The mark in Christ's hand on the Christus statue

Saving Face and Loving God

Loving others is an essential part of this life, but we cannot forget the first great commandment. 

The text overlays a foggy desert road.

photo by marc cooper

In our efforts to please or impress others, we sometimes give in to peer pressure. But the first of the Ten Commandments is to love God wholly and sincerely—not to impress man.

Elder Lynn G. Robbins addresses this problem in “Which Way Do You Face?” He recalls the time President Boyd K. Packer reminded him of an important lesson: “Never forget which way you face!”

Forgetting which way we face may happen in moments when we are more concerned with our peers’ opinions of us than with Heavenly Father’s opinion of the way we live our lives. When we try to save face with man, we may find ourselves unintentionally showing greater love for man than for God. Consequently, we lose face with God.

Elder Robbins recalls well-known accounts that illustrate the importance of remembering which way we face. He shares the story of Daniel and the lion’s den, in which Daniel has the courage to pray, even when it could cost him his life. He also tells the account of Joseph Smith and the 116 lost manuscript pages. Joseph temporarily (if inadvertently) forgot which way he faced when he lent Martin Harris the pages—and the manuscript pages were subsequently lost.

No matter our position in life or in the Church, it is vital that we know which way we face. We should always put God first. “Decisions of character,” Elder Robbins says, “are made by remembering the right order of the first and second great commandments.”

Read or watch Elder Robbins’s talk “Which Way Do You Face?” 

Source: LDS General Conference 

—Krista Nettgen, Mormon Insights

feature image by midiman / jesus christ—christus statue / cc by 2.0 / photo altered

Find more insights

Read or watch Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s message, “The First Great Commandment.” 

Explore self-reflective questions in “Putting God First.”

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  1. Tatiana Hernandez

    This is definitely important to remember always. Peer pressure doesn’t end with high school. We always face the pressure–whether it’s from our peers, ourself, or just from Satan–to turn away from God. Thanks for the reminder! Great article.

  2. Beautiful, simple reminder of our priorities. As nervous as peer pressure might make us feel, we can trust that there are more important matters to be concerned with (salvation, for instance).

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