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How do the commandments help me learn to be more like Heavenly Father?

The commandments are instructions from a loving Heavenly Father to help us become more like Him. Through the commandments, Heavenly Father teaches us His will for us and shows us how to love one another and overcome the natural man. Obedience to the commandments prepares us to return to God’s presence and obtain eternal life. When we understand this, we see the commandments as a blessing and not a burden.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What will help the youth understand the purposes of God’s commandments?

Deuteronomy 10:12–13; D&C 82:8–10 (The commandments help us understand God’s will for us)

Matthew 22:34–40 (We are commanded to love)

John 14:15; 1 John 5:1–3 (We obey the commandments because we love God)

D&C 88:22 (To receive the celestial glory, we must live the celestial law)

D&C 93:20 (If we keep the commandments, we will eventually receive of God’s fulness)

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Forget Me Not,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 120–23

Robert D. Hales, “If Thou Wilt Enter into Life, Keep the Commandments,” Ensign, May 1996, 35–37

D. Todd Christofferson, “‘As Many as I Love, I Rebuke and Chasten,’” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 97–100

Obedience,” True to the Faith (2004), 108–9

Make connections

During the first few minutes of every class, help the youth make connections between what they are learning in various settings (such as personal study, seminary, other Church classes, or experiences with their friends). How can you help them see the relevance of the gospel in daily living? The ideas below might help:

  • Invite the youth to search for a hymn related to something they have learned about recently (suggest that they use the “Topics” index at the back of the hymnbook). Ask them to share a line from the hymn and explain how it helps them understand a principle of the gospel.
  • Invite the youth to imagine that they are riding along a mountain road, near a steep cliff, with a guardrail along the side of the road. Ask them to discuss with another class member the following questions: How are the Lord’s commandments like the guardrail? How are they like the road? Invite them to share their thoughts with the class.

Learn together

Each of the following activities will help the youth understand how the commandments help us become more like Heavenly Father. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • On the board, write several scripture references that help explain why we have commandments (including those in this outline and others you can think of). Read the scriptures as a class, and discuss what Heavenly Father wants us to learn from the commandments. Invite the youth to mark these verses in their scriptures and write in the margins a summary of what the verse teaches them. Show the youth how to link the verses in their scriptures (see Teaching, No Greater Call, 58).
  • Write on the board “Why has God given us commandments?” Invite the youth to read Doctrine and Covenants 82:8–10 and share possible answers to the question. Ask the youth why they think it is important to know the purposes behind Heavenly Father’s commandments. As part of this discussion, share the paragraph at the beginning of this outline or read the section titled “Fourth, forget not the ‘why’ of the gospel” from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk “Forget Me Not.”
  • Ask half of the class to read the first paragraph of Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s talk “‘As Many as I Love, I Rebuke and Chasten,’” and ask the other half to read the second paragraph. Invite them to look in their paragraphs for answers to the question “Why has God given us commandments?” (They could also read Elder Robert D. Hales’s talk “If Thou Wilt Enter into Life, Keep the Commandments,” beginning with the paragraph that states, “Some may ask, ‘Why did the Lord give us commandments?’”) Discuss what they find. Invite the youth to make a list of attributes God has. Then ask them to think of commandments that can help them develop those attributes and become more like Heavenly Father.
  • Ask the class to list on the board the Ten Commandments (see Exodus 20:3–17) and other commandments they can think of. Ask the youth to discuss in pairs or small groups why they think Heavenly Father gave us each of these commandments. Then invite them to read Matthew 22:34–40 and discuss how each of the commandments listed on the board can help us develop our love for God and love for our neighbor.

Ask the youth to share what they learned today. Do they understand how keeping the commandments helps us become more like Heavenly Father? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this topic?

Invite to act

Ask the youth to ponder what they have learned today. How does it affect the way they think about God’s commandments? How might it affect their attitudes toward obedience to the commandments? How might it affect the choices they make? Encourage them to write their thoughts in a journal.