How many experiences have you had with obedience?
I can't even count the number of times where I have had to choose between being obedient and not being obedient. A typical day requires you to constantly make decisions. You make over 30 decisions a day. Little and big. Choices of what to wear, what to eat, which street to take, which commandments you are going to follow, if you are going to obey your parents council, so on and so forth. There will never be a time where you don't have to make a decision. A lot of the times we have to choose between right and wrong.
Thomas S. Monson said:
"A loving Heavenly Father has plotted our course and provided an unfailing guide—even obedience. A knowledge of truth and the answers to our greatest questions come to us as we are obedient to the commandments of God.
We learn obedience throughout our lives. Beginning when we are very young, those responsible for our care set forth guidelines and rules to ensure our safety. Life would be simpler for all of us if we would obey such rules completely. Many of us, however, learn through experience the wisdom of being obedient."
Obedience doesn't come naturally to everyone, obedience is a principal you learn over time! Obedience is a key factor in our happiness as individuals.
As you get older you learn how important obedience is and in time it becomes something you do naturally. You learn that obedience truly does bring blessings.
Being obedient isn't always easy. A lot of the time we think that some of the rules we are asked to follow are stupid or that the commandments we are given don't make sense, but I promise that as we follow and keep the commandments in faith that we will be blessed beyond measure.
"There are rules and laws to help ensure our physical safety. Likewise, the Lord has provided guidelines and commandments to help ensure our spiritual safety so that we might successfully navigate this often-treacherous mortal existence and return eventually to our Heavenly Father.
All prophets, ancient and modern, have known that obedience is essential to our salvation. Nephi declared, 'I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded.' Though others faltered in their faith and their obedience, never once did Nephi fail to do that which the Lord asked of him. Untold generations have been blessed as a result.
A soul-stirring account of obedience is that of Abraham and Isaac. How painfully difficult it must have been for Abraham, in obedience to God’s command, to take his beloved Isaac into the land of Moriah to offer him as a sacrifice. Can we imagine the heaviness of Abraham’s heart as he journeyed to the appointed place? Surely anguish must have racked his body and tortured his mind as he bound Isaac, laid him on the altar, and took the knife to slay him. With unwavering faith and implicit trust in the Lord, he responded to the Lord’s command. How glorious was the pronouncement, and with what wondered welcome did it come: 'Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.'
Abraham had been tried and tested, and for his faithfulness and obedience the Lord gave him this glorious promise: 'In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.'"
Although we are not asked to prove our obedience in such a dramatic and heart-wrenching way, obedience is required of us as well.
Declared President Joseph F. Smith in October 1873, “Obedience is the first law of heaven.”
Said President Gordon B. Hinckley, “The happiness of the Latter-day Saints, the peace of the Latter-day Saints, the progress of the Latter-day Saints, the prosperity of the Latter-day Saints, and the eternal salvation and exaltation of this people lie in walking in obedience to the counsels of … God.”
No greater example of obedience exists than that of our Savior. Of Him, Paul observed:
“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
“And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.”
"The Savior demonstrated genuine love of God by living the perfect life, by honoring the sacred mission that was His. Never was He haughty. Never was He puffed up with pride. Never was He disloyal. Ever was He humble. Ever was He sincere. Ever was He obedient.
Though He was tempted by that master of deceit, even the devil, though He was physically weakened from fasting 40 days and 40 nights and was an hungered, yet when the evil one proffered Jesus the most alluring and tempting proposals, He gave to us a divine example of obedience by refusing to deviate from what He knew was right.
When faced with the agony of Gethsemane, where He endured such pain that “his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground,”14 He exemplified the obedient Son by saying, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”
As the Savior instructed His early Apostles, so He instructs you and me, “Follow thou me.”
The knowledge which we seek, the answers for which we yearn, and the strength which we desire today to meet the challenges of a complex and changing world can be ours when we willingly obey the Lord’s commandments. I quote once again the words of the Lord: “He that keepeth [God’s] commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things.”
ARE WE WILLING TO OBEY?