedience. Unhappiness in the child's life, as in the adult life, springs largely from nonconformity to natural and social laws. The home is the best place in which to develop obedience, which nature and society will later demand. . . . I do not mean getting control by cruelty, nor by foolish threats, but merely by letting the child know that he is part of a community in the home; and that the other children have their rights and each child must respect those rights.
Elder John Longden, Conference Report, April 1967, Afternoon Meeting, p.128
With this assurance, then, the people of God in every dispensation have been justified in rendering absolute yet intelligent, obedience in the direction of the holy prophets.
Hyrum M. Smith, Conference Report, October 1908, p.79
Deserved reproof should be humbly accepted.--"There is no such thing as necessary evil."--Intelligent obedience most desirable.--Leaders should themselves walk the path they want flock to follow.
Elder George F. Richards., Conference Report, April 1907, Afternoon Session., p.14,17
Great extent of information concerning purposes of God.-Testimony obtained by obedience.-The Church encourages acquisition of intelligence.-Intelligent obedience only is desired.-Integrity of the Saints.
If all of us would yield implicit obedience to the principles of the Gospel, we would indeed be a happy people. The evil results of the use of strong drink would be averted if we all yielded obedience to this word of wisdom, to which reference has been made this afternoon, and so with the other laws. One of the greatest arguments in favor of faithfulness on the part of the people, in observing the word of wisdom, is that it gives evidence to our Father in heaven, and to one another, our willingness to obey His wishes. We do not care to argue as to the effects of drinking a little liquor, or smoking a pipe or cigar, or drinking tea and coffee. When, the Lord commanded Adam to build an altar and offer sacrifices to His name, do we hear of Adam arguing with the Lord? Adam did not say: I see no necessity for offering a sacrifice, and I would like to know why this requirement is made of me." When the angel came to Adam and asked why he offered sacrifices, what was his reply? He said: "I know not, save God has commanded it;" and then the angel explained this matter to him. When the Lord commanded Abraham to offer up his son as a sacrifice, we do not hear of Abraham parleying with the Lord and wanting to know why. It was sufficient for him to know it was the will and word of the Lord unto him. He undertook to do what the Lord required; he made the sacrifice in spirit, and it was accepted of the Lord. And so, obedience to the will of the Lord is the principle we must learn. This simple word of wisdom, adapted to the weakest of those who may be called "Saints," is given that we may manifest to the Lord, in this little thing, whether or not we are obedient and willing to do what He requires at our hands. As a matter of intelligent obedience-not blind obedience-we should observe to keep the word of wisdom. For the same reason we should observe to keep holy the Sabbath day, and the name of our Father in Heaven, and His Son Jesus Christ, and intelligently yield obedience to every requirement that is made at our hands.
Elder William Mclachlan., Conference Report, April 1906, Second Overflow Meeting., p.70
I have never had any desire to criticise or find fault with those who preside over me. On the contrary, I have had a constant desire to yield intelligent obedience to their counsel and instructions, and to follow them sooner than I would follow my own inclinations, sooner than I would do my own will. I desire that this spirit shall increase within me while I live upon the earth, that I may be found faithful and true in every particular, valiant in defending the truth that God has revealed, and in sustaining it by practice in my own life.
Elder Edward H. Snow, Conference Report, April 1901, Third Day-Morning Session, p.51
I have been reflecting upon the great fundamental truths which Apostle Lyman has just been expounding to the saints. I am afraid that we hear them so often that their true import and great significance to us is somewhat blunted; but I desire to testify, that it is these great truths and a living faith in them that make of Mormonism the great, potent factor which it is in the religious world today. As a silent force the truths of the Gospel are permeating society and finding an abiding place in the hearts of many honest people. The freedom of intelligent obedience to law to order, to progress, is something that is startling to the world; and as they begin to comprehend that we are not a race of slaves, but a free, highminded and noble people, who fear God only and honor the priesthood and those who hold it, their regard for us as a people increases. To my mind, the Latter-day Saints ought to strive for this freedom We ought to live above the law; to enjoy its benefits and blessings, and not be enslaved to any law of the Gospel, but to render to it an intelligent obedience, testing it for ourselves by practicing it; for the day is coming when the civilization of the world, with all its allurements and fascinations, will be upon us, and we must be able to resist it. We must be able to let radiate from our souls the principles of the Gospel, and instead of being overcome, overcome ourselves, and our environments, and be a living well of water, so to speak, springing up unto everlasting life, impressing all those with whom we come in contact that we do verily know, and we are living exponents of, the fundamental truths of the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Then we will be individually a force for good, and as a unit of the great aggregation composing this Church, will reflect these truths. In this way we will become missionaries in very deed. The Elders of Israel who go forth into the world are, by way of contrast, as a light upon a hill; but when they return the stimulus to action is removed, and they become lost, as it were, in the great body of the Church. Bishops and Presidents of Stakes can do much to alleviate this condition that is so much complained of, if they will keep these young men "in the harness," and let them know that they are not lost sight of, and that their mission is not ended. I desire to testify that the Eastern States mission has produced young men who are capable of good work. There they have been made considerable of; they have been placed in position; and when they return, if their services are not sought after by the local authorities, they sometimes become indifferent, and results that are to be deplored follow.
Elder George Teasdale, Conference Report, April 1900, Afternoon Session, p.19
From the testimonies that we hays heard this seems to be the history of the Latter-day Saints. They are the most valiant and courageous people on the face of the earth, because they "Trust in the Lord and do good." It required a great deal of moral courage to accept this Gospel, to come out of the world and take up the cross of Christ, and to advocate a doctrine that was everywhere spoken against. But it has established in us an everlasting character. We know no fear. Our trust is in the Lord; and the exhortation to us, Learn the will of God and do it, brings forth and establishes within us a character. We are always willing to do the will of God. We cams into the Church for that express purpose. We found that it would be impossible for us to be delivered from death, hell and the grave, unless we accepted of the doctrine of Christ as taught by the inspired servants of God; and being on the unpopular side we had to defend ourselves. We tested the principles of everlasting life, and we have discovered they are true. God has given unto us line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, and we are growing in grace and in the knowledge of God. He has told us over and over again that if we will love him and keep his commandments we shall prosper in the land. The Scriptures are true. The Holy Spirit has come unto the sons and daughters of God in the day and age in which we live. We all realize that we have our individual mission; that when we seek unto the Lord and ask His guidance, He guides and directs us. He gives us the opportunity of being everything that we could wish to be, in fulfilling the mission He has appointed us, to His honor and glory. There is no need of our ever being deceived or being beguiled by the influence of the adversary-who of course is adverse to God's will being done-if we will we will only observe the will of the Lord and do it. We have a Father in heaven who loves us, and who has given unto us the privilege of dwelling upon the earth in the dispensation of the fulness of times. We encourage the rising generation to trust in the Lord and individually seek His counsel. The Lord does not require a blind obedience, but an intelligent obedience, and the Savior has exhorted us to ask and it shall be given us, to seek and we shall find, to knock and it shall be opened unto us. On one occasion he gave us the parable of the unjust judge, and told us to pray without ceasing, to put our trust in the Lord, and He would give us everything necessary.
Elder George Teasdale, Conference Report, April 1899, Second Day-Morning Session1
Another impression that was made upon my mind when thinking of the glory of a well-spent life: I thought that these brethren, these representative men, were kind to themselves; I thought they had chosen the better part; they had taken up the cross of Christ; and they had advocated the principles of Almighty God and His righteousness down to the very last. enjoining upon their children, and upon their children's children to be true and faithful to the everlasting principles of the Gospel, that they may inherit that rest that was promised unto those that would love God and keep His commandments. What is meant by that rest? It means a fulness of everything; to enjoy a fulness of love, a fulness of light, a fulness of intelligence, a fulness of power; to sit down with Christ upon His throne, as He has overcome and sits upon the throne of the Father-the promise that was given unto the Israel of God-the promise that was given to the sons of the Most High. Do we understand these principles? Do we understand the value of a well-spent life? Do we understand the glory of loving God and keeping His commandments, and of keeping ourselves clean and unspotted from the world? This is what we want to understand. We want to magnify the Priesthood God has given us and the Lord has told us concerning the magnifying of the Priesthood, that we can rightly have some idea as to what we can attain to, because the Lord has been very kind unto us in giving unto us the principles of the everlasting Gospel, and has taught us the value of the priesthood. He requires an intelligent obedience.
Teachings Of Presidents Of The Church: Wilford Woodruff, p.195
It is necessary that all the members of the Church should exercise their powers of reason and reflection, and thoroughly understand why they take the course which God points out. Intelligent obedience on the part of His Saints is desired by our Father in Heaven. He has given us our agency to think and act for ourselves, on our own volition, to obtain a testimony for ourselves from Him concerning the truth of the principles which He teaches, and then be firm and unshaken in the performance of all which is necessary for salvation. 19
Read the second full paragraph on page 201. What do you learn from the phrase "intelligent obedience?
James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-75), 3:, p.136
Though many of the leading men have been compelled to be absent, some of them having been incarcerated in prison, the people have, nevertheless, been steadfast, and have sought with increased diligence to perform their duties. The persecution to which they have been subjected has led the people to think and act for themselves, and not depend so much upon others for guidance. This can not fail to be attended with good results. It is necessary that all the members of the Church should exercise their powers of reason and reflection and thoroughly understand why they take the course which God points out. Intelligent obedience on the part of His Saints is desired by our Father in heaven. He has given us our agency to think and act for ourselves, on our own volition, to obtain a testimony for ourselves from Him concerning the truth of the principles which He teaches, and then be firm and unshaken in the performance of all which is necessary for salvation. ...
Harold B. Lee, The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, edited by Clyde J. Williams, p.84
President Brigham Young said something to this effect that is very meaningful, [a paraphrase of which follows]: "The greatest fear I have is that the members of the Church will accept what we say is the word of the Lord without first praying about it and getting a witness in their heart that what we say is the word of the Lord" (see Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1941], p. 135). You see, that places [the responsibility] upon us, as individual members, to know when men speak from an authoritative standpoint; it is up to us to test it by praying about it, and each of us receive the witness in our hearts that what we have heard is the mind and the will of the Lord. Therein is the safety and the strength of not blind obedience but intelligent obedience to those who preside in authority over us. (71-26)
Matthias F. Cowley, Cowley's Talks on Doctrine , p.161
The statement of the Savior, recorded in St. John vii: 17, covers the ground in the broadest light: "If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself." This secures to every true Saint, if he is faithful, protection against imposture, the abuse of power and the false decisions of man-made councils. In this particular the Church of Christ is distinguished from all other system and institutions. He has promised to guide and direct, and that He "doeth nothing, but He revealeth His secrets unto His servants, the prophets." (Amos iii: 7.) This does not imply the infallibility of man, but it does imply the promise that no man or council of men who stand at the head of the church shall have power to lead the Saints astray. With this assurance, then, the people of God in every dispensation have been justified in rendering absolute yet intelligent obedience in the direction of the holy prophets. It is an undeniable fact in the history of the Saints that obedience to whatever has come, either by written document or verbally, from the presidency of the church, has been attended with good results; on the other hand, whosoever has opposed such council, without repentance, has been followed with evidence of condemnation.
Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses, 5 vols., 5:-1
Now, we are going to have read before this conference the declaration of this principle as it was formulated by the Presidency of the Church, the Twelve Apostles, and the Seventies, as it was read before the general conference. We are going to present it to you, to see whether you will sustain this doctrine. If you do not like it; if you do not believe in the doctrine; if you think it is false doctrine; if you think it is superfluous, or unnecessary, you have perfect liberty to vote against it. But if you have the Spirit of the Gospel in your hearts; if you desire the perpetuity of the institutions of Zion; if you want to consummate the purposes of God in establishing the Church upon the earth for the last time, then you will vote, not with one hand alone, but with both hands and with your whole heart to sustain this doctrine as it was enunciated to the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For that is what it means-no more, no less; and that is what we want to be understood. We want the people to take action on it at this conference, and at all other conferences, until it goes before the whole people. And let us see whether the children of Zion will reject this principle which underlies the very foundation of the government of God in the earth. If you reject that principle, you reject the principle of government in the Church; and you become like the man-made churches in the world, that have a form of godliness and deny the power thereof. There is no use mincing the matter, and there is no use saying for one moment that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a dead letter, that it is a form of godliness without power. I tell you, that it is a form of godliness with the power. The power is here in the hearts of the righteous members of the Church of Christ. This principle will be sustained and upheld until Zion is redeemed, and until the people of God shall triumph over the disintegrating influences of apostate Christianity in the world; and we shall rise and shine, and put on our beautiful garments, as the Zion of God. But with disobedience it can never be done. "Obedience is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." That is the scripture, and that is the truth, and that is the essence of this matter. It is intelligent obedience to the law of God and to the commands of the Almighty.
It is wonderful the power of the Spirit and testimony that has rested upon the brethren at this conference. We have felt that God has been with us by His power, and also that it should be manifested unto the world that the Priesthood of the Son of God has been restored to the earth and those who bear it enjoy the light and the power of God that was promised unto those who would bow in obedience to the commandments of God. It has been manifested at this conference by several witnesses that we are living in the dispensation of the fullness of times; that the Lord has restored to the earth apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, for the work of the ministry and for the edifying of the body of Christ, that we may come to the unity of the faith and to the knowledge of the Son of God. We know in our experience that those who have offered unto the Lord the acceptable offering of the broken heart and the contrite spirit, who have repented of their sins, seeking earnestly at the hands of the Lord for their sins to be remitted, and have submitted to baptism at the hands of a servant of God, that they have known their sins were remitted, that they had received the sanctifying influence of the blood of Christ, that they received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and that God Himself revealed to them by His Spirit that they had embraced the Gospel which has been restored to the earth. The Prophet Isaiah predicted the judgments of Almighty God upon the world. John the Revelator saw the angel fly through the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those on the earth, crying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment is come. If we would study these scriptures that have been given unto us, we should be enabled to understand by the revelations of God the day and age in which we live, and the hour in which we live. As I understand it, I have no right to be an Elder in Israel and to hold the Melchizedek Priesthood unless I have offered unto the Lord the acceptable offering of the broken heart and the contrite spirit. The Lord wants an intelligent obedience. When we go down into the waters of baptism we make a solemn covenant with God that we will serve Him and keep His commandments. And in our service, under whose direction do we move? Do we not move under the direction of that Priesthood that God has restored to the earth? "He that receiveth My servants," saith the Lord, speaking to the Priesthood, "receiveth Me; and he that receiveth Me receiveth My Father; and he that receiveth My Father, receiveth My Father's Kingdom; therefore all that My Father hath shall be given unto him." Have I any right to accept the office of an Apostle unless I have offered this acceptable offering unto the Lord, and I am willing to use my time, my means and my talent for the building up of the kingdom of God and the establishment of His righteousness upon the earth? Am I forced to be an Apostle? Do I not accept of this with my own free agency? And do I not understand that we move under the direction of the Presidency of the Church? Is there any man so weak and with so little understanding that he does not understand this proposition? Is there any man holding the Priesthood of the Son of God that does not know that the Apostles move under the direction of the Presidency? I am often invited by my brethren to attend conferences. I tell them I will be very glad to attend their conference if I am so directed. When we meet on the Thursday with the First Presidency we receive our appointments. We are subject to their direction because we have offered unto the Lord the broken heart and the contrite spirit. We have accepted of the conditions of His salvation, and I never have had more happiness than I have had since it has been my privilege to associate with my quorum. For many years I have been a traveling minister. I accepted of my appointment to Mexico. I accepted of my appointment to the European Mission. I accepted of my appointment to continue in Mexico in building up those settlements; and I accepted my appointment when they told me that it was enough-I could come home and travel in the stakes of Zion and hold meetings with the Priesthood. I come and go and do and say as I am directed. And I have accepted of this intelligently. It is not blind obedience. I know what I am doing.
The Contributor, Volume 1
This can be done by thoroughly understanding what is expected of us, as officers and members of the Associations, and by diligently doing all that is required at our hands. We should desire above everything else to do good; to make ourselves as individuals, as well as our Associations, useful in the building up of the Kingdom of God. We can hardly think there are many young men of the Associations but understand, well enough to be obedient, that it is impossible for their labor in the kingdom to amount to much, unless it is under the advice, direction, and control of the authority placed over them in the priesthood. Personally we are not acquainted with a single officer of an Association who entertains any idea of their object, or work being other than what is in entire harmony with, and under the immediate sanction and approval of the local and general authorities of the Church; and the ambition of most, if not all, is to excel in yielding intelligent obedience to those placed over them. In no missionary field in the world can be found the universal and heartfelt response to the teachings of inspired Elders, that is everywhere witnessed in the assemblies of the young people of this Territory.
The Contributor, Volume 91
Elder Taylor, October 21st, 1857, wrote a trenchant letter to Capt. R. B. Marcy, in which he said that, whatever may be the personal character of the officers, the cause they are engaged in is bad; that they are the servants of a lamantably corrupt administration; that you come "to cut out the loathsome ulcer from the body politic;" that President Buchanan knew the nature of Judge Drummond's charge, for he was, to the knowledge of the writer, informed of it by one of his own cabinet; that Utah alone was excluded from the privileges of the preemption laws; that the administration having planned our destruction was eager to catch at anything to render specious their contemplated acts; that the Democrats were told that in advocating popular sovereignty to maintain slavery in the Territories, they upheld polygamy; that they saw this would conflict with the religious scruples of their constituents and would not do; that Congressional action being out of the question, therefore it became necessary to discover other means, which were found in the employment of the troops; that thus would the wind be taken out of the sails of the Republican party which fastened upon the Democrats the stigma of upholding slavery and polygamy, those "twin relics of barbarism;" that he had traveled extensively and had never found a people so patriotic or virtuous as the Latterday Saints; that they know the difference between blind submission and intelligent obedience; that it is not treason to stand up for constitutional rights, to resist unconstitutional acts designed to rob us of the franchise, cut our throats to subserve party interests, and to force corrupt tools upon us, nor to maintain inviolate our homes, our friends, our wives, and our honor, from the blight of a debauched soldiery; that we have considered these matters and are prepared to meet the "terrible vengeance" predicted; that it is not alone the voice of Brigham, but the deep-seated feeling of the whole community; that we will burn our property rather than let it fall into the hands of our enemies; that it would be madness for you to try to come in under such circumstances; that we have already destroyed three hundred thousand dollars worth of our property in Green River county; that we have been twice driven by tame submission to corrupt officials; that we are determined to have peace, if we have to fight for it; that we admire you as gentlemen, but as enemies prefer your backs to your faces; that he must disclaim the prefix of Reverend to his name; that when he left the east public opinion was beginning to react, and it may materially affect the position of the administration.
Improvement Era 18991
True Christianity teaches that the way to know God is to keep his commandments. St. John says, "Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments." (I John 2:3.) This is true philosophy. All our knowledge is the result of obedience to certain principles or laws, and intelligent obedience is always preceded by faith. It is therefore folly to reject faith as a means of gaining knowledge.
Improvement Era 19061
You can talk of intelligent compliance all you please; you can talk of intelligent obedience all you please; but there comes a time in the life of every man; there come times in the life of every man when, he cannot rely one moment on his intelligence, nor on his mental force, nor on his reason. There are times in the life of every man when he must be lead absolutely by faith, blind faith; and, it is then that he renders obedience that makes him truly great in the eyes of the Redeemer.-Saints' Herald, vol. 50, page 129.
Improvement Era 19121
It is not barbarous persecution, nor mob violence, that are to be feared. The battle is rather on social, intellectual, and spiritual lines. It is not a placid trust in Providence, nor an enthusiastic fanaticism, that are required, but an intelligent obedience to all the commandments of God, and a strict application of the means provided, that will enable the Saints to save themselves and their children to the faith of their homes, and from the snares of the enemy.
Improvement Era 1935-1
The Youth Movement of the Mormon Church is in every way in accord with the very things we are working for in Scouting in our Ten Year Program, by which we hope to assure that out of every four young men reaching maturity each year in America, at least one will have been a Scout, and have been one long enough so that the full value of Scouting may be a part of his future life-a life founded on Scout qualities of honor and loyalty, cheerful and intelligent obedience to law, reliability, courage, the habit of clean living, clean talking, clean thinking, friendliness to all people, the readiness to serve at all times, in small ways or great, the love of the great outdoors, the love of one's neighbor, in the true Christ spirit, the love of God with all it means of reverence and ethical living, the realization of why we are here on earth at all, which can have fundamentally but one goal, the furtherance of the Kingdom of God, the practical realization of "Peace on earth, good will to men."
trusted to exercise full freedom to think and act for self in all the affairs of life! they understand that life is a great adventure and to succeed and live to the full they must give as prompt and intelligent obedience to the "rules of the game" in their religion (which are comprised in the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ) as they would respond to the directions of the captain of their football squad. No one resents obeying the rules or following direction of the captain of his team. So it is with life. Christ is our Captain and if we listen to His direction we are bound to win, ultimately.
Do we give intelligent obedience to the laws of the Gospel-obedience based upon sober study and trial of the practises of the Church? If our giving is without such obedience, it is away from the Lord, not towards Him. Do we stand ready to sacrifice for the cause of the Lord, in the unpaid services of the Church? That is, are our time, talents, and means at the disposal of those who administer the Lord's work? Great is the gift from such a hand.
Improvement Era 1941
They will govern and direct in their homes in keeping with the order of the Church and the will of God, and yield willing, intelligent obedience to those who are called of God to direct in spiritual affairs.
Improvement Era 19501
1. Recruitment of military strength, to whatever size and shape desired, by voluntary enlistment, whether in the professional full-time branches, or reserve elements, including R.O.T.C. units parallel to the educational system. Under the only peacetime experience the United States has known, namely the Conscription Act of 1948, 3 voluntary recruitment was found to be the successful policy. The air and navy arms are reported not to have resorted to conscription under that statute. The army did, for a period during 1948, then appeared to abandon it in favor of voluntary enlistments, emoluments, and career attractions. In the next five years let us use this same principle. A professional fighting force, voluntarily recruited, will function better than conscripts. The marines are essential to all of us. Why not make the pay and career of a marine as monetarily attractive as the pay and careers of successful civilian life, or more so? His service is essential. British experience over the nineteenth century suggests that such a scheme will work both for recruiting officers and men-and without the disrupting social and political influences of compulsory service. American congressmen should know the historical fact that a large proportion of the Europeans who came to America in the seventeenth century came to avoid the quarrels and compulsory military service of continental Europe. That tradition remains strong, though likewise strong for defense. It can be argued that UMT may detract from effective "training," that its "disciplinary effects" will fall more heavily on the side of evil than in producing intelligent obedience to command. UMT will certainly produce political effects in American homes that will come to abhor and dislike its spiritual, social, and economic repercussions. This may bring the grave danger of a single-will state, with the temptation to use official propaganda and force to maintain the system, like Orwell's "War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery" upsidedown state-of which already we see too much.
Hyrum L. Andrus, Doctrinal Themes of the Doctrine and Covenants , p.24
Finally, there must be mature and intelligent obedience to the laws governing life. If the right to choose is used to violate law, the penalty prescribed for such disobedience must be enforced; and the given element of organized life then comes under the penalty of that broken law and is no longer free or independent. If it obeys the laws governing its sphere of existence it is preserved and sanctified by the same.
H. Donl Peterson, The Pearl of Great Price: A History and Commentary, p.189
"Intelligent obedience on the part of His Saints is desired by our Father in heaven. He has given us our agency to think and act for ourselves, on our own volition, to obtain a testimony for ourselves from Him concerning the truth of the principles which He teaches, and then be firm and unshaken in the performance of all which is necessary for salvation." (Wilford Woodruff, in James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency, 3:137.)
Kent P. Jackson and Robert L. Millet, eds., Studies in Scripture, Vol. 3: Genesis to 2 Samuel, p.188
Indeed, "would God that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!" When every man or woman-whether ancient or modern Israelite-has the testimony of Jesus, the spirit of prophecy burning within his or her soul, then the work of the Lord moves forward by leaps and bounds. The strength of the kingdom of God at any time is not to be found alone in the power and strength of its leaders, but more important in the individual testimonies of the members. Members who gain the witness and enjoy the gifts lift heavy burdens from the shoulders of the leaders, for they now perform their labors in the Church with intelligent obedience. They are more converted and more motivated. President Brigham Young observed: "I am like Moses when a messenger came to him saying, 'The people are prophesying in their tents.' Said Moses, Well, what of that? I would to God that the Lord's people were all prophets! I would to God that they all had revelation! When they receive revelation from heaven the story is told, they know for themselves."
John A. Widtsoe, Program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, p.65,72
The spiritual person renders intelligent obedience to the requirements of the Gospel. There is no quibbling about this principle or resistance to that practice. Whatever has been revealed to and accepted by the Church becomes binding upon the person. The spiritually-minded person chooses to render obedience because he understands the principle or practice involved. True obedience is never blind. Such obedience is a direct approach to the Lord's favor.
6. By the tests of spirituality, intelligent obedience, willingness to sacrifice, active love, how do you stand? How with regard to persons whom you believe to be spiritually minded?
Hyrum L. Andrus, God, Man, and the Universe, p.391
In life's program with its contrasting colors and influences, the fall of man has a divine purpose to fulfil. It seems paradoxical to speak of that which is bitter as being good. Yet only by experiencing the bitter can man truly appreciate that which is sweet; and only by coming into direct contact with corruption in a world where the laws of life exact their immutable requirements can man learn in a meaningful way the need for intelligent obedience. Orson Pratt therefore concluded: "The effects of the fall were [ordained] to continue for a season, until all the inhabitants of the spirit world, designed for this creation, should learn by bitter experience, the unhappy consequences of sin."
Robert L. Millet, An Eye Single to the Glory of God: Reflections on the Cost of Discipleship, p.81
One virtue evidenced in the life of true disciples, those who are steadfast and consistent, is patience. They are patient with God, "willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him" (Mosiah 3:19), knowing that "all things work together for good to them that love God" (Rom. 8:28; compare D&C 90:24). Patience is thus closely related to perspective, the ability to see things from a higher elevation. The disciple is patient with Church leaders, trusting implicitly in their prophetic callings and in their ability to discern and declare the word and will of the Lord. True followers of the Christ receive the words of the living oracles "as if from [the Savior's] own mouth, in all patience and faith" (D&C 21:5). The Master calls for intelligent obedience but occasionally for that obedience which is borne of trust and faith. Our attitude might be: "I do not understand the reasons for this action, I do not see clearly what the presiding authorities have in view in doing this, but I will wait and learn more. This I do know, that this is the work of God and that these men are his servants and that they will not be permitted by him to lead the Church astray or to commit a wrong of so serious a character as to endanger its progress or perpetuity." Disciples of Christ learn to be patient with themselves. Though a type of divine discontent pushes disciples to greater heights and causes them to lengthen their stride, yet theirs is "a perfect brightness of hope" (2 Ne. 31:20), a quiet trust in and reliance upon the Lord, a submission to his divine timetable and schedule. "Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now," the Lord explained in 1831, "neither the ministering of angels; wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected" (D&C 67:13).
Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel through the Ages, p.115
Thus all men who ascend to the glorious status of Godhood can do so only by one method-by obedience to all the principles and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Fundamental in the process of obedience to truth is knowledge. We must first learn true principles before we are capable of intelligent obedience. The word of the Lord came to the latter-day Prophet as follows: "Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of truth." Also, "It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance." And again the Lord declared, "Men are saved no faster than they gain knowledge." The Prophet Joseph described the process of going on toward Godhood as follows:
Handbook of the Restoration: A Selection of Gospel Themes Discussed by Various Authors , p.544
And so necessary is this ordinance, on the part of all who are capable of intelligent obedience to the divine behest, that the gospel makes provision for the vicarious or proxy baptism of those who pass out of this life without the opportunity to be baptized in their own persons. Work of this character, divinely authorized, performed in holy temples, and properly recorded, is acceptable to the Lord, and just as effectual as if done by the person or persons for whom the proxy stands.
Brent L. Top, Larry E. Dahl, and Walter D. Bowen, Follow the Living Prophets , p.7
Rendering intelligent obedience to living prophets requires us to study and struggle, ponder and pray concerning the counsels and teachings that proceed from them. It is no easy task, and in large measure it rightfully shifts the responsibility from them to us. Prayerfully pleading with the Lord to bless us with a witness of the Spirit concerning their counsel yields a blessing of knowing the will of God for us individually. This knowledge makes easier our obedience to even difficult requirements. Without such a liberating witness one may be left to "kick against the pricks"-to either reject the prophetic words outright or obey them grudgingly and with a critical and murmuring heart.
Blind obedience is constrictive; but enlightened, faithful, intelligent obedience liberates the soul and brings abundant blessings. An experience in the life of President Marion G. Romney illustrates this principle. While serving earlier in a political office, he was faced with a painful, personal dilemma when the leaders of the Church in a tersely worded editorial denounced the trends of the political administration then in power. "When I read that editorial," Brother Romney said, "I knew what I should do-but that wasn't enough. I knew that I must feel right about following the counsel of the Church leaders and know that they were right. That took a whole night on my knees to accomplish." (Improvement Era, October 1962, p. 742.) On other occasions, President Romney gave this powerful testimony that serves as a guide for each of us as we seek to "intelligently obey" the Lord's anointed today:
Orson F. Whitney, Saturday Night Thoughts, p.247
Vicarious Ministrations.-So necessary is baptism, on the part of all capable of intelligent obedience, that the Gospel makes provision for the vicarious baptism of those who pass away without undergoing this ordinance for themselves. Work of this character, when divinely authorized, is acceptable to the Lord; a fact that should occasion little wonder in Christian minds, when it is remembered that the whole fabric of Christianity rests upon the vicarious work wrought by Jesus Christ for the redemption of a world powerless to redeem itself. Men cannot answer by proxy for the deeds done in the body, but there have always been sacred ceremonies that one person might perform for another. Baptism is among them.
David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals: Selections from the Discourses of David O. McKay, p.381,488
INTELLIGENT OBEDIENCE. We are all here to enjoy life in its fullest and most complete sense; but the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ is this: that to live one must live in obedience to law, physical law, intellectual law, spiritual law. Transgression of law always brings unhappiness; it always brings death when carried to the ultimate end. -CR, October 1920, p. 42.
CHILDREN DESERVE TO BE TAUGHT INTELLIGENT OBEDIENCE. Unhappiness in the child's life, as in the adult life, springs largely from nonconformity to natural and social laws. The home is the best place in which to develop obedience, which nature and society will later demand.-I, 81:166 (1946).
Synopsis of the Books of the Bible
There is a certain analogy in our case. It is a different thing to be born of God, and sealed and anointed with the Holy Ghost. The day of Pentecost, Cornelius, the believers of Samaria on whom the apostle laid their hands - all prove this, as also many passages on the subject. We are all "the sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus." But "because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts." "In whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession." "This spake he," says John, "of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive." The Holy Ghost may have produced, by a new nature, holy desires, and the love of Jesus, without the consciousness of deliverance and power - the joy of His presence in the knowledge of the finished work of Christ. As to the Lord Jesus, we know that this second act, of anointing, was accomplished in connection with the perfectness of His Person, as it could, because He was righteous in Himself, when, after His baptism by John (in which He who knew no sin placed Himself with His people, then the remnant of Israel, in the first movement of grace in their hearts, shown in going to John, to be with them in all the path of that grace from beginning to end, its trials and its sorrows), He, sinless, was anointed by the Holy Ghost, descending in a bodily shape like a dove, and was led of the Spirit into the conflict for us, and returned conqueror in its power, in the power of the Spirit, into Galilee. I say conqueror in its power; for if Jesus had repulsed Satan simply by divine power as such, firstly, there evidently could have been no conflict; and secondly, no example or encouragement for us. But the Lord repulsed him by a principle which is our duty every day - obedience, intelligent obedience; employing the word of God, and repulsing Satan with indignation the moment he openly shows himself such. * If Christ entered into His course with the testimony and joy of a Son, He entered into a course of conflict and obedience (He might bind the strong man, but He had the strong man to bind).