Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Robert D. Hales on spiritually mature obedience to God and leaders

Elder Robert D. Hales (b. August 24, 1932) served as a Seventy from 1976 to 1985, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.
"At times members may participate in 'selective obedience,' claiming to love God and honor God while picking and choosing which of His commandments and teachings—and the teachings and counsel of His prophets—they will fully follow.
"Some obey selectively because they cannot perceive all the reasons for a commandment, just as children do not always understand the reasons for their parents' counsel and rules. But we always know the reason we follow the prophets, for this is the Church of Jesus Christ, and it is the Savior who directs His prophets in all dispensations.
"As our understanding of obedience deepens, we recognize the essential role of agency....
"Spiritually mature obedience is 'the Savior's obedience.' It is motivated by true love for Heavenly Father and His Son. When we willingly obey, as our Savior did, we cherish the words of our Heavenly Father: 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased' (Matthew 3:17). And we look forward to hearing, upon entering our Heavenly Father's presence, 'Well done, thou good and faithful servant: ... enter ... into the joy of thy lord' (Matthew 25:21)."
- Robert D. Hales, "If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments," Ensign, May 2014, pp. 35-38
Click here to read the full talk

Elder Hales teaches us the difference between "selective obedience" and "spiritually mature obedience" — encouraging us all to consider our own progress in this area. A key indicator is in how we respond to God's anointed servants as they give counsel and direction. Our response at times reflects the depth of our conviction of who they are, and whose the Church is.

So the ideal is this: ""Spiritually mature obedience is 'the Savior's obedience.' It is motivated by true love for Heavenly Father and His Son." If that love is deep, then obedience is easy, even when the reasons in a given situation are not always apparent. It's a wonderful reminder as we each strive to grow in the paths of mortality.

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