- Brethren, as bearers of the priesthood of God, let us follow the example of our Lord Jesus Christ and His prophets, past and present. It may not be required of us to give our lives as martyrs, as did many of the prophets. What is required is our obedience to the Lord’s commandments and our faithfulness to the covenants we have made with Him.
He speaks of why we have commandments and what benefit we receive when we keep them.
- Commandments allow us to know the mind and will of God regarding our eternal progression. And they test our willingness to be obedient to His will.
- The commandments are not a burden or a restriction. Every commandment of the Lord is given for our development, progress, and growth. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “God has designed our happiness. … He never will institute an ordinance or give a commandment to His people that is not calculated in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed”
- Living the commandments brings us into harmony with Deity; we become one in purpose with the Father and the Son. When we are one with God, we walk with spiritual light. Our diligence in keeping the commandments allows the Holy Ghost to dwell within us. We are given the gift of personal revelation. This is a spiritual light that protects us and serves as a beacon, guiding us in righteous ways. It dispels the darkness of the adversary. So powerful is this light that it can reach us even when we are drawn into a black hole of sin so deep and so dark that we believe no spiritual light could ever penetrate.
Elder Hales teaches us a powerful lesson about light and darkness. It is impossible for their to be light and darkness in the same space. This earthly truth also applies to our spiritual lives.
- Light and darkness cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Satan and his disciples cannot tolerate the spiritual light of the gospel; they must immediately depart. Satan cannot command you to do anything. With the priesthood, you can command him to depart in your thoughts and in your actions.
- When we live the commandments, our countenance is surrounded by gospel light. With this spiritual light, we no longer wander in the strange and darkened paths of the adversary, becoming lost, discouraged, depressed, and fearful. Walking in the light of the gospel, we will not lose sight of our eternal goals. Brethren, choosing to live the commandments frees us from the shackles of sin and allows us to experience true happiness.
He concludes with reminding us to never forget the covenants we have made and to let our lives demonstrate our love for the Savior.
- We must never forget for a moment that the covenants we have made to keep, the promises we have made with the Lord and with our Heavenly Father, are the most important decisions we have made in our lives. Let us study and ponder the scriptures and listen to the counsel of living prophets. Let us teach and testify of the truthfulness of the commandments in our homes and elsewhere as directed by the Spirit. Let our lives reflect our love of the Lord by being obedient to the commandments and reaping the promised blessings both in this life and in the life to come. “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”
We have choices in our lives that will bring us happiness and eternal life or will lead us to unhappiness and suffering. Elder Hales provides us guidance of how to put the positive things in our lives that will encourage us to choose happiness and eternal life. Prophets ancient and modern have taught us that happiness comes through living the scriptures. It is my hope that we will choose the good things in life and seek after eternal life when we are making our daily decisions in life.