The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - The Ten Commandments

"No Gods Before Me"
"No Graven Images"
"God's Name in Vain"
"Keep the Sabbath Day Holy"
"Honor Father and Mother"
"Thou Shalt Not Kill"
"Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery"
"Thou Shalt Not Steal"
"Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness"
"Thou Shalt Not Covet"

"Perhaps I could begin with an interesting question posed recently and an equally interesting answer. The question was, 'Don't you think the commandments should be rewritten?' The answer was, 'No, they should be reread.'

"This may be a good point from which to take off for consideration of some fundamental facts; namely, the commandments of God are there. They come from a divine source. The experience of the ages has proved the need for them, and has proved what happens if they are ignored.

"So why spend life in the frustration and unhappiness and sorrow and tragedy of trying to rationalize and wave them away?" - Richard L. Evans, "Should the Commandments Be Rewritten?" Ensign, Dec. 1971, p. 57

"Joseph Smith was helped to accomplish tasks that were completely beyond his personal capacity. At times, this came through direct guidance and intervention. Yet often it was the quiet prompting of the Spirit and the accompanying support that came because of his obedience, his faith in the Master, and his unwavering determination to do His will. Why was he so successful? A portion of that answer comes in his personal declaration, 'I made this my rule: When the Lord commands, do it.' (History of the Church, 2:170)" - Richard G. Scott, "He Lives," Ensign, Nov. 1999, 88

"All safety, all righteousness, all happiness are on the Lord's side of the line. If you are keeping the commandments of God by observing the Sabbath day, you are on the Lord's side of the line. If you attend to your secret prayers and your family prayers, you are on the Lord's side of the line. If you are grateful for food and express that gratitude to God, you are on the Lord's side of the line. If you love your neighbor as yourself, you are on the Lord's side of the line. If you are honest in your dealing with your fellow men, you are on the Lord's side of the line. If you observe the Word of Wisdom, you are on the Lord's side of the line. And so I might go on through the Ten Commandments and the other commandments that God has given for our guidance and say again, all that enriches our lives and makes us happy and prepares us for eternal joy is on the Lord's side of the line. Finding fault with the things that God has given to us for our guidance is not on the Lord's side of the line." - George Albert Smith, "Conference Report," October 1945, Afternoon Meeting, p.119

"Now, his commandments are not grievous. They are not burdensome. They are not oppressive. We sing in one of our hymns, 'How gentle God's commands! How kind his precepts are!' (Hymns, no. 125.) The laws of God are not given to us to burden us or to handicap us. They are not impositions. They are the statutes through which, if observed, the purpose of life and existence is to be realized. Even those who are called to go through trials, sorrow, tribulation, and adversity are promised that if they are faithful in tribulation and adversity, that the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven. (D&C 58:2.)" - ElRay L. Christiansen, "The Laws of God Are Blessings," Ensign (CR), May 1975, p.23

"The Lord has restored the gospel, which is the true plan of life, salvation, and exaltation. He has given us no law, advice, counsel, or commandment that is not for our blessing and happiness.

"As an illustration, every one of the Ten Commandments, if lived, will bring joy and satisfaction. This does not mean we will not have problems. The Lord has said that all things work together for the good of him who loves the Lord. Some people take the view that the Ten Commandments are outmoded. It is true that they are not adopted into the lives of some people, but the commandments that were given by Jehovah on Mount Sinai are light, are truth, eternal truth, and failure to observe them brings the opposite of joy and happiness. The same may be said of all truth given us by the Lord. Wickedness never was happiness and never will be. (See Alma 41:10.) It has been said: 'It is a statistical fact that the wicked work harder to reach hell than the righteous do to enter heaven.'

"The Psalmist has said: 'Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!' (Ps. 107:8.)" - Joseph Anderson, "The Road to Happiness," Ensign (CR), May 1975, p.29

"Commandments are not given to burden or restrict us. Rather, they are guideposts from an all-wise Heavenly Father to keep us out of trouble, to bring us a fulness of happiness in this life, and to bring us safely back home to Him." - Larry W. Gibbons, "Wherefore, Settle This in Your Hearts," Ensign, November 2006

"In speaking about the different covenants we make in the sacrament, a great covenant is also made wherein we promise that we will keep the commandments which Jesus has given us. We all believe in keeping the ten commandments, or ought to do so, at least, but did Jesus give us any others? Read the Sermon on the Mount, one of the best sermons ever delivered, full of good instruction unto his disciples and the whole world, and you may put together all that he taught into the words, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy might; and thy neighbor as thyself.' He made that generalization, one of the greatest ever made; all commandments can come under it, and he emphasized this once to the Prophet Joseph by saying, that 'except ye love one another yet are not mine.' Now we promise to keep his commandments and that includes this great commandment, sometimes pretty hard to keep, but we make the covenant, when we partake of the sacrament, that we will keep his commandments. We should study all the other commandments that are given, and be ready and yield obedience unto them." - Anthon H. Lund, "Conference Report," October 1916, First Day—Morning Session, p.15

"The seasons, the sunshine, the growing of seeds; heat and cold; the life of a child; the harvest we have—these are not theory, and the same authority that runs the universe on such precision also gave us commandments to keep, commandments that are still in force. And I wouldn't know anywhere to turn for a purposeful way to live life, except the way prescribed by the Administrator of heaven and earth. After all, whose little wisdom would we turn to? He has given us no commandment that is not necessary—and I witness to you that the spiritual and moral laws are as much in force as are the physical laws, and each person is going to be what he lives like." - Richard L. Evans, "Conference Report," October 1970, Afternoon Meeting, p.88

“When we go into the waters of baptism, when we partake of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, and when we stand on our feet and bear testimony to the divinity of this work, we are thereby obligated as strongly as I know how it is possible to obligate a human soul to keep the commandments of the Lord. But it is not easy to do this. The influence of heredity, of environment and of evil power that is in the earth, personified or headed by Satan himself, are all opposed to our keeping the commandments of the Lord. To overcome all of these we must struggle, but may I say that my own belief is that the Lord gives every one of us the strength to keep His commandments if we will worthily and earnestly seek His help that we may do it.” – Joseph F. Merrill, “Conference Report,” October 1941, Afternoon Meeting, p. 130

Although the world has changed, the laws of God remain constant. They have not changed; they will not change. The Ten Commandments are just that—commandments. They are not suggestions. They are every bit as requisite today as they were when God gave them to the children of Israel. - Thomas S. Monson, "Stand in Holy Places," Ensign (CR) November 2011

Perhaps I could begin with an interesting question posed recently and an equally interesting answer. The question was, “Don’t you think the commandments should be rewritten?” The answer was, “No, they should be reread.” - Richard L. Evans, “Should the Commandments Be Rewritten?” Ensign (CR) November 1971

Another religious leader said that the stern command "Thou shalt not" was much too harsh for our present-day sensitivity, and he suggested that the form of the commandments should be modified and some softer word such as "advise" or "suggest" or "recommend" be used. We make one of our most serious mistakes when we become too soft to accept truth unless it is highly sugar coated. We settle too many of our problems by compromise or how we feel, rather than by what is right. Frequently we would rather be ruined by praise than sawed by criticism. It is pretty serious business when we turn our backs on good merely because we don't like someone's tone of voice or because what is said doesn't quite suit our fancy. - Sterling W. Sill, "Conference Report," October 1963, General Priesthood Meeting, p.81

Brothers and sisters, live the commandments. Do what is right. Take advantage of this great opportunity in your life to live it well, to be good, to have good works, and to influence other people for good. The gospel is true. I hope that every day of my life I might be able to do some good and to encourage somebody to live a better life and to understand what has been restored to the earth. - David B. Haight, “Live the Commandments,” Ensign (CR) May 1998

Some of us may feel from time to time that some of his commandments are an impediment to happiness in this life, but this isn’t so; and deep down in our hearts we all know that so long as we adhere to these commandments, just as surely as night follows day, we will reap the blessings that are promised to the faithful. - O. Leslie Stone, “Commandments to Live By,” Ensign (CR) November 1979

A word to adults and parents. Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s father counseled that when we violate any commandment, however small, our youth may choose to violate a commandment later on in life perhaps 10 times or 100 times worse and justify it on the basis of the small commandment we broke. - Vaughn J. Featherstone, “One Link Still Holds,” Ensign (CR) October 1999

God’s commandments are not given to frustrate us or to become obstacles to our happiness. Just the opposite is true. He who created us and who loves us perfectly knows just how we need to live our lives in order to obtain the greatest happiness possible. He has provided us with guidelines which, if we follow them, will see us safely through this often treacherous mortal journey. We remember the words of the familiar hymn: “Keep the commandments! In this there is safety; in this there is peace.” - Thomas S. Monson, “Keep the Commandments,” Ensign (CR) November 2015

We can choose to see commandments as limitations. We may feel at times that God’s laws restrict our personal freedom, take from us our agency, and limit our growth. But as we seek for greater understanding, as we allow our Father to teach us, we will begin to see that His laws are a manifestation of His love for us and obedience to His laws is an expression of our love for Him. - Carole M. Stephens, "If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments,” Ensign (CR) November 2015

The kind of emphasis that is given to an idea is sometimes about as important as the idea itself. Recently a minister on the radio said that he never talked about the Ten Commandments in his church anymore because they were too far out of date. He also said that their language was too harsh for the weak sensibilities of our day. This minister felt that instead of using such strong terms as command and Thou shalt not, the Lord should have employed some softer words such as I recommend or I suggest or I advise. But soft words frequently produce soft attitudes with weak meanings and built-in violations. - Sterling W. Sill, "Thou Shalt Not," Ensign (CR), December 1971, p.92

Think for a moment of the second great commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves. (Matt. 22:38, 39.) How many observe it? Keep in mind that the Lord said it is of like importance to the first great commandment, which is to love God with all our heart and soul. - Mark E. Petersen, "Do Unto Others… ," Ensign (CR), May 1977, p.73

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