No Blind Obedience in Mormonism, Really?

In a recent blog entry (T&S; 28 Sep 2012), Ben Huff describes Mormonism’s concept of obedience as follows:

Rather than calling us to blindly obey human religious authorities, Mormonism calls us to approach our faith with active minds and hearts, and to ask God personally, for direct confirmation of the truth.

While I find Huff’s statement to be appealing, it doesn’t accurately portray the LDS Church as it exists today.

There is a strong case for the opposite opinion.  For example, statements like “When the Prophet has spoken, the thinking is over” are still prevalent in the church.  In fact, the LDS Church’s emphasis on almost blind obedience is one of the reasons why critics allege that the church is a cult.

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3 Responses to No Blind Obedience in Mormonism, Really?

  1. Susan says:

    Absolutely true. When I have occasionally had discussion with my bishop (regarding the church’s treatment of gays), I was told that by not agreeing with the church’s stance on homosexuality, I was not being “obedient”. The “obedient” buzz word is continually used. Another example, which seems so silly: our current stake president was adamant, during the first part of his tenure, that women were to wear nylons to church, vs. no nylons and/or just flip flops/sandals. This seemed to be his “platform” when he first started. Trust me, he has gradually eased off on the subject, lol. Anyway, I digress. Our bishop, however, felt it was so important (I don’t know if there had been a few murmurings) that he point blank told the congregation that no matter what the SP told us to do, whether we agreed or not, we were to do it because we needed to be “obedient” to be good members of the church. The subject has died down considerably. In fact, a few years ago I noticed the SP’s wife at our ward one day, without nylons! Oh what a shame! LOL

  2. jimbob says:

    This would be a more interesting post and reply if specific sources were cited, rather than the nebulous, “statements like . . . are still prevalent,” or citing the words of a single Bishop in one person’s experience. I think the question of whether the current Mormon church encourages blind obedience or “active minds and hearts” is both interesting and important to supporters or detractors of the Mormon church. Unfortunately, the post and reply don’t add much to the conversation. This could be an interesting discussion otherwise.

  3. GeorgeForeman says:

    I am a Mormon. I am from the Midwest and to me the teachings of the Church have always led me to question, it was what led to the First Vision. This has really dominated everything about my life since. Believe it or not most of my friends growing up were athiests because I questioned everything I came to the conclusion that Conservatism was better than Liberalism through critical thinking not because father said so. There definitely seems to be a notion that all things conservative are illogical or faith based not just in the Church but in the whole Western world.

    I will also charge that allegations of blind obedience while undoubtedly true, act as a distraction for those espousing ideas they themselves have accepeted blindly or out of emotion usually through peer pressure rather than pure freethinking or critical thinking at all. For example the real atheists(in The Soviet Union) strongly opposed Homosexuality and still do, even they knew that copulation is for population and did not want to facilitate a false sense of security to individuals so that there funeral was an empty lonely ceremony.

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