Does Obedience Deserve To Be The First Law Of Heaven? (Guest Blogger: David Bloor)


When we attempt to explain what obedience is, we must be careful to examine three distinctions.

Obedience to:
1. Natural laws which can not be broken and can result in death if attempted.

2. Social laws of the land which are established to protect 3rd parties from those who seek dominion.

3. Dominion over another or political/religious groups, whether consent is given or not. 

Trust and love must be earned through respect, not demanded through obedience.

Obedience is used to teach the very young and also animals. But as a child’s reasoning and computational mind develops, the power of force must be abandoned because of the negative by-products it generates. It is primitive and never generates true respect and love.

Mutual respect is the key and requires effort from both parties.

1. I would never command my children to love me. (Unlike the Christian God)

2. I would not even expect anyone to honour my wishes unless first I had earned their respect. This would naturally be reciprocated until an unbreakable bond of friendship and love had formed. True love, trust and respect for one another is always earned, never demanded or commanded.

3. When mutual respect is earned, obedience in a loving relationship is never the first law.

When we define obedience in any relationship, it is an unbalanced form of cooperation. To obey a dominant force or authority.

I find that when a child understands the cause and effect of their desires and both the parent and the child’s desires are understood and inline, obedience is not the mechanism of intent within the child’s mind. This perhaps is a result of the parent using the power of suggestion as a necessary learning tool for the child – to learn causes and effects leading to desire fulfillment. When the child learns causes and effects by consenting to those they trust, they start to understand how they too can manipulate the world. This is how a child becomes independent, building assumptions about the world with a human perspective and reciprocating functional methods of cooperation.

Assumptions can be contrary to the wellbeing of a developing mind, if the authority figure had abused the power of suggestion, resulting in a dysfunctional relationship between the child and the authority figure. If unrighteous dominion is used to manipulate a person or animal, they will eventually believe they are to blame – and will begin to give lovingly to their abuser.

Obedience without question can have a negative consequence on those who consent to a suggestion without understanding the cause and effect. We see the power of obedience to authority demonstrated in the Milgram experiment.

Ill informed consent to a bad idea is the most potent form of manipulation in my opinion and is not strictly obedience by definition. If however, the same consent is given having conscious or subconscious punishment, and/or, inferred gratification as a motivator, the desire of the follower would be to reach that goal. Deferred gratification stimulates the reward mechanism in the brain, creating high levels of dopamine. The agent will experience a feeling of happiness which will always convey a feeling of correctness. The meme would spread like a virus.


David Bloor’s Personal Blog

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3 Responses to Does Obedience Deserve To Be The First Law Of Heaven? (Guest Blogger: David Bloor)

  1. robert bridgstock says:

    Good article that Steve — thanks

  2. Gale H. Thorne Jr. says:

    Great article. I was highly influenced by the Milgram studies as an undergrad while attending the University of Utah. The studies were conducted specifically to determine why seemingly good people in Nazi Germany could commit atrocities against Jews and others (article relative to his studies may be found online). The results were horrifying. I could no longer listen to a talks about obedience in church without cringing. The history of the early pioneers is not at all akin to what the church teaches it was. Many pioneers remained committed to the church out of fear because becoming an apostate and trying to leave Utah could have fatal consequences and, in fact, did for a documented number of members. The murderers were either never brought to trial or never convicted because jurors were manipulated and directed by Brigham Young relative to verdicts. The massacre at Mountain Meadows would have never happened if members were not so trained in obedience. I worry about members today and their commitments to the church out of obedience and not according to personal conscience or teachings about the real truth about Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and Parley P. Pratt (to name a few).

  3. Dearest member,

    Obedience truly is the first law of heaven. Let us not be misled by the philosophies of men. I recently addressed this important subject while presiding at a stake conference:

    Let us follow our living prophets and thereby understand the true meaning of obedience in all things commanded of us.

    Elder Delaney

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