Sunday, October 2, 2011

It All Starts With Us

As children of our Heavenly Father, we have certain expectations of us that are very important for us to accomplish. Our Armor of God can help us with that, but even before we put on our Armor of God to defend ourselves, it all starts with us: who we are, what we're about, and what our values are (both when we're around others and alone). The Armor of God can do nothing if we ourselves are not worthy to be wearing it.

Those expectations that I mentioned above are relatively small when you look at them at first. Take a look at Mosiah 2:22 which says, "And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you." That doesn't sound too bad, now does it? You might say that, well, there sure are a lot of commandments, aren't there? Yes, there are a lot of them. But what many people do on a normal day-to-day basis involves keeping these commandments without them even realizing it. Let me give you a list of commandments that we have been told to do: pray, study the scriptures, get baptized, obey the laws of the land, don't steel, honor your parents, etc. Are these commandments possible to obey? OF COURSE they are. Look at what Nephi said to his father during a time where it seemed impossible to accomplish anything, "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them" (1 Nephi 3:7, italics added).

So with the ease of knowing that we all can do these commandments, is it automatically easier? Unfortunately, not so much. Satan, the father of all lies, is going to try to trick us and deceive us and tell us other things. He is going to try to make a mockery of the commandments, and is going to tell you that you don't need to do them because they are silly and won't get you anywhere. This is where our values come in. Situation: are we going to give in to drinking alcohol if our friends offer it to us? Are we going to give in to drinking if we are alone and nobody will find out? Even with our Armor of God, if we're not ready/worthy to wear it, there is no chance that we are going to be able to defend Satan's attacks against our values. One way to help with that is to already have a decision made up about something. We will use the example above. If we commit ourselves to not drink right now, we will have an easier time making the decision to not drink later on. This is the same with any commandment that has been asked of us.

I now want to talk about who we are and what we're about. We are all children of our Heavenly Father. "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Romans 8:16). He loves us with an infinite love, more than we can fully comprehend, but we can comprehend some of it. If ever we feel alone, or hurt, or afraid, our Heavenly Father can comfort us in our time of need. We can ask Him specific questions if we have a hard question of "what is right and what is wrong," and the best part, in my opinion, is that He listens to us individually and answers us individually. We just have to be listening to His response.

"What we're about" is another way of saying, "What is the purpose of life? What am I supposed to be doing, if anything, to help me get closer to God?" Alma 34:32 says in response to those questions, "For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors." So what labors are we to perform? THE COMMANDMENTS!!! Those are the labors. Let me list off a few more: rejoicing (yes, it's a real commandment; Matthew 5:12), the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12), be of good cheer (Matthew 9:2), and have faith (Mark 11:22). As long as you do all these things, as well as just living a good, wholesome life, you will be happy with yourself and you will know that our Father in Heaven is happy with you too.

I know that following the commandments are all possible. I know that as children of God, we not only need to keep our Armor of God polished, but we need to keep our spirits polished as well. Knowing AND understanding who we are and what we're here to do is the beginning to all of that.


  1. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    I needed to read this. This blog helps me.

  2. Awesome! I needed to read this!

  3. I needed to read this.
    Thank you!


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