There is the law of gravity which enables us to be grounded to the earth and determines the orbit of planets within our solar system.
There are laws of aviation, international and private laws, copyright and constitutional laws, health and safety, environmental, property and statutory laws…the list goes on.
Commandments or laws are a system of rules that are enforced through social institutions to govern behaviour. Laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or by judges through binding precedent, normally in common law jurisdictions.
Laws or commandments are principles or maxims governing conduct, to straighten or guide, a regulation or ruling that usually refers to standards for activities.
Laws and commandments are put in place to help us live in peace and to help establish and maintain order in a complex world. They can be confusing and frustrating at times, but just imagine a world without these laws.
Thomas S Monson said, “God’s commandments are not given to frustrate us or to become obstacles to our happiness. Just the opposite is true. 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. He has provided us with guidelines which, if we follow them, will see us safely through this often treacherous mortal journey.” (LDS Semi-Annual Conference, Salt Lake City: October 2015)
God’s commandments are simple and not complicated, but these commandments and laws were given to us with spiritual conditions. If we obeyed we would be blessed with eternal life with him, and if we disobeyed the law, there would be spiritual consequences.
We experience this every day on the road as we travel to work or to school. The road safety rule book specifies that we are to drive on the left hand side of the road. If we chose to disobey that rule there would be dire consequences.
When we keep God’s commandments and stay within the bounds he has set, our lives will be happier, more fulfilling, and less complicated. Our challenges and problems in life will be easier to bear and we will receive His promised blessings - even eternal life, with him.
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
The 10 Commandments were brought forth in ancient times by the prophet Moses for the children of Israel and for all mankind. They became the law, the spiritual law to guide his children. They included, “Thou shalt not bear false witness (lie), thou shalt not steal or kill, thou shalt not commit adultery, honour thy father and thy mother, remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,” and so forth.
As we obey the commandments we become spiritually conditioned and develop Christ-like attributes that help us to become better individuals and cause us to be more anxiously engaged in doing a good work. We become more loving and compassionate, more receptive to the Holy Spirit and are better able to cope with life’s challenges.
Although the laws and commandments are given to us, our Heavenly Father also allows us to choose whether to accept them or to reject them. Our decisions in this regard will determine our ultimate destiny.
God has blessed us all with the wonderful gift of agency, the right to choose to obey or to disobey, but always remember God’s love for each of us is unconditional, but his commandments are conditional.
If we choose to obey and remain righteous, we will receive his glory, but there is punishment for the disobedient sinner. It is simple and uncomplicated. All we have to do is choose for ourselves.
“….choose ye this day whom ye will serve….But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Because of our Heavenly Father’s unconditional love for us all, he has provided a way for us to overcome sin and get ourselves back within the bounds he has set. Through the loving Atonement of His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ and through the process of repentance, we can get ourselves back on track. Through sincere prayer we can confess and show remorse for our disobedience, and ask God for forgiveness in the name of His Son Jesus Christ and make a promise with him that you will strive to be more obedient to his commandments. He will comfort you with His Spirit and you will feel His love for you in your heart.
As we sometimes struggle to keep God’s commandments, pray for strength regularly to help you to resist temptation, read the scriptures daily to fortify your faith, serve God by serving others with love and compassion and be positive and continuously engaged in doing good.
Thomas S Monson made the following statement as he addressed a group of Priesthood holders,
“I plead with you to avoid anything that will deprive you of your happiness here in mortality and eternal life in the world to come. With his deceptions and lies, the adversary (Satan) will lead you down a slippery slope to your destruction if you allow him to do so. You will likely be on that slippery slope before you even realise that there is no way to stop. You have heard the messages of the adversary. He cunningly calls: Just this once won’t matter; everyone is doing it; don’t be old-fashioned; times have changed; it can’t hurt anyone; your life is yours to live. The adversary knows us, and he knows the temptations which will be difficult for us to ignore. How vital it is that we exercise constant vigilance in order to avoid giving in to such lies and temptations.”
(LDS Semi-Annual Conference, Salt Lake City: October 2015)
“The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.” (Isaiah 32:17)
May we realise that our greatest happiness in this life will come as we follow God’s commandments and obey His laws!
Such peace, such assurance can come only through righteousness, through keeping God’s commandments and enduring to the end. There is safety and peace in keeping the laws and commandments. God bless us all.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints