Within the church we can have a strong focus on obedience, which I do believe is a virtue, but I also believe that as is true for all of the principles of the gospel, it can be easily misunderstood and used in ways that I do not believe God intends for us. Because of these misunderstanding some critics many rightly point out that we follow some without truly thinking whether that is right. I do not believe this applies to most members, but I do believe we need to have a greater focus on what it actually means to be obedient so that we do not engage in practices that are potentially harmful for our progression.
Commenting on this situation in the Millennial Star, Samuel W. Richards appeared to share this concern when he wrote that “We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark that they would do anything they were told to do by those who preside over them [even] if they knew it was wrong; but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself, should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God would despise the idea…”
***Retraction*** In the audio file I attributed this to Joseph Smith, which I looked deeper into, and it appears to actually go to Samuel W. Richards who was the editor at that time.