"We all act upon or give obedience to knowledge. Whether in science or religion, our obedience is not blind when we act upon knowledge suited to the subject of our action. A scientist receives and acts upon a trusted certification of the content or conditions of a particular experiment. In matters of religion, a believer’s source of knowledge is spiritual, but the principle is the same. In the case of Latter-day Saints, when the Holy Ghost gives our souls a witness of the truth of the restored gospel and the calling of a modern prophet, our choice to follow those teachings is not blind obedience."
This is from Dallin H. Oaks' April 2008 Conference Talk, "Testimony." I have been struggling with a certain topic, feeling pulled one way by my personal, cultural, and political views and another by the stated position of the First Presidency. After much (MUCH) thought, reading, and prayer, I finally decided that despite my worries and doubts, I would align my personal position with that of the First Presidency. This took humility: more than I realized it would. And then I found that my Relief Society lesson would be based on this talk by Elder Oaks. In many small instances as I prepared for the lesson, I found myself instructed by the Spirit, and by the end of my lesson on Sunday, I felt reassured that although I don't understand this position fully, that I would be blessed by my choice to be obedient.
I have a rebellious streak. I don't like to follow the status quo without good reason. But I truly believe in my heart that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is headed by a man of God, a prophet for today. As much as I see through a glass darkly, I'm going to do my best to trust that the Lord will lead us in the right way, and that this is a worthy battle.
So there. Today's thoughts on obedience.