Obedience


(Adapted from an April 1987 conference address. See Ensign, May 1987, pages 78–79.)
If ye love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15).

The Savior, as the Son of God, showed you and me the great example of obedience in keeping the commandments of His Father. Nephi tells us that Christ was baptized so that men can follow in His footsteps and receive the Holy Ghost:

“Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments” (2 Ne. 31:7).

At a time when I was assigned to a stake conference in Provo, the Sunday morning welfare meeting was scheduled to begin at 7:30 A.M., so it was necessary that I leave home about 6:15 A.M. Just as I came to an intersection before turning onto the on-ramp to enter the freeway, the light changed to red. As I stopped for it at that early hour, there were no cars in sight. Mine was the only car at the stop light.

The thought crossed my mind that if I ignored the red light, no one would be hurt or endangered, for not a car was in sight at that early hour. Nevertheless, I waited out the light change and proceeded on the green light. If I had turned left, no one else would have known, but I would know that I was breaking the traffic code, and surely the Lord would know. I was reminded of the scripture which says:

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).

My young friends, oftentimes we are tempted to compromise what we know to be right. But we must exercise care and live the principles of righteous living at all times so that we will know what to do when called upon to make a decision of far greater importance. We must always be examples to the world as members of the Lord’s kingdom and keep the laws of the land and the laws of God.

The Lord said in a latter-day revelation:

“Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.

“Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.” (D&C 64:33–34.)

[illustration] Illustrated by Robert T. Barrett