Monday, July 28, 2008

Obedience

I was asked to give a talk this last Sunday and I thought I would just share a portion of it here.
5 Aspects of Obedience that Will Bring Blessings When Applied in our Lives
1 - Be Quick to Obey:
David A. Bednar - Sister Bednar and I are acquainted with a returned missionary who had dated a special young woman for a period of time. He cared for her very much, and he was desirous of making his relationship with her more serious. He was considering and hoping for engagement and marriage. This relationship was developing during the time that President Hinckley counseled the Relief Society sisters and young women of the Church to wear only one earring in each ear.
The young man waited patiently over a period of time for the young woman to remove her extra earrings, but she did not take them out. This was a valuable piece of information for this young man, and he felt unsettled about her nonresponsiveness to a prophet’s pleading. For this and other reasons, he ultimately stopped dating the young woman, because he was looking for an eternal companion who had the courage to promptly and quietly obey the counsel of the prophet in all things and at all times.

Elder Wirthlin - Jesus is our perfect example of obedience and in this case our perfect example of prompt obedience. Learn to do as He did when Satan tempted Him in the wilderness. Even though He was weakened by fasting, His answer was quick and firm: “Get thee behind me, Satan.” 19 Elder Neal A. Maxwell said this of the Savior’s example in resisting temptation: “Jesus noticed the tremendous temptations that came to Him, but He did not process and reprocess them. Instead, He rejected them promptly. If we entertain temptations, soon they begin entertaining us!” 20 When Satan comes calling, cast him out as quickly as possible. Do not let temptation even begin to entertain you.
Elder Wirthlin and Maxwell allude to the idea that even a slight hesitation or a momentary consideration may lead to our downfall. We must be quick to observe the commandments of God.
2 – Willingly and Cheerfully Obey:
D&C 123:17 Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us acheerfully bdo all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the csalvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.

1 Nephi 3:7 –Nephi’s Courage:
The Lord commanded Nephi to go and get the plates
From the wicked Laban inside the city gates.
Laman and Lemuel were both afraid to try.
Nephi was courageous. This was his reply:
Chorus
“I will go; I will do the thing the Lord commands.
I know the Lord provides a way; he wants me to obey.
I will go; I will do the thing the Lord commands.
I know the Lord provides a way; he wants me to obey.”

3 - Be Steady in Obedience:

This is an experience from Elder Wirthlin’s youth that taught him the importance of constant obedience.
Our university [football] team faced the University of Colorado in a contest for the conference championship. We were well coached and really well prepared. The star of the Colorado team was Byron “Whizzer” White, an all-American who was a tremendous athlete. He was a fast and powerful quarterback.
Our wise coach was Ike Armstrong. His warnings before the game included two simple instructions: one, do not kick off or punt the ball to Whizzer White, and two, never let him get past the line of scrimmage.
We followed his instructions and held Colorado scoreless throughout the first half. Early in the second half, however, Whizzer White kicked a field goal. We answered with a touchdown and kicked the extra point. We were ahead seven to three at the end of the third quarter.
On the second play of the fourth quarter, we punted. The ball sailed deep into the corner of the field, near their end zone. Whizzer White plucked the tumbling ball out of the air at his fifteen-yard line and dropped back to his five-yard line to evade the first of our tacklers. Then with the speed, strength, and agility that had built his reputation, he started upfield and sidestepped every player of our team. I managed only to touch him with my little finger. He ran the entire length of the field for a touchdown—thrilling for Colorado, but disappointing for us.
Later in the fourth quarter, Whizzer dashed around his own right end and beyond the line of scrimmage and ran fifty-seven yards for another touchdown. The game ended with a score seventeen to seven. Colorado won the game and the conference championship.
Though we lost, I learned the importance of constant obedience to detailed instructions of our leader. Failure to obey our coach’s two pregame warnings for just two plays—two brief lapses in an otherwise outstanding effort—cost us the game and the conference championship. That is all it took for us to lose something we had worked so hard to achieve.
Just like Elder Wirthlin and his team we can’t afford to have even brief lapses in our obedience. We need to be constant and steady in our obedience.
4 - Obey with Exactness:

2,000 Stripling Warriors: Alma 57:21 - Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness;
1 Samuel 15 - Saul commanded to smite and destroy the Amalekites and all that they have. 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them (so that they could give sacrifice): but every thing that was vile they destroyed utterly. The Lord said, “he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments.” Later Samuel tells Saul, “Behold, to cobey is better than dsacrifice.”
Elder Glenn L. Pace. - There are some of our members who practice selective obedience. A prophet is not one who displays a smorgasbord of truth from which we are free to pick and choose. However, some members become critical and suggest the prophet should change the menu.
Elder Wirthlin: Some people choose to follow the teachings of the Lord and of his living prophet only when convenient, but reject them when sacrifice or deeper commitment is required.
We should be exactly obedient in all things.

5 – Selflessly and Lovingly Obey: Our motivation for obeying should not be to merely gain a blessing or reward.

Dallin H. Oaks - in ascending order from the lesser to the greater reasons for [obedience].
1 - Some may [obey] for hope of earthly reward or blessing.
6 - The last motive I will discuss is, in my opinion, the highest reason of all. In its relationship to [obedience], it is what the scriptures call “a more excellent way.” (1 Cor. 12:31.) It is the pure love of Christ.” (Moro. 7:47.) Our [obedience] when motivated by our love of the Lord is the highest reason of all.
John 14: 15 - If ye love me, keep my commandments.

President Monson - When faced with the agony of Gethsemane, where He endured such pain that His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground, He exemplified the obedient Son by saying, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).
He demonstrated his love for his Father and for us by his willingness to do something that was so difficult and painful that it lies beyond our comprehension. He suffered for our sins without having committed any sins himself.

1 comment:

Brooke said...

Love it! Now could you come and help me teach my kids those 5 steps too! I could probably use a reminder every now and again myself.