Many people feel that the commandments are burdensome and that they limit freedom and personal growth. But the Savior taught that true freedom comes only from following Him: "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31–32). God gives commandments for our benefit. They are loving instructions for our happiness and for our physical and spiritual well-being.
In the premortal existence, Heavenly Father presided over a great Council in Heaven. There we learned of His plan for our salvation, which included a time of testing on the earth: "We will make an earth whereon these may dwell; and we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them" (Abraham 3:24–25). One reason we are here on the earth is to show our willingness to obey Heavenly Father's commandments.
The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that obedience to the commandments leads to blessings from God. He said: "There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—and when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated" (D&C 130:20–21). King Benjamin also taught this principle. "I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God," he counseled. "For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it" (Mosiah 2:41).
Our obedience to the commandments is an expression of our love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. The Savior said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). He later declared: "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love" (John 15:10).
—See True to the Faith (2004), 108–9
R. Conrad Schultz, Liahona, July 2002, 32–34; or Ensign, May 2002, 29–31
Sometimes it is necessary to be obedient even when we do not understand the reason for the law. It takes faith to be obedient.
"Commitment to God"
Howard W. Hunter, Ensign, Nov. 1982, 57–58
Reading and studying the scriptures make us conscious of the many conditional promises made by the Lord to encourage obedience and righteous living.
"The Blessings of Righteous Obedience"
Delbert L. Stapley, Ensign, Nov. 1977, 18–21
One goal that most of us share in this life is the desire to achieve true joy and lasting happiness. There is only one way to do this, and that is by being obedient to all the commandments of God.
"Obedience: The Path to Freedom"
James E. Faust, Liahona, July 1999, 53–56; or Ensign, May 1999, 45–47
Obedience leads to true freedom. The more we obey revealed truth, the more we become liberated.
"Obedience—Life's Great Challenge"
Donald L. Staheli, Ensign, May 1998, 81–82
Daily obedience to gospel principles is the only sure way to eternal happiness.
"Strength through Obedience"
Thomas S. Monson, Liahona, Nov. 1996, 2–7; or Ensign, July 1996, 2–5
Prophets, ancient and modern, have known the strength that comes through obedience.
"If Ye Be Willing and Obedient"
Gordon B. Hinckley, Liahona, June 1995, 2–7; or Ensign, July 1995, 2–5
I believe that if we will walk in obedience to the commandments of God, . . . He will open a way even where there appears to be no way.
"Live in Obedience"
Joseph B. Wirthlin, Ensign, May 1994, 39–42
To achieve your goals in this mortal life and prove yourselves worthy of eternal blessings, learn to obey. There is no other way.
"Obedience, Obedient, Obey"
Guide to the Scriptures
Gospel Principles, Chapter 35
Gospel Fundamentals, Chapter 22