Elder L. Tom Perry: Obedience through our faithfulness


Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about the importance of faithful obedience.

Courtesy Mormon Newsroom
Elder L. Tom Perry speaks at the Sunday afternoon session of General Conference on April 6, 2014. (Photo courtesy Mormon Newsroom)

He said when he was a child, he asked his grandfather how he was to know what was right when there seemed to be so many choices in life.

His grandfather, who was a farmer, answered with an analogy about horses.

His grandfather told him if a team of horses is to operate successfully, they must know who is in charge. He compared the team of horses to us, and the driver to the Lord.

“He is the one with a purpose and a plan,” Elder Perry said, referring to the Lord. “He is also the trainer and builder of the team of horses. The driver knows best, and the only way for a horse to know he is always doing the right thing is to be obedient and follow the driver’s lead.”

He said the driver uses a harness and bit to direct the horses, much as the Lord uses the still small voice of the Holy Spirit to direct us. He said an obedient horse shouldn’t need more than a gentle tug from their master in order to obey.

“Out of respect for our agency, it is never a strong, forceful tug,” he said.

He emphasized the importance of heeding these small promptings, as they will direct us if we begin to veer off course.

“We must be sensitive to our spiritual bits,” he said. “Even with the slightest tug from the Master, we must be willing to completely alter our course. To succeed in life, we must teach our spirit and body to work together in obedience to God’s commandments.”

Next, he talked about the “absolute faith” and trust that the horses must have in the driver, using the example of Abraham and his unconditional faith and obedience in the Lord.

He emphasized the importance of being actively faithful, and using the Lord to help us along our way.

“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,” he said. “Strong, proactive obedience is anything but weak or passive. It is the means by which we declare our faith in God and quality ourselves to receive the powers of heaven.”

He said through faith and obedience, God will rescue us and ensure that we stay on the right path.

“Obedience is a choice. It is a choice between our own limited knowledge and power and God’s unlimited wisdom and omnipotence.”


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