I’m 1/3 of the way through my church class, and this past week we studied the connection between obedience and blessings. I’m completely on board with that one!
My husband and I were talking the other evening about how we live in a world that seems to be searching for the “magic pill” for every problem we encounter. Social media is full of platitudes and quick answers for all of society’s problems.
The problem is, the real answer isn’t easy — it’s a lifelong commitment to doing hard(er) things.
The true answer is found in living the gospel of Jesus Christ, being obedient to his commandments, and keeping his covenants. We have to learn to let go of hurts and disappointments, seeking peace and unity with the people around us. We have to hold ourselves to higher standards of living than our reactions to a given situation. We have to surrender our fallen, selfish wills to the will of Heavenly Father.
Unfortunately, most people see the work involved and decide that this kind of life is not for them. It hurts to recognize this truth and to desire that someone for whom you care deeply could see what they are missing because they aren’t looking at the gospel through eyes of faith.
Of course, part of the problem is that we don’t get to choose the exact blessings that we receive as we are obedient, although we get hints for some:
- Paying an honest tithe: I will open the windows of and pour you out a blessing. (Notice that money is not specifically mentioned, although there is a blessing promised on the work we do.) See Malachi 3:10-12.
- Fasting regularly: Fasting regularly qualifies us for the blessings of increased health, greater righteousness, and answered prayers — but there is no guarantee against illness, trials, or the way in which our prayers will be answered. See Isaiah 58:6-11.
- Reverencing the Sabbath day: We are promised the fulness of the earth for honoring the Sabbath, but this scripture automatically qualifies that the fulness will NOT be to excess or by extortion (or coercion). See Doctrine and Covenants 59:9-20.
- Caring for our bodies appropriately: The Word of Wisdom, also known as the Lord’s Law of Health, is found in Doctrine and Covenants section 89. Promises for keeping this law include physical health and strength, knowledge and wisdom, and we will not suffer as one of the Lord’s enemies (the destroying angel reference). Even so, we have no way of knowing in mortality how much better our health is than it might have been without following the Word of Wisdom, nor do we really have any way to measure an increase in our intelligence.
Maybe that’s the deal breaker for so many people: they feel like obedience is losing happiness and freedom without any guarantee of reward.
Sadly, that’s what Satan wants us to believe. We receive exactly the blessings we need, even if our blessings come through raindrops or come dressed in overalls looking like work.
Here’s how King Benjamin put it in Mosiah 2:24:
And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?
What experiences have you had with obedience? Share in the comments!