Keeping the Commandments!

The Lord’s instruction to “keep the commandments” (Alma 37:35) may seem old fashion to some, or unbecoming of a loving Heavenly Father to others.  Or, some may think the commandments just take away our moral agency.  But ask yourself, “What are the commandments of God?”  Are they just a set of arbitrary rules that test us and restrict us?  Are they just strict rules that must be obeyed?  And in the end, if we obeyed them, are we to win the prize?  No, the commandments of God are the Laws of Heaven, or in other words, the Laws of God.  They are the same laws He lives by.  They are Eternal Laws.  Eternal Laws are God’s Laws.

In this life, we don’t fully understand all the laws of Heaven …not yet!   But, through prayerful study of the Holy Scripture (and the revelations of God), we can begin to better understand “His Laws and Commandments.”   Then, through obedience to His Commandments (and as we align ourselves with Him), we will begin to more fully understand …and to see more clearly.   The Apostle Paul wrote, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).  So for now, we are asked to live by faith and keep His commandments as we best understand them.  We learn more of the Laws of God by keeping and obeying them.  And, as we faithfully keep the commandments, we will begin to change and become …more like Him!

Consider the following from Elder Dallin H. Oaks, an Apostle of the Lord and now a member of the First Presidency: “The Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts—what we have done.  It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts—what we have become.  It is not enough for anyone just to go through the motions.  The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly account.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become.   And what is it that we must become?  The Savior answered very simply: “Even as I am” (3 Nephi 27:27).  He is the mark we must always look to. He is our supreme example. He was chosen as our Savior not just because of His perfect obedience but because of His perfect love—love that encompasses perfect knowledge and that motivates perfect obedience.”
[The Challenge to Become, LDS General Conference, October 2000]

I am convinced that the Laws and Commandments of God are good.  We still have our free agency to choose to obey …or not.  But, as we do obey and keep the commandments, we will become more and more “Like Him!” (Matt 5:48).

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