Divine GuidanceRemember how our parents would teach us rules when we were young? Rules like not playing in the street or not playing with matches. Remember how sometimes the rules seemed like a burden, like our parents must have invented them to keep us from doing the things we really wanted to do—the things we thought would make us happy? As we grow up we learn how important these rules are, how we could have been seriously injured or even killed if we had not obeyed.
Like our parents growing up, God gives us commandments to help keep us focused on what is most important and how to stay safe. All of His guidance is meant to keep us safe, help us stay close to Him and, in the end, to give us more freedom and happiness.
Road SignsHave you ever gone on a long road trip before the age of GPS? One that required changing freeways and highways and many confusing directions? It can be very difficult to get from the starting point to the end destination on these trips. To help with such endeavors we have resources like maps and road signs to guide us through our journey. If we know where we want to go we can follow the signs that guide us in that direction.
I've learned that commandments are very similar to road signs. We are on a long journey of sorts right now, working our way through this life with the hope of making it back to the presence of God. The path can be confusing, often sins disguise themselves to look like good actions or thoughts. It is by following the commandments set by God that we can make it through life with the least amount of physical, emotional and spiritual pain.
Commandments Bring HappinessElder Robert D. Hales, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has explained: "These commandments are loving instructions provided by God our Father for our physical and spiritual well-being and happiness while in mortality ... The commandments are not a burden or a restriction. Every commandment of the Lord is given for our development, progress, and growth." Elder Hales continues by quoting Joseph Smith, "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." ("If Thou Wilt Enter In Life, Keep the Commandments," April 1996 General Conference.)
When the Lord commands us to stay away from substances it is because those substances are harmful to our bodies. When we are commanded to do things it is because those things will benefit us. Closing, I again use the words of Elder Hales:
"How I love the commandments of the Lord! They guide and protect us and allow us to return back into the presence of our Heavenly Father. If we faithfully obey the commandments, we are promised the blessings of eternal life."
Those who desire to know more about the commandments of God, or have any questions concerning the things mentioned above, you can ask missionaries here.