I am reading the autobiography of Frederick Douglas. Among the many evils of slavery, what I am reflecting on right now is ignorance & illiteracy. As an overwhelming rule, the slave holders did not want the slaves to be taught to read because then they might get dangerous ideas and begin to refuse to be subjugated.
Sadly, I see this in some degree in daily modern life. For instance, management not informing employees of training opportunities & even instructing employees who ask not to discuss it with co-workers – supposedly because we cannot have everyone out at class at the same time. If we are encouraging employee development, but we don’t want everyone gone at the same time, would it not make sense to get the information out early so plans can be made for employees to take staggered classes instead of waiting until the last minute so that employees are all either in the same class or get no class at all?
I have heard critics say that there is a similar atmosphere in the Mormon church. Apparently we have been attending different meetings! I have attended The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints all my life. I have been taught to “follow the prophet,” but I have never been told to “follow the prophet blindly.” We are constantly taught to “study it out” and then seek confirmation from the Lord. We are taught to recognize a “stupor of thought” or a feeling of darkness as a sign that we have come to the wrong conclusion, and a feeling of light, peace, and happiness as a sign that we got it right. (We receive answers to prayers in a variety of other ways, too) We are reminded again and again of our God given right and responsibility to choose, to decide. Of course, having received a personal, spiritual confirmation that Thomas S Monson is a prophet of the Lord, I am inclined to believe what he says. But I can & should still study and ask to know for myself on any given subject or question.