tree of life

Illustration by Jim Madsen

“The greatest lesson we can learn in mortality,” President Thomas S. Monson has taught, “is that when God speaks and we obey, we will always be right.”1

We will also be blessed. As President Monson said during a recent general conference: “When we keep the commandments, our lives will be happier, more fulfilling, and less complicated. Our challenges and problems will be easier to bear, and we will receive [God’s] promised blessings.”2

In the following excerpts from President Monson’s teachings as President of the Church, he reminds us that the commandments are the surest guide to happiness and peace.

Guidelines for the Journey

“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. We remember the words of the familiar hymn: ‘Keep the commandments! In this there is safety; in this there is peace’ [see “Keep the Commandments,” Hymns, no. 303].”3

Strength and Knowledge

“Obedience is a hallmark of prophets; it has provided strength and knowledge to them throughout the ages. It is essential for us to realize that we, as well, are entitled to this source of strength and knowledge. It is readily available to each of us today as we obey God’s commandments. …

“The knowledge which we seek, the answers for which we yearn, and the strength which we desire today to meet the challenges of a complex and changing world can be ours when we willingly obey the Lord’s commandments.”4

Choose to Obey

“The tenor of our times is permissiveness. Magazines and television shows portray the stars of the movie screen, the heroes of the athletic field—those whom many young people long to emulate—as disregarding the laws of God and flaunting sinful practices, seemingly with no ill effect. Don’t you believe it! There is a time of reckoning—even a balancing of the ledger. Every Cinderella has her midnight—if not in this life, then in the next. Judgment Day will come for all. … I plead with you to choose to obey.”5

Joy and Peace

“It may appear to you at times that those out in the world are having much more fun than you are. Some of you may feel restricted by the code of conduct to which we in the Church adhere. My brothers and sisters, I declare to you, however, that there is nothing which can bring more joy into our lives or more peace to our souls than the Spirit which can come to us as we follow the Savior and keep the commandments.”6

Walk Uprightly

“I testify to you that our promised blessings are beyond measure. Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us.”7

Follow the Savior

“Who was this Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief? Who is the King of glory, this Lord of hosts? He is our Master. He is our Savior. He is the Son of God. He is the Author of our Salvation. He beckons, ‘Follow me.’ He instructs, ‘Go, and do thou likewise.’ He pleads, ‘Keep my commandments.’

“Let us follow Him. Let us emulate His example. Let us obey His word. By so doing, we give to Him the divine gift of gratitude.”8

Teaching from This Message

President Monson teaches us about the many blessings we can receive by being obedient, including strength, knowledge, joy, and peace. Consider asking those you teach how they’ve been blessed by keeping commandments. You might encourage them to continue to reflect on their blessings and write down their thoughts and experiences in a journal. You might also encourage them to show gratitude to God for their blessings by continuing to be obedient.


Fires and Lessons of Obedience

President Thomas S. Monson once told about a time when he learned the importance of obedience. When he was eight years old, his family visited their cabin in the mountains. He and his friend wanted to clear a grassy spot for a campfire. They tried to clear the grass by hand, tugging and yanking as hard as they could, but all they got were handfuls of weeds. President Monson explained, “And then what I thought was the perfect solution came into my eight-year-old mind. I said to Danny, ‘All we need is to set these weeds on fire. We’ll just burn a circle in the weeds!’”

Even though he knew he wasn’t allowed to use matches, he ran back to the cabin for some, and he and Danny set a small fire in that grassy spot. They expected it to go out by itself, but it instead grew into a large and dangerous fire. He and Danny ran for help, and soon adults were rushing over to put out the fire before it reached the trees.

President Monson continued, “Danny and I learned several difficult but important lessons that day—not the least of which was the importance of obedience.” (See “Obedience Brings Blessings,” Liahona, May 2013, 89–90.)

Like President Monson, have you ever had to learn a lesson in obedience the hard way? What goals can you make to keep yourself safe through obedience in the future?


Choose the Right

Choosing the right brings us closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It also helps us be happy and safe. Circle ways you can choose the right.

Cheat in school

Read the scriptures

Go to church

Play good games

Fight with your siblings

Serve others

Show References


  1.   1.

    “They Marked the Path to Follow,” Liahona, Oct. 2007, 5.

  2.   2.

    “Keep the Commandments,” Liahona, Nov. 2015, 83.

  3.   3.

    “Keep the Commandments,” 83.

  4.   4.

    “Obedience Brings Blessings,” Liahona, May 2013, 90, 92.

  5.   5.

    “Believe, Obey, and Endure,” Liahona, May 2012, 129.

  6.   6.

    “Stand in Holy Places,” Liahona, Nov. 2011, 83.

  7.   7.

    “Be of Good Cheer,” Liahona, May 2009, 92.

  8.   8.

    “Finding Joy in the Journey,” Liahona, Nov. 2008, 88.