- When we decide to do “whatsoever [God] saith unto” us, we earnestly commit to align our everyday behavior with God’s will. Such simple acts of faith as studying the scriptures daily, fasting regularly, and praying with real intent deepen our well of spiritual capacity to meet the demands of mortality. Over time, simple habits of belief lead to miraculous results. They transform our faith from a seedling into a dynamic power for good in our lives. Then, when challenges come our way, our rootedness in Christ provides steadfastness for our souls. God shores up our weaknesses, increases our joys, and causes “all things [to] work together for [our] good.”
He speaks about a discussion he had with a Bishop who was counseling members of his ward on various things. This bishop observed how obedience was vital even when we don't understand how the guidance will help us.
- I have observed that those who are deliberate about doing the “small and simple things”—obeying in seemingly little ways—are blessed with faith and strength that go far beyond the actual acts of obedience themselves and, in fact, may seem totally unrelated to them. It may seem hard to draw a connection between the basic daily acts of obedience and solutions to the big, complicated problems we face. But they are related. In my experience, getting the little daily habits of faith right is the single best way to fortify ourselves against the troubles of life, whatever they may be. Small acts of faith, even when they seem insignificant or entirely disconnected from the specific problems that vex us, bless us in all we do.
Patience is also important when we talk about obedience. The result we are hoping for are not always given right away.
- Some rewards of obedience do come quickly; others come only after we are tested.
- God will always bless us for our steadfast obedience to His gospel and loyalty to His Church, but He rarely shows us His timetable for doing so in advance. He doesn’t show us the whole picture from the outset. That is where faith, hope, and trusting in the Lord come in.
- God asks us to bear with Him—to trust Him and to follow Him. He pleads with us to “dispute not because ye see not.” He cautions us that we shouldn’t expect easy answers or quick fixes from heaven. Things work out when we stand firm during the “trial of [our] faith,” however hard that test may be to endure or slow the answer may be in coming. I am not speaking of “blind obedience” but of thoughtful confidence in the perfect love and the perfect timing of the Lord.
Finally, Elder Clayton reiterates the need for obedience in the small and simple things that we do each day. Keeping these small and sometimes inconsequential actions allows us to show our faith, demonstrate our patience, and show our diligence in doing all that the Lord asks of us.
- The trial of our faith will always involve staying true to simple, daily practices of faith. Then, and only then, does He promise that we will receive the divine response for which we long. Only once we have proven our willingness to do what He asks without demanding to know the whens, the whys, and the hows do we “reap the rewards of [our] faith, and [our] diligence, and patience, and long-suffering.” Real obedience accepts God’s commandments unconditionally and in advance.
Sometimes it is hard to do everything that the Lord asks of us. I know recently I have found it hard to accomplish my household duties and my church responsibilities in a manner that I am pleased with. I wish I had more time, less responsibilities at home and more time to devote to serving the Lord. But I also know that God knows the demands that are on us. He knows of my personal struggles to keep my household moving and meet the demands of my calling. How grateful I am for the ability to start fresh, start anew, and to recommit myself to doing what the Lord needs me to do. There is no room for guilt in the kingdom of God. So let's move forward in keeping our commitments to the Savior, refocus on what matters most, and get back to doing what the Lord needs us to accomplish.