The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Obedience

"What is the law of heaven? Obedience to the will of God, for 'man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.' Obedience, then, is the first law of heaven. Partaking of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil of course was forbidden, not because it was undesirable, not because there was anything in it of itself that was wicked, not by any manner of means. For how could we be saved unless we had that knowledge of good and evil? How could we choose between the two? Impossible. Therefore the opposition came and we must be proven as to whether we would do all things whatsoever the Lord God should command us to do. Obedience to the law of heaven is an essential condition of salvation, and an essential condition in heaven." — Rulon S. Wells, "Conference Report", April 1936, p.39

"If you cannot obey those you have seen, how can you obey those you never saw? You never will see those whom brother Brigham and his brethren represent, unless you first obey those that you see every day. We are God's representatives; and if you want to know whether you will ever go into the presence of God, I can tell you that you never will, unless you learn to obey your brethren." — Heber C. Kimball, "Journal of Discourses", Vol.6, p.192, December 27, 1857

"We are free to obey or to ignore the spirit and the letter of the law. But the agency granted to man is a moral agency (see D&C 101:78). We are not free to break our covenants and escape the consequences." — Boyd K. Packer, "Covenants", General Conference, October 1990

"Through obedience to gospel principles, the enticements of the world lessen in our lives. With each right choice we make, we spiritually empower ourselves. The accumulation of right choices builds inner spiritual strength and divine character. We should expect temptation, for without temptations there would be little education and little character improvement." — Rulon G. Craven, April 1996 Conference (May Ensign), pg. 77

"There is only one way by which any man or woman can get away from those things that afflict their lives, because of their transgressions, and that is every day to fill their life with acts of goodness, master self, and yield complete obedience to the laws of the Gospel. Remorse will then be blotted out, it will be displaced by the flowers that will blossom in the mind and heart by reason of the mastery that has been accomplished." — Melvin J. Ballard, "Conference Report", October 1912, p.109

"President Clark went on: 'When we partake of the Sacrament we covenant to obey and keep his commandments. There are no exceptions. There are no distinctions, no differences' (in Conference Report, Apr. 1955, 10-11). President Clark taught that just as we repent of all sin, not just a single sin, we pledge to keep all the commandments. Hard as that sounds, it is uncomplicated. We simply submit to the authority of the Savior and promise to be obedient to whatever He commands (see Mosiah 3:19). It is our surrender to the authority of Jesus Christ which will allow us to be bound as families, as a Church, and as the children of our Heavenly Father." - Henry B. Eyring, "That We May Be One," Ensign, May 1998, pp. 67-68

"President David O. McKay, in his opening message to the membership of the Church at a general conference in April 1957, stated very simply and yet so powerfully, 'Keep the commandments of God.' His successors have urged the same compliance. Such was the burden of our Savior's message, when He declared: 'For all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world.' (D&C 132:5.)" - Thomas S. Monson, "Be Your Best Self," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979], p. 102

"Isn't that true? Aren't there certain basic principles and truths that we must learn if we are to get along in this life and be happy? And we either learn them with joy by doing what's right, or we learn them with sorrow or through experiences that bring sorrow. One cannot break God's commandments and be happy. We should remember the scripture referred to earlier during this conference, 'Wickedness never was happiness' (Alma 41:10)." - W. Eugene Hansen, "The Search for Happiness," Ensign, November 1993, p. 83

"Obedience has been described as the first law of heaven, and the longer I live, the more convinced of that I become. I never cease to thrill at the story of Helaman and his stripling warriors told in the Book of Mormon. Even though 2,060 of the young men 'fought most desperately' (Alma 57:19) in battle, not one lost his life. What everyone may not know is that they qualified for this mighty miracle by their obedience. Their leader, Helaman, says of them: 'They did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness' (Alma 57:21; emphasis added)." - Cree-L Kofford, "Marriage in the Lord's Way, Part Two," Ensign, July 1998, p. 16

"On one occasion Christ said, 'If ye love me, keep my commandments.' (John 14:15.) How long? For a day? Should we keep the commandments of the Lord for a week? Should we observe and do his will for a month or a year? To my knowledge, there is no promise to any individual that he shall receive the reward of the just, unless he is faithful to the end. If we fully understand and faithfully carry out in our lives the principles that Jesus taught, we shall be prepared to go back and dwell in the presence of the Father and the Son." - O. Leslie Stone, "The Beatitudes," Ensign, November 1974, p. 33

"All the qualified leaders that I have ever observed have first been good followers. This is where your challenge comes in, young people, for I think you have a great obligation to your parents. Heavenly Father has given us a commandment that we should honor our father and mother. He has given a promise associated with that commandment and if we will do it, the Lord will bless us. Our parents love us. Let us listen to their counsel. Let us do those things they would have us do. God has said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15.) The rules of life your parents would have you follow are exactly the same as Heavenly Father's commandments because there is nothing that mothers and fathers would like more than to have you follow in the pathways of the truth and light of the gospel." - Robert L. Simpson, "Organizing for Eternity," April 20, 1965, "BYU Speeches of the Year"

"I suggest to you that if we were spiritually sound, if we were living the teachings of Jesus Christ, whom we must serve if we are to survive as individuals and nations, then the political and economic problems already would be solved, because by living the Ten Commandments and other teachings of God we could all live together in peace and prosperity. As we review these teachings we can find nothing in them which, if lived, will not make us better and happier in every way." - N. Eldon Tanner, "Choose You This Day," Ensign, June 1971, p. 13

"Why run against the laws of life? Why run headlong into ill health and unhappiness? Why live contrary to conscience? Think of the heartbreak and waste and regret that could be prevented by living as we ought to live. No one can set aside consequences. As Cecil B. DeMille said: 'We cannot break the... Commandments. We can only break ourselves against them.' O let us think and live and teach the power of prevention. 'If it is not right,' said Marcus Aurelius, 'do not do it; if it is not true, do not say it.'

"But wherein we may have failed in this (and heaven help us not to fail), then let us turn with all our hearts to the power of repentance." - Richard L. Evans, "Where Are You Really Going?" Ensign, June 1971, p. 74

"We believe that worship is far more than prayer and preaching and gospel performance. The supreme act of worship is to keep the commandments, to follow in the footsteps of the Son of God, to do ever those things that please him. It is one thing to give lip service to the Lord; it is quite another to respect and honor his will by following the example he has set for us." - Joseph Fielding Smith, "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth," Ensign, Dec. 1971, p. 27

"If we keep the commandments of God and walk hand in hand with him in his paths, Satan cannot touch us. Faithful members of the Church do not have to walk alone. The troubled soul need not find its way back alone. God’s hand is available to all if we will but reach out and up." - Marvin J. Ashton, "He Took Him by the Hand," Ensign, Jan. 1974, 104

"When we feel the closeness to God that comes with keeping His standards, we do not want to do anything to offend Him. Joseph's experience in resisting Potiphar's wife is a powerful example of this truth. His moral courage came from his relationship with God, as illustrated by his words: "How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" (Gen. 39:9).

"When God feels as close and real to us as He did to Joseph, we will no longer view the gospel simply as a set of rules or standards to be obeyed. We will move to a higher plane and realize that our loyalty is really to a living, loving Father in Heaven who wants us to become like Him and to share eternally with our families in all He has. We must never forget that we are now becoming what we will one day be. His standards will help us become what He is. God bless us to succeed—on His terms!" - Marlin K. Jensen, "The Message: Making a Mighty Change," New Era, June 2001

"If you would be true to yourselves, would be honest with yourselves, then be obedient to them who are in authority over you or who have the right to direct your activities. Obedience is always evidence of strength of character, disobedience indicates weakness. Obedience is compliance with that which is required by authority; subjection to rightful restraints.

"The Savior, who is our ideal in all things, not only taught obedience but exemplified it. He said, 'I come not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.' In Gethsemane he prayed, saying, '....O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.' (Matt.26:39.) Thus the Son of God gave us a supreme example of true obedience. He honored his Father by obeying his will. Obedience is the key to the kingdom of heaven. He said, 'Not every one that sayeth unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.'" - Hugh B. Brown, "Continuing the Quest" [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1961], p. 227

"This world is astray, so far as religion is concerned, and if it had not been for the revelations of the Father to Joseph the prophet, there never could have been any present salvation for the children of men, for man may worship God with all sincerity, believing that he is doing the right thing, but if he is worshiping in a way that is not ordained of the Lord, he can not receive the blessings of a glorified exaltation in the presence of that God who gave us life. There is one way only by which men may be saved and that is through obedience to law, and that obedience must be rendered by every man and every woman in the earth, or who has lived in the earth, or who will yet come to the earth, for salvation is predicated on obedience to the principle and ordinance of repentance and baptism." - Samuel O. Bennion, "Conference Report," April 1923, Third Day—Morning Session p. 105-106

"Each day we decide what we will do and what we will not do, among myriad alternatives. When we choose to obey the commandments cheerfully as our first priority, neither murmuring about nor measuring the things He commands, we become the handmaids of the Lord and fishers of men and cast our nets on the right side of our own ships. We simply go and do the things the Lord has commanded, even when we are weary, trusting that He will help us to do exactly as He asks. (See 1 Ne. 3:7.) As we do so, the Lord helps our unbelief, and our faith becomes powerful, vibrant, and unshakable. The Prophet Joseph wrote from Liberty Jail, 'Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance [or faith], to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.' (D&C 123:17.)" - L. Whitney Clayton, "Help Thou Mine Unbelief," Ensign (CR), November 2001, p.28

"The windows of heaven are open wide to the faithful and righteous; nothing closes them faster than disobedience. The unworthy cannot access fully the network of revealed truth. 'The powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.' (D&C 121:36.) 'Obedience is the first law of heaven.' (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988), p. 26.) That is why Alma exhorted us to 'be humble,... submissive and... diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times.' (Alma 7:23.)" - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Windows of Light and Truth," Ensign (CR), November 1995, p.75

"To open the windows of heaven, we must conform our will to God's will. Diligent, enduring obedience to God's laws is the key that opens the windows of heaven. Obedience enables us to be receptive to the mind and will of the Lord. 'The Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient' (D&C 64:34.) are those who receive the blessings of revelation through the open windows of heaven." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Windows of Light and Truth," Ensign (CR), November 1995, p.75

"An axiom we all understand is that you get what you pay for. That is true for spiritual matters as well. You get what you pay for in obedience, in faith in Jesus Christ, in diligent application of the truths that are learned in your own life. What you get is the molding of character, the growth in capacity, the successful completion of your purpose here on earth—to be proven." - Richard G. Scott, "First Things First," Ensign (CR), May 2001, p.6

"As we grow in the gospel, we learn the value of obedience to principles which will consistently align us with the teachings of our Savior and prophets. As we are obedient to their teachings, we then begin to understand what the Savior meant when He said, 'For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.' (Matt. 16:25)

"Since we each have periodic challenges of obedience, we can take heart in President Hinckleys encouragement 'that the Lord will not give us commandments beyond our power to observe. He will not ask us to do things for which we lack  capacity.' ('Let Us Move This Work Forward,' Ensign, Nov. 1985, 83)" - Donald L. Staheli, "Obedience—Life's Great Challenge," Ensign (CR), May 1998, p.81

"In closing, I am reminded how Samuel taught Saul the lesson of obedience: '... Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, ...' We remember the story there that Saul had taken out the best of the flocks and kept them as burnt offering and sacrifice, which was his own idea and not in obedience to the command given him. Let us then live in obedience to the counsel which comes to us from these great leaders of our Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Let us follow the teachings of Paul as he gave them to us, 'Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?' (Hebrews 12:9.)" - John Longden, "Conference Report," October 1952, Afternoon Meeting, p.26

"Whether we are being chastened or challenged as we are being tossed to and fro on the seas of life, obedience to the teachings of our Savior and prophets will qualify us for King Benjamin's great promise to those that keep Gods commandments: 'For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness.' (Mosiah 2:41.)" - Donald L. Staheli, "ObedienceLife's Great Challenge," Ensign (CR), May 1998, p.81

"We have little excuse for not choosing the way of the Lord. Do you suppose at the Day of Judgment our Savior will care one little bit about the wealth we have accumulated or the praise we have received? He wants us to come unto Him, to learn of Him, and to discover the pure love of Christ that comes through embracing His word and obeying His commandments." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Three Choices," Ensign (CR), November 2003, p.78

"Only God can bless us. Only He can sustain us. Only He can cause our hearts to beat and give us breath. Only He can preserve and protect us. Only He can give us strength to bear up the burdens of life. Only He can give us power, knowledge, peace, and joy. Only He can forgive our sins. Only He can heal us. Only He can change us and forge a godly soul. Only He can bring us back into His presence. And He will do all of that and much more if we but remember Him to keep His commandments. What then shall we do? We will remember Him to keep His commandments. It is the only intelligent thing to do." - Lawrence E. Corbridge, "The Way," General Conference, October 2008

“It is frequently said that order is the first law of heaven.  I wish to put this in a different light.  Order in the Church is the result of obedience to the laws of God and to the discipline which He has established among men.  My opinion is that obedience, which one of the ancient prophets said was ‘better than sacrifice,’ is the first law of heaven–if there can be any law called the first or above all others.  Without obedience there can be no order, no discipline, no government.  The will of God cannot be done, either in the heavens or on the earth, except men will obey the will of the Father.  And when men obey the will of the Father, order is the result.  Confusion ceases, and peace is made to prevail, when men yield obedience to the requirements of the Father, or to the laws of God.  Discipline is that practice which is necessary to bring men and women into an understanding of the laws and requirements of God; or, it is that condition which will exist when men understand the laws of God and yield obedience to them.” – Joseph F. Smith, Utah Stake Conference, Sunday, April 19, 1896

"When you pray often and seek to know the Lord's will like Nephi did, the Lord will show you the way. But you can be sure when you are trying your best to obey, you may face strong opposition from those wishing to discourage and dissuade you. Nephi's dissenters were his own brothers. Think how hard that would be!" - Sharon G. Larsen, "Your Celestial Guide," Ensign (CR), May 2001, p. 86

"Despite all the uncertainties and difficulties, there is a glorious and worthwhile future for all of these young people of ours, if they will set their sights on some permanent, worth-while goal, look a decade or two ahead, pay the price they have to pay to achieve it, accept the interruptions as they come, and have faith, to work, to prepare, to pray, to keep the commandments of God, to pursue their lives with calm, quiet purpose. If they will do this they will be blessed; they will find great, rich treasures in life, of knowledge, and of other things also, they will surmount all the difficulties and discouragements of the day, and all the interruptions, and all else, if they will continue in faith.

"It is, after all, a wonderful world that our Father has given us, in which everything is possible on the basis of repentance and obedience, and on observance of the principles on which the blessings are predicated." - Richard L. Evans, "Conference Report," April 1952, Afternoon Meeting, p. 68

"There is a blessing predicated upon the observance of every commandment. We cannot ignore it or depart from it or change it to suit our own notions and then expect to obtain the blessings. The Lord does His part, we must do ours. So I have rejoiced in contemplating this great and glorious principle of obedience. It has strengthened my faith. It has caused me to make new resolves. I have come to understand a little more than I understood last week or last month, the strictness of the Lord and how careful He is that his servants and people should obey Him, and what is meant when it is said that the Lord would choose a man after his own heart. It meant, I think, that He would choose a man who would obey his commandments." - Rudger Clawson, "Conference Report," October 1899, First Day—Morning Session

Disobedience to God and His chosen servants ignores the fact that we are all the children of an Eternal Father who has endowed us with the capacity to be as He and His Son Jesus Christ are—perfected, glorified, holy personages. Often we forget that obedience must be learned. Even Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, learned perfect obedience, which qualified Him to serve as our Lawgiver and Lord. - Delbert L. Stapely, "The Blessings of Righteous Obedience," Ensign (VR) November 1977

The war in heaven was essentially about the means by which the plan of salvation would be implemented. It forever established the principle that even for the greatest of all ends, eternal life, the means are critical. It should be obvious to all thinking Latter-day Saints that the wrong means can never attain that objective. - F. Burton Howard, "Repentance," Ensign (CR) May 1991

As we make our way through this life’s journey, we must continually be on guard and watch for those things which are deceptive and not what they appear to be. If we are not careful, the sneaker waves in life can be as deadly as those in the ocean. - R. Conrad Schultz, "Faith Obedience," Ensign (CR) May 2002

We know that God keeps His promises. We need to fulfill our part to receive His blessings. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated” (D&C 130:21). - Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "See the End from the Beginning," Ensign (CR) May 2006

Why do we sometimes stray? Why do we let ourselves be influenced by the deception of the adversary? The solution to his deception is simple in its answer, but sometimes it is difficult in its application. President Harold B. Lee in the October conference of 1970 spoke of the Lord, the adversary, and the solution to the adversary’s power of deception:

“We have some tight places to go before the Lord is through with this church and the world in this dispensation. … The power of Satan will increase; we see it on every hand. … We must learn to give heed to the words and commandments that the Lord shall give through his prophet. … There will be some things that take patience and faith” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1970, 152). - R. Conrad Schultz, "Faith Obedience," Ensign (CR) May 2002

Daily prayer and scripture study, adherence to commandments and to covenants made at baptism and in the temple are at the core of growing up unto the Lord. We learn to walk in His ways as we do what draws us closer to Heavenly Father and as we teach our children and others to do the same. We "put away childish things" as we choose to become Christlike and serve others as He would have us do. - Anne C. Pingree, "To Grow Up unto the Lord," Ensign (CR) May 2006

Such a journey from beginning through present to end suggests a path, a course of travel, and Jesus said he was "the Way." He did not say he would show the way (although he did): he said he was the way. (John 14:6.) To travel here suggests something more than merely knowing the terrain, watching for pitfalls, and setting out at a brisk pace. It means all of that plus the sobering admission that we will need his merciful assistance for every step of the journey.

This particular way is impassable alone. He waits patiently for us while we rest. He encourages us when we murmur. He calls us back when we stray. Ultimately, he carries us on his shoulders, rejoicing, because we find the heights are too great and the waters too deep. (See Luke 15:5.) Only strict adherence--adherence in its most literal sense--to the Lord Jesus Christ will see us through, for there is "none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12.) - Jeffrey R. Holland, "However Long and Hard the Road," p.19

Jesus is gracious—that is, He is kind, merciful, compassionate. It is out of His grace, His compassion and His love for us, His mercy, His kindness, His desire for us to become like Him, that He provides for us His glorious gospel.

But to reject His truth is to reject His grace, His mercy, His kindness, His compassion. It is to say that we want none of it. And of one thing we may be sure: if such is our attitude, we most certainly shall have none of it.

Obedience is the thing. - Mark E. Petersen, "We Believe in Being Honest," Ensign (CR) May 1982

We now tread in the same path that He trod. That path has been clearly marked out for each of us with signs and warnings to guide us along the way, preventing us from being diverted and lost. But, like Jesus, we must learn obedience. That is the purpose of our mortal life. If we fail in this experience, we will not find the true happiness that leads to exaltation. - Delbert L. Stapley, "The Blessings of Righteous Obedience," Ensign (CR) November 1977

Spiritually mature obedience is “the Savior’s obedience.” It is motivated by true love for Heavenly Father and His Son. When we willingly obey, as our Savior did, we cherish the words of our Heavenly Father: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we look forward to hearing, upon entering our Heavenly Father’s presence, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: … enter … into the joy of thy lord.” - Robert D. Hales, “If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments,” Ensign (CR) May 2014

Obedience makes us progressively stronger, capable of faithfully enduring tests and trials in the future. Obedience in Gethsemane prepared the Savior to obey and endure to the end on Golgotha. - Robert D. Hales, “If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments,” Ensign (CR) May 2014

To rationalize disobedience does not change spiritual law or its consequences but leads to confusion, instability, wandering in strange paths, being lost, and grief. As disciples of Christ, we have a sacred obligation to uphold His laws and commandments and the covenants which we take upon ourselves. - Robert D. Hales, “If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments,” Ensign (CR) May 2014

A person who chooses to obey one commandment and ignore others is as foolish as the driver who adheres strictly to the posted speed limit but runs every stop sign and flaunts other rules of the road.

Let us remember that with every commandment, God has promised a blessing. If we expect to claim the blessing, we must keep the commandment. Otherwise, if we ignore or break the commandment, we are cursed by losing the blessing. (See Deut. 11:26–28.) It is a very simple but serious arrangement. - Carlos E. Asay, “The Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood,” Ensign (CR) November 1985

When people try to save face with men, they can unwittingly lose face with God. Thinking one can please God and at the same time condone the disobedience of men isn’t neutrality but duplicity, or being two-faced or trying to “serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24; 3 Nephi 13:24). - Lynn G. Robbins, “Which Way Do You Face,” Ensign (CR) November 2014

We, the members of the Church, now far-flung over the earth, must make and keep ourselves fit by obedience for the mission assigned us—the regeneration of the world. It is a call to every member of the Church. As we obey the commandments, so will the strength of the Church be. As we fearlessly live the law, the influence of the Church will cover the earth and prepare it for peace. Delay and vexation, sorrow and bloodshed, will overtake us if we surrender our convictions, and enter into compromise with the world. It is better to observe the law, even in its lesser details. Then we shall have the greater claim for personal satisfaction in the days of our years. - John A. Widtsoe, "Conference Report," April 1941, Afternoon Meeting, p.118

Don't confront your problem armed with only your own experience, understanding, and strength. Count on the infinite power of the Lord by deciding now to be obedient to His teachings. (See 2 Ne. 31:19-21.) - Richard G. Scott, "Finding the Way Back," Ensign (CR), May 1990, p.74

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