Chapter 22: Obedience

"Chapter 22: Obedience," Part Seven: Following Jesus Christ, ()


Our Father in Heaven has told us the things that we must do in order to be happy and to return to live with Him. How can we learn to do these things?

Our Father in Heaven Gives Us Laws Because He Loves Us

Our Father in Heaven wants us to be happy here on earth because He loves us. He also wants us to return to Him so we can have the joy that He has. We can do this only if we use the ability that He has given us to become like Him.

Our Father in Heaven knows what we must do to become like Him. He has given us commandments that tell us what is good for us to do. He also tells us what is not good for us to do.

Every commandment that our Father in Heaven has given is for our good and will help us. These commandments can be guides to us in our lives, and if we obey them we will be happy.

All of us have broken commandments of our Father in Heaven. Because we have broken the commandments of our Father in Heaven, we have sinned. Because we have sinned, we are separated from our Father in Heaven. The just punishment for our sins is for us to be separated from our Father in Heaven forever.

But our Father in Heaven loves us. He has made a way to pay the penalty for our sins. He sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for our sins. Jesus has paid that penalty, and we can return to our Father in Heaven by having faith in Jesus. To have faith in Jesus means to trust Him and become His obedient followers. Those who have faith in Jesus obey His commandments. The first step toward returning to our Father in Heaven is to have faith in Jesus, trying sincerely to obey Him. Then, if we continue to be faithful to Jesus, He will help us to be obedient to all of our Father in Heaven’s commandments, and our Father in Heaven will forgive our sins.

Some of Jesus’ commandments are for all members of the Church. These He gives in the scriptures and through His prophets. Some commandments He gives to us individually, through the Holy Ghost. For example, the scriptures and the prophets tell us that all Church members should help teach the gospel to others. But the Holy Ghost will tell each of us what we can do individually to teach the gospel to our family members, friends, and neighbors. If we study the scriptures, listen to the words of the prophets, and follow the whisperings of the Holy Ghost, we will always know the things we should do.

Discussion

  • How do our Father in Heaven’s and Jesus’ commandments show Their love for us?

  • How can we know what our Father in Heaven and Jesus have told us to do?

Every Commandment of Our Father in Heaven Is Important

We should be willing to do everything that Jesus commands us to do. All His commandments are important and help prepare us to live with our Father in Heaven. The Bible tells a story about a man named Naaman. He was very sick and wanted a prophet named Elisha to heal him. He left his home and went to the country where Elisha lived. Elisha sent a messenger to tell Naaman to wash himself seven times in a river called Jordan, and he would be healed.

Naaman was angry when he was told to do this. He wondered why he should go to the Jordan River, since there were many great rivers where he lived. But even though he was angry, Naaman later decided to obey. Because he obeyed, he was healed. If he had not obeyed, he would not have been healed.

Some people think Jesus’ commandments are too difficult to obey. Once there was a young man named Nephi, who, with his brothers, was asked to do something very difficult. Jesus told them to return to the city of Jerusalem to get some important scriptures. His brothers said they could not do it. It was too difficult. But Nephi said he would do as Jesus had told him to do. He said that when Jesus tells us to do something, no matter how hard it may seem to us, He helps us do it.

Jesus has told us we should work to become like Him and our Father in Heaven. He would not have told us to do this unless He knew we could do it.

Jesus is like our Father in Heaven because He committed no sins. We have all sinned, but we can become like our Father in Heaven through faith in Jesus and repentance.

Sometimes we may not understand the reason for one of Jesus’ commandments. But if we love Jesus and trust Him, we will do what He tells us to do. We will obey even if we do not understand why He has told us to do something. Adam and Eve did this. Jesus told Adam and Eve to offer sacrifices* to our Father in Heaven. One day an angel came to Adam and asked him why he was offering sacrifices. Adam said he did not know why, except that Jesus had told him to do it. The angel then told Adam the reason for the law and taught Adam the gospel. Jesus was pleased with Adam because Adam obeyed Him even before knowing the reason for the law.

We should obey Jesus’ commandments because we love Him and want to obey Him. Our Father in Heaven has said He is pleased with those who want to obey Jesus. He is sad when His children do not obey Jesus until something happens that forces them to obey. Our Father in Heaven wants all of His children to learn to love Jesus and to obey Him, because this is the only way they can return to our Father in Heaven.

Discussion

  • Why is it important to obey Jesus’ commandments even when they seem too difficult to obey?

  • Why should we obey the commandments even if we do not understand them?

  • Why is it important to obey because we want to obey?

When We Love Our Father in Heaven, We Want to Obey Jesus

Jesus did everything our Father in Heaven commanded Him to do. Jesus obeyed our Father in Heaven because He loved our Father in Heaven. Satan tempted Jesus to disobey our Father in Heaven. Jesus did not do the things Satan tempted Him to do.

The First and Most Important Commandment Is to Love Our Father in Heaven

When we love our Father in Heaven, we will want to obey Him as Jesus did. We can love our Father in Heaven more when we learn more about Him. We need to learn about Him and what He does for us. We learn this by reading the scriptures and listening to the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ. When we love our Father in Heaven, we will also love Jesus because of what Jesus did to help us return to our Father in Heaven. We learn to love Jesus by doing the things He commands us to do. As our love for our Father in Heaven and Jesus becomes greater, obeying Their commandments becomes easier.

The Second Great Commandment Is to Love All People

Jesus told us to love and help other people. He has told us to treat them the same way we want them to treat us. He said we should not say bad things about them. We should forgive them for their mistakes. We should help others in every way we can.

When we love our Father in Heaven and Jesus, we love and help others. As we love and serve Jesus and other people, obeying all of our Father in Heaven’s and Jesus’ commandments becomes easier.

Discussion

  • What are the two great commandments?

  • How can Jesus’ example help us to obey the commandments of our Father in Heaven?

  • How can we learn to love our Father in Heaven and Jesus and want to obey Their commandments?

Every Blessing We Receive Comes Because of Obedience

Our Father in Heaven blesses us when we obey His commandments. He promises a blessing for each commandment that we obey. Whenever we obey a commandment, we receive a blessing for obeying it. If we do not obey a commandment, we cannot expect to receive the promised blessing.

Some of the blessings that come from obeying the commandments of our Father in Heaven are happiness, freedom from fear, good health, and more knowledge and ability. The greatest blessing that our Father in Heaven promises to us is that we can become like Him and live forever with Him. We can receive this blessing by obeying all of His commandments.

As we earnestly try to obey our Father in Heaven’s commandments, it is important to remember that we can do it only with the help of Jesus. We should also remember that when we disobey, our Father in Heaven will forgive us when we place our faith in Jesus Christ and repent. Since we all have sinned, we should be very grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Because of His Atonement, our Father in Heaven can forgive and bless us and help us become obedient. We would never be worthy of our Father in Heaven’s blessings by ourselves.

Discussion

  • What blessings can come to you because of obedience to our Father in Heaven?

  • How does Jesus help us obtain these blessings?

  • How can we receive our Father in Heaven’s greatest gift?

References

Our Father in Heaven Gives Us Laws Because He Loves Us

  • John 15:10–14 (If we obey our Father in Heaven’s commandments, we will continue to know He loves us.)

Every Commandment of Our Father in Heaven Is Important

When We Love Our Father in Heaven, We Want to Obey Jesus

  • Matthew 22:37–40 (Jesus gives the two great commandments.)

  • John 8:29 (Jesus always did those things that pleased His Father.)

  • John 14:15, 21–24 (If we love our Father in Heaven and Jesus, we will obey Their commandments.)

  • 1 Corinthians 2:9 (Our Father in Heaven has prepared great blessings for those who love Him.)

Every Blessing We Receive Comes Because of Obedience