What does love have to do with commandments?
When you think about commandments, you might think of stone tablets, rules, boundaries, demands, or requirements. You probably don’t automatically think of love. So, what do commandments have to do with love?
Remember when you were little and your parents didn’t let you play in the street? Or when they made you eat more vegetables or go to bed earlier than you wanted to?
You probably didn’t understand why there were so many rules. And you probably weren’t always happy about them, either. But now that you’re older, can you see why your parents gave you all those rules?
It was because they loved you and wanted what was best for you.
As the most perfect parent, Heavenly Father gives us rules or commandments for the same reason: He loves us and wants what’s best for us. Even more than that, He wants us to become like Him and receive all that He has.
The more we understand and feel how much Heavenly Father loves us, the easier it will be to obey His commandments, even when they don’t make perfect sense to us.
Check out this great parable from Elder Dallin H. Oaks:
Heavenly Father gives us commandments to help us learn and grow and become like Him.
“I give unto you a new commandment, … or, in other words, I give unto you directions how you may act before me, that it may turn to you for your salvation” (D&C 82:8-9).
Because We Love Him
You could think of every commandment as a big “I love you!” sign from God. And when we choose to keep His commandments, it’s like we’re saying “I love you!” right back to Him.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf put it simply when he answered the question “Why bother with God’s commandments?”
“We obey the commandments of God—out of love for Him! … Therefore, our obedience to God’s commandments comes as a natural outgrowth of our endless love and gratitude for the goodness of God” (“The Gift of Grace,” Apr. 2015 general conference).
Heavenly Father has given us everything we have—from the ability to move to the very air we breathe—and all He asks is that we keep His commandments (see Mosiah 2:21–22). It’s the best way we can show our love and gratitude to Him.
Jesus Christ said so Himself (see John 14:15).
Why does Heavenly Father give us commandments? Because He loves us.
Why do we keep His commandments? Because we love Him.
Commandments equal love.
It’s that simple.
Share your experience
How have you felt Heavenly Father’s love in your life? Share your experience below.