What Joseph Taught: Obedience
July 2008

“What Joseph Taught: Obedience,” New Era, July 2008

What Joseph Taught


Joseph Smith knew the importance of following every commandment of the Lord.

The Prophet Joseph Smith learned by experience that it is best to strictly obey God’s commandments (see, for instance, D&C 3; 10). He also understood that obedience is the key to blessings, for he learned through revelation that “when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated” (D&C 130:21). Here are some of Joseph Smith’s teachings about obedience.*

Being Fully Obedient

“As my life consisted of activity and unyielding exertions, I made this my rule: When the Lord commands, do it.

“The object with me is to obey and teach others to obey God in just what He tells us to do. It mattereth not whether the principle is popular or unpopular, I will always maintain a true principle, even if I stand alone in it.”

A Brighter Path

“Be virtuous and pure; be men of integrity and truth; keep the commandments of God; and then you will be able more perfectly to understand the difference between right and wrong—between the things of God and the things of men; and your path will be like that of the just, which shineth brighter and brighter unto the perfect day [see Proverbs 4:18].”

The Blessings of Obedience

“All blessings that were ordained for man by the Council of Heaven were on conditions of obedience to the law thereof.”

“You, who do the will of the Lord and keep His commandments, have need to rejoice with unspeakable joy, for such shall be exalted very high, and shall be lifted up in triumph above all the kingdoms of this world.”

  • From Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 160, 161, 162–63, 164.

Joseph Smith Jr. Learns That the 116-Page Manuscript Is Lost, by Clark Kelley Price

Joseph Smith and Martin Harris learned a hard lesson on obedience after losing the first 116 pages of the Book of Mormon manuscript (see D&C 3; 10).