Monday, March 1, 2010

Keep the Commandments

I was asked about a list of "commandments" to keep.  The person was sincerely trying to keep the commandments, but lacked a comprehensive list of them.

It is not possible to list all commandments.  In one sense there are only two:  Love God.  Love you fellow man.  All others are extensions of those.

If you love God you will do what He asks of you.  Whenever something comes to your attention He would have you do, you do it.  For example, Christ was baptized and said to "Follow Him."  So because of your love of God, you follow Him.

But Christ also showed repeatedly, that the second commandment was greater than the rules.  Keeping the Sabbath day holy, for example, was subordinate to loving and freeing His fellow man.  He freed men from sin on the Sabbath by forgiving sins.  He freed them from physical injury or disease by healing on the Sabbath.  Both were considered work, and therefore an offense to the commandment to keep the Sabbath day holy.

Your individual path back to God will begin with following the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  At some point, however, you will find that individual service and obedience to God's will for you will create disharmony between you and others.  Can't be avoided.  If you're following Christ, you will find the same things He found.  Helping someone in need will take you away from Church meetings on occasion.  You can't make a list and keep it, because as soon as you do the list will interfere with loving God and loving your fellow man.

So the whole matter can be reduced to this:  Follow Christ, receive the ordinances, accept the Holy Ghost, who will teach you all things you must do.  Any list beyond that will inevitably result in conflicts and contradictions. 

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully and well put. Thank you so much for answering my question. Now I can relax a little when I hear the phrase "keep the commandments" and forget the list because I can listen to my heart and ask the question is this what God would want "ME" to do.


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