Obey the law

"He who created us and who loves us perfectly knows just how we need to live our lives in order to obtain the greatest happiness possible."
-Thomas S. Monson-

Obedience. We are taught this word from a very young age; whether it is to obey your parents, obey your elders, obey your teacher at school. But often, many of us don't take this word to heart when it comes to the gospel. We allow our politics and world views to override the importance of keeping commandments given to us by apostles of the Lord. We allow ourselves to doubt the importance of certain commandments; basically picking and choosing which ones we want to follow and making excuses not to follow the rest. Some of us are openly critical of certain commandments on social media. None of us are perfect; we've all been guilty of this in our lives, whether in the past or present.

H. Ross Workmon spoke of this in the October 2001 General Conference:

A gray and white graphic and a quote by President Thomas S. Monson: “Obey the laws of God. They are given to us by a loving Heavenly Father.”
"Obedience is essential to realize the blessings of the Lord; even if the purpose of the commandment is not understood."

We won't always understand why a certain commandment has been given; in fact, we aren't supposed to. Isaiah 55:8 says just that:

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord."

The ways of our Heavenly Father are not easily understood by us. But ultimately we have to have faith in His plan. A plan which involves having actual apostles called by Him, here on the earth today. They are His mouthpieces; and they receive revelation from Him to guide and direct us through this mortal journey.

President Monson, in the October 2015 General Conference, had this to say about disregarding certain commandments:

"Disregard for the commandments has opened the way for what I consider to be the plagues of our day. They include the plague of permissiveness, the plague of pornography, the plague of drugs, the plague of immorality, and the plague of abortion, to name just a few. The scriptures tell us that the adversary is the founder of all these things. We know that he is the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men."

When I read that, I did a double-take. There was no room for interpretation there; only a prophet speaking from our Heavenly Father, warning us of the dangers of disobeying, or picking and choosing, which commandments to follow.

President Monson spoke on this as well:

"We cannot allow ourselves the slightest bit of leeway in dealing with sin. We cannot allow ourselves to believe that we can participate 'just a little' in disobeying the commandments of God, for the sin can grab us with an iron hand from which it is excruciatingly painful to free ourselves..."

This mortal life isn't easy. Nobody has a shortcut through the trials we face day in and day out. The only "cheat" so to speak, is to put our faith in the Lord and to trust Him and His apostles. Heavenly Father will not allow the apostles to lead us contrary to His plan. Wilford Woodruff said just this, in 1890:

"The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty."

Being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe that the apostles that lead our Church are called of God. If you are a member of the church, you sustain the apostles of God. LDS.org says just that:

"As members of the Church we have the opportunity to sustain those the Lord has called to serve...Sustaining leaders involves more than just a raised hand-it means that we stand behind them, pray for them, accept assignments and callings from them, hearken to their counsel, and refrain from criticizing them."

The point of the gospel, the point of God's plan, the whole point of us being here on this earth, is to get better every day. If we sin, we are to repent of the sin, forsake the sin and strive to not sin again. The point of this post is to help educate all of us on what God wants of us. It's ok to have questions about the gospel; it is not ok to criticize the apostles of the Lord, who have been called by Him to counsel and guide us.

Our Heavenly Father does not change His will to fit what we think the commandments should be. No, it is our duty to align our will with His. To not allow our political views, world views, gender views, any views contrary to His, to keep us from obeying His commandments. Jesus Christ himself is the perfect example of this:

"I came down from Heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me." (John 6:38)

"I do always those things that please Him." (John 8:29)

"Yea, even so he shall be led, crucified, and slain, the flesh becoming subject even unto death, the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father." (Mosiah 15:7)

Von G. Keetch, from the October 2015 General Conference, said the following:

"As you and I walk the paths of life and pursue our dreams, God's commands and standards...can sometimes be difficult to understand. They may appear rigid and unyielding, blocking a path that looks fun and exciting and that is being followed by so many others. As the Apostle Paul described, 'We see through a glass, darkly,' with such a limited perspective that we often cannot comprehend the great dangers hidden just below the surface."

We are not here to understand God's plan or His rules. We are here to be tested, and part of that test is following His commandments. Keetch goes on to say:

"But He who comprehends all things knows exactly where those dangers lie. He gives us divine direction, through His commands and loving guidance, so that we may avoid the dangers-so that we may set a course in our lives that is protected from spiritual predators and the gaping jaws of sin."

Brothers and sisters, there is protection found in following the doctrine given to us by the living apostles of today, who speak on behalf of God. We won't always understand doctrine, but it is not our place to question it, criticize it or the apostles that gave it, or mock those who sustain it. We are given a simple phrase, one that is meant to guide us through life and keep us happy... always keep that phrase in your mind.

Keep the commandments


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