Archive for the ‘obedience’ Tag

Keep My Commandments

Reading: “When the Lord Commands,” Elder Bruce A. Carlson of the Seventy, April 2010 General Conference, Saturday Afternoon Session

The Lord has given us a set of commandments in order to help us to be safe and happy. Sometimes we may think we don’t need to follow a certain commandment. Elder Carlson discusses three reasons people have for not following a commandment. These include:

  1. This Commandment Doesn’t Apply to Me
  2. This Commandment Is Not Important
  3. This Commandment Is Just Too Hard

Elder Carlson discusses a story in the scriptures of people who used these excuses, and then suffered the consequences. He encourages everyone to weed out such thoughts and to obey all the commandments of God.

Recently I have been renewing my efforts to establish a home food storage. As I have been planning my efforts (so that I can do so wisely and efficiently) I have been plagued with thoughts that it’s not really important, and that we don’t have room (we have plenty, but will have to sacrifice some space) for storage, or time to go down to home storage center (which is about an hour away) just to buy things I can by at the grocery store across the street (items bought at the grocery store, though, would be more expensive and would not be properly packaged for long term storage). I also have thought that since it hasn’t been mentioned in General Conference lately, maybe it’s not important anymore. This talk, and my own pondering, helped me to realize that it is still a commandment even though it may not be convenient. If it hasn’t been talked about in our meetings, it’s probably because so many people right now are not in a position to collect a food storage. We, however, are in the perfect position to build a food storage, despite my little excuses, and so I will continue to work on it.

Do you have any commandments you are ignoring right now for one of these reasons? Would you benefit from a re-examination of your reasoning?

Things to Act and Things to Be Acted Upon

Reading: 2 Nephi 2:14; “Seek Learning By Faith,” David A. Bednar, Liahona, Sep 2007

When God created the earth he made some things passive and some things active.  In 2 Nephi 2:14 it states:

And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon (emphasis added).

What this means is that some things, like rocks or water, don’t do anything of themselves but rather have things done to them, or they are “acted upon.”  Other things, like us human beings, “act” or are able to choose and do things for ourselves.

When I first read this I remembered hearing about this principle in college from then-college-president now-apostle Elder Bednar.  However, as I searched for the particular devotional or talk he gave about this topic I discovered it was never a main topic, but rather a recurring theme throughout many of his discussions.  The idea that it is up to us to actively choose good or evil was a basis for many of Elder Bednar’s discussions on issues of obedience and self-improvement.

Sometimes in my life I am tempted to sit and wait for things to happen to me, whether it is greater spirituality or more temporal things like changes in our community.  However, God has given me the ability to act, so I should use that ability as much as possible to go out and seek for the things I want and need as much as I reasonably can. In my life when I have tried to act more than be acted upon I have been much happier and grown much more quickly than when I passively wait for growth.

Yesterday I started to make a plan for a food storage, since we now have the means and the space to start building one.  As I started working on it I got excited as I realized it could be much, much easier than I had originally thought.  However, I ran out of time before I could get really get my plan going.  So, rather than wait until I have time again, this afternoon I am going to rearrange my schedule a little bit and make time to finish (or at least mostly finish) my food storage plan.

Are there areas in your life where you’re waiting for change, where you could possibly be doing something more to bring about that change?