Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Damage Control

I would like to discuss the simple principle of obedience, and to help us understand more fully what purpose it serves. It is not uncommon for a person to honestly ask, 'why is it that God gives so many commandments'? First and foremost a person must understand that God loves every person that walks on this earth. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son..." (John 3:16) To drive the point home even more, look around, see this beautiful world around us that God has created for us. Every single flower, every leaf, and animal is an expression of God's love for us. He could have left this world baron and boring, but He didn't because He loves us. This pure love is the driving force behind God's work and His glory, which is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39) God loves us, and He desires our immortality and eternal life, surely all that He has commanded us to do is only intended to bring about that desired outcome, right? Absolutely. That probably seems obvious, but it is amazing how quickly we as His children seem to forget that.

In order to more fully demonstrate his love for us, our savior, Jesus Christ, has given us commandments to keep us safe from the destructive dangers that await the unwise. Consider the Savior's words to Simon (Peter): "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat." (Luke 22:31) Just as Satan desired to have Simon he also desires to have us. He knows how much potential we have, and the last thing he wants is for us to become who God wants us to become.

In order to stop us from reaching that potential Satan tempts us to commit sin. He fills our head with lies that lead into slippery paths. His temptations are rarely dramatic and they appeal to our weaknesses. Far too often people allow themselves to be tempted to such a great degree that they fall victim to the adversary. In order to keep us safe though, our loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ gave us guidelines (commandments) on how to be safe in this life.

If you want strength against the temptations of this world and if you want peace then all you have to do is obey the commandments and your life will be filled with joy. It will still be difficult and you will still have trials, but you will always have joy. On the other hand, if you disregard the commandments God cannot help you and you will succumb to the many temptations that surround us. You will never reach your potential, and you life will be filled with much sadness and misery. As the prophet Alma said, "wickedness never was happiness." (Alma 41:10)

It honestly is that simple. I know that it is because as I have lived the commandments I have experienced an increase of joy that is unlike anything else. On top of that, it is lasting and as long as I am obedient it will never leave me. I have come to learn more powerfully than ever before that my Heavenly Father loves me and knows me personally. I challenge you to find ways how you can be more obedient to the commandments of God so that you can experience that same joy. There in lies true happiness.