Thursday, March 3, 2011

Learning to Obey

It seems that as the world changes, people become more and more opinionated about the Gospel. One of the subjects I've heard of the most is the topic of the commandments. Many people argue that in order to know if something is bad they have to experience it first hand, thus defeating the purpose of the specific instruction God has given us pertaining to ways of living. While I agree with the fact that you learn a great deal from your past mistakes and the ways you deal with trials on your own, there is still a great importance and safety in obeying the commandments and I would add you can learn just as much if not more from obeying than disobeying, and might I add, its from a much safer distance.
When we choose to disobey a commandment we often think that we will be stronger from learning why it's "bad" first hand. However, often times we fail to realize some of the dangers this can lead us to. One of the high risks we run by not obeying a commandment is falling into the trap of addictions, jail time, loss of trust from family and friends and much more. Sometimes we fall so far into the temptation of saying, "Not living that commandment won't affect me that much." Then before we realize it we are too far from thinking that we can change our lives, we think we are in a place where we can't repent from our sins, sometimes we fall to a point where we lose hope of changing and just think our destiny is to continue to fall. We never know how much the result of disobedience will affect us in the end.
Obedience to the commandments can lead us to watch and learn from the mistakes of others around us. Also, one of the greatest benefits of obeying the commandments God has set forth, is that if there is any blessing, whether it be spiritual or temporal, your obedience opens the channel to receive those blessings. It also allows us the assurance that we are doing what our Heavenly Father has asked us to do. If we are obedient we are blessed.
God knows the results of not obeying all the commandments he has given us. Some may seem small and not so important and others obvious and easy to follow. However, that should not lead us to judge and decide to follow some commandments versus others, the commandments given are in affect for all of us.
When I think of God the easiest way for me to come close to imagining him is of having the characteristics of our parents, plus the ones that they lack. I know when I was younger my mom would "choose her battles" with me and decide what rules she wanted to enforce with added importance and what things she was going to let me learn on my own. I often feel that God has this similar characteristic, I'm sure there are plenty of other things in the world that he would not like to see us doing but he has chosen certain "battles" he was standing firm in. This, to me, shows an added emphasis on the commandments that God has chosen to ask us to follow and also the emphasis on the danger we will fall into when not heeding to his words.
One opinion given is that the commandments tie us down and don't let us live to our fullest ability or learn all that we can from this life. Others would disagree and say that the commandments help us live and learn all that we can from this life. The best way I've heard it said was in the analogy of a kite, if you looked at the world from the kites perspective you would think it would be accusing the string attached of holding it down and not letting it fly to its fullest potential. It would almost be saying, "Let go so I can fly high! You're limiting my ability, I know if you let go I can go higher!" But we know from our "expert kite flying skills", that if you were to let go of the string the kite would spin out of control and soon crash to the ground. That is somewhat similar to the commandments, we think that they are limiting our choices in life but when we live them and then decide to take them away we see that life is better suited with some string holding us up. Because commandments are divine instruction from God, and he wants us only to succeed, if we obey them he has promised us the blessing of reaching past our potential than if we had tried to live by our own rules.
When it comes down to the bottom line we don't know how much our life will be affected from disobedience but we do know that if we follow what we are told we have an added assurance that God is watching over us and is proud with the choices we are making, allowing him to bless us to our fullest. Donald L. Hallstrom has said, "I have always found that when we do the little things correctly, the Lord gives us the strength to accomplish big things... You might not always understand the reasons for some rules or commandments, but if you will follow them even in the little things you will have more strength to do big things... And you will have the great blessing of knowing that you are on the Lord's side and that He is on yours". I know that there is importance in following the commandments and I wish that someday we could follow with the exactness and gain all the support and blessings in store for us.

1 comment:

  1. Elder Trujillo! Love this post. so true. In fact we have had a similar discussion in seminary and I said you don't have to get Cancer to understand and to be proved to that you can be cured from it. I would rather just know it was curable. I've never heard the kite analogy. Going to share that with my class. Very nice!!! Give yourself a hug from us out here! Stay warm!