Those who talk of blind obedience may appear to know many things, but they do not understand the doctrines of the gospel. There is an obedience that comes from a knowledge of the truth that transcends any external form of control. We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see.
The Lord has made it very clear that we do not have to serve Him, but if we seek the blessings of righteousness, we will serve Him, and there is no peace nor happiness, no joy, nor satisfaction, nor freedom in any other course. Let our love extend, and our righteousness increase, for our own sakes and for those who depend upon us.
“You know it is a wonderful thing to be faithful, but a much greater thing to be both faithful and competent. There is no particular virtue in being uninformed, certainly no virtue in ignorance. When young people can acquire the skills, the techniques, and the knowledge of these times, and along with it have a spiritual commitment and a solid faith and cleanliness of life, there is nothing that you cannot achieve, nothing in righteousness, or in reason.”
When we seek inspiration to help make decisions, the Lord gives gentle promptings. These require us to think, to exercise faith, to work, to struggle at times, and to act. Seldom does the whole answer to a decisively important matter or complex problem come all at once. More often, it comes a piece at a time, without the end in sight.
The tithe-payer establishes communion with the Lord. This is the happiest reward. Obedience to the law of tithing, as to any other law, brings a deep, inward joy, a satisfaction and understanding that can be won in no other way. Man becomes in a real sense a partner, albeit a humble one, with the Lord in the tremendous, eternal program laid out for human salvation. The principles of truth become clearer of comprehension; the living of them easier of accomplishment. A new nearness is established between man and his Maker. Prayer becomes easier. Doubt retreats; faith advances; certainty and courage buoy up the soul. The spiritual sense is sharpened; the eternal voice is heard more clearly. Man becomes more like his Father in Heaven.
Do not trade your birthright as a mother for some bauble of passing value. Let your first interest be in your home. The baby you hold in your arms will grow quickly as the sunrise and the sunset of the rushing days. I hope that when that occurs you will not be led to exclaim as did King Lear, “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child!” (King Lear, I, iv, 312). Rather, I hope that you will have every reason to be proud concerning your children, to have love for them, to have faith in them, to see them grow in righteousness and virtue before the Lord, to see them become useful and productive members of society. If with all you have done there is an occasional failure, you can still say, “At least I did the very best of which I was capable. I tried as hard as I knew how. I let nothing stand in the way of my role as a mother.” Failures will be few under such circumstances.
(In Mark 9) This is one of the greatest New Testament accounts we have probing the complexity of faith and the degrees one experiences in its development. The man's inital faith, by his own admission, is limited. But he has some faith. He did, after all, approach the disciples but, of course, met dissapointment there. With whatever remaining faith he has, he turns to Jesus and says, "If thou canst do any thing," please help us, hoping perhaps Jeus might be able to succeed where all others have failed.
Christ, ever the teacher, seizes on the man's very language and limited faith and turns it back on him "If thou canst believe," Christ says, "all things are possible to him that believeth." In that very instant, in the length of time it takes to have that two-sentence exchange, this man's understanding begins to be enlightened. The look in the Savior's eye or he tone of His voice or the majesty of His bearing or simily the words He spoke -something touches this man spiritually and an inexorable change begins. Up to that moment he had thought that everything depended on others -doctors, soothsayers, priests, the disciples, or, here at the very last, Jesus. Only now, in this exchange, does he grasp that a great deal of the answer to his quest rests upon his own shoulders, or, more accurately, in his own soul.