Brothers and Sisters, I have been asked to give a brief talk on the subject of Obedience.
This is a subject which is very relevant, for late in life, I have found that it gives joy to parents to find their offspring are obedient. By this I imply that children listen to parents' guidance, and do what would find approval in the parents' hearts and minds. And so it must be with our Heavenly Father. And what can be more joyful than to know that we do according to God's wishes, which are known to each one of us according to the dictates of our nature and our conscience. Just as when we are mature and realize that it makes our parents happy if we do that which they would approve, that we are dutiful and obedient children, similarly, I realise that our God in Heaven looks upon with pleasure when we do what he would have us do.
There are rich rewards as fruits of obedience, in the form of good health, good life, good guidance, good nature. To see what our elders have found true, I read President Lorenzo Snow saying that "ever feeling grateful for our earthly being, and more especially for the Spirit of God we have received through obedience to the Gospel." That is really a message of good faith, that we receive the Spirit of God in our hearts when we are obedient. That is such a precious gift.
For such approval and such guidance, the method of following the Gospel is quite straightforward. When I was 13, the love of Christ found a place in my heart, and somehow automatically I have most of my life followed the gospel, without consciously thinking about it.
When Jesus was on Earth, a lawyer asked Him "Master, what is the great commandment in the law?"
Our Saviour said unto him : "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and all thy soul, and all thy mind."
That impressed me greatly at age 13, and it has been a great comfort and delight to me, in good times as well as when I have faced difficulties in life.
And the second commandment, "Love thy neighbour as thyself" is a great promoter of understanding of our fellow human beings. If I am fair to myself, I cannot be mean towards my neighbour if he says a few nasty things about me, after all, unless I don't love myself and would not excuse any shortcomings on my part. Before I developed this realization, I always took on faith what our Saviour said : "Love thine enemy". I realized that this is a great formula to save our hearts from burningwith hatred towards anyone who has wronged us. We don't call Christ our Saviour for nothing.
Those who follow these two great commandments are probably likely to love themselves so much and have such a pleasant life, they are likely to follow the rest of the ten commandments even if they were not aware of them. That I do believe.
When one is absorbed in living a joyful life in the assurance of receiving the Spirit of God in one's heart here on earth, and today, not some date in the future, then one simply cannot do ill or fall prey to temptations. I simply would not wish to have God disapprove of any of my actions, I have such love and respect for our Heavenly Father.
I share my testimony and ask for God's blessings for continued guidance in the name of Jesus, our teacher and Saviour.
(written by Duru-darshan
Melchizedek Priest, LDS Ilford)