Obedience is the first law of heaven
Posted by robf on July 8, 2011
Thanks to the searchable LDS General Conference Archive we can date the phrase to at least 1873, in a talk by Joseph F. Smith. Interestingly, while he makes the claim that obedience is the first law of heaven, he also discounts handily any requirement of blind obedience:
We talk of obedience, but do we require any man or woman to ignorantly obey the counsels that are given? Do the first Presidency require it? No, never. What do they desire? That we may have our minds opened and our understandings enlarged, that we may comprehend all true principles for ourselves; then we will be easily governed thereby, we shall yield obedience with our eyes open, and it will he a pleasure for us to do so.
What are the earlier foundations for this statement by Joseph F. Smith? Did earlier church leaders teach this as plainly, or do we need to credit Elder (later President) Smith with coining this phrase?