The Lord’s instruction to “keep the commandments” (Alma 37:35) may seem old fashion to some, and unbecoming of a loving Heavenly Father. Or, some may think the commandments just take away our agency. But what are the commandments of God? Are they just a set of arbitrary rules that test us, restrict us, and must be obeyed? And in the end, if we have obeyed them, we 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. In this life, we don’t fully understand all the laws of Heaven …not yet! But, through the scriptures and the revelations of God, we can begin to understand God’s Laws as they apply to us at this time. As 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). In the meantime, we are asked to live by and keep the commandments as we understand them. We learn more of the Laws of God by obeying and keeping the commandments. And, by keeping the commandments, we become more like Him.
Consider the following from Elder Dallin H. Oaks, an Apostle of the Lord: “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 agency to choose not to obey. But, as we do obey and keep the commandments, we will become more and more “Like” Him.
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