The commandments may seem restrictive, but if we can recognize them as a gift from a loving Heavenly Father, we can see them in a new light.
We live in the world of the individual. We take pride in our personal freedoms, explore our unique interests, and direct our own life courses. This focus on the self has created a diversified, free, and confident population, but it has also created a people that doesn’t like being told what to do.
This desire to control our own lives can seem to clash with the commandments and words of the prophets. When people tell us how to talk, dress, eat, and live, we go on guard, defend our choices, or brush it all off as unnecessary. However, this aversion comes from the misguided idea that commandments are controlling, outdated, or unnecessary.
Elder L. Tom Perry explains in his general conference talk “Obedience to Law is Liberty” that the commandments “are loving counsel from a wise, all-knowing Heavenly Father. His goal is our eternal happiness, and His commandments are the road map He has given us to return to Him, which is the only way we will be eternally happy.” Instead of thinking of commandments as a list of arbitrary restrictions or the unenlightened creations of men, we need to realize that the commandments and the guidance of the prophets come from our Heavenly Father, who knows us perfectly and wants us to have joy.
God has told us that his work and glory are “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man”(Moses 1:39). He has given us commandments to help us reach that goal, but ultimately, only we can choose whether or not we want to follow the map to happiness that he has given us.
Read or watch Elder L. Tom Perry’s talk “Obedience to Law is Liberty” to learn more about commandments.
—Sariah Roulstone, Latter-day Saint Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY ANDREW NEEL
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To learn more about why God gives commandments, read or watch Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin’s general conference talk “Growing into the Priesthood.”
For more on God’s love for us, read or watch Sister Carole M. Stephens’ general conference talk “If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments.”