Saturday, June 4, 2016

L. Tom Perry on the choice of faithful obedience

Elder L. Tom Perry (1922-2015) was called as an Assistant to the Twelve in 1972, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1974. At the time of his passing at age 92, he was the oldest living general authority and the third in seniority among the leading quorum.
"While some very intelligent and insightful people might believe our more complex time demands ever more complex solutions, I am far from convinced they are right. Rather, I am of the frame of mind that today's complexity demands greater simplicity....
"Too often we think of obedience as the passive and thoughtless following of the orders or dictates of a higher authority. Actually, at its best, obedience is an emblem of our faith in the wisdom and power of the highest authority, even God. When Abraham demonstrated his unwavering faithfulness and obedience to God, even when commanded to sacrifice his son, God rescued him. Similarly, when we demonstrate our faithfulness through obedience, God will ultimately rescue us.
"Those who rely solely on themselves and follow only their own desires and self-inclinations are so limited when compared to those who follow God and tap into His insight, power, and gifts. It has been said that someone who is all wrapped up in himself or herself makes a very small package. Strong, proactive obedience is anything but weak or passive. It is the means by which we declare our faith in God and qualify ourselves to receive the powers of heaven. Obedience is a choice. It is a choice between our own limited knowledge and power and God's unlimited wisdom and omnipotence."
- L. Tom Perry, "Obedience Through Our Faithfulness," Ensign, May 2014, pp. 100-103
Click here to read the full article

This could be a great motto for life: "Today's complexity demands greater simplicity." It applies to many aspects of our modern lives, including the choices we make of using our time, the possessions we surround ourselves with, and the way we approach learning and living the Gospel.

Elder Perry provides a "simple" approach to obedience and faith. It's not a "passive and thoughtless following" of the dictates of some other man, or even of God; instead, it's an evidence of our faith and trust in that God. And when we "demonstrate our faithfulness through obedience," blessings from God will follow. There is profound truth in this simple approach to life.

Ultimately, "obedience is a choice"—whether to rely on our own limited vision and understanding, or to trust in God's greater wisdom on our behalf. It's just that simple!

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